About this artwork

In 1974 and 1975 Davie made a series of pieces on the theme of 'the studio.' 1975 was the first year that Davie spent the winter on the Caribbean island of St Lucia, where he would make drawings and gouaches which he would turn into oil paintings on his return to Britain. For 'The Studio' series, he made gouaches first and the oil paintings were developed from images in these works. They featured a collection of motifs and symbols placed in an interior (studio) environment. The animal that features is of no particular kind; it derives from drawings.

  • title: The Studio No. 28
  • accession number: GMA 4116
  • artist: Alan DavieScottish (born 1920)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Visual arts
  • medium: Oil on canvas
  • date created: 1975
  • measurements: 152.30 x 183.00 cm
  • credit line: Presented by the artist 1997
  • copyright: © The Estate of Alan Davie
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve Antonia Reeve

Alan Davie

Alan Davie

Davie was born in Grangemouth, near Edinburgh and studied at Edinburgh College of Art. In 1948 he saw the work of the American Abstract Expressionists and was impressed by their intensity and freedom. Davie abandoned traditional methods of composition and subject matter and sought to free his art from premeditated decision-making. This approach owes much to the artist's interest in Zen Buddhism and there is also an analogy with jazz - Davie was a jazz saxophonist early on in his career. In the later 1950s and 1960s Davie's brushwork became more controlled and the imagery more legible. Mysterious symbols began to appear, found in sources as varied as American Indian pottery, maps, ancient rock-carvings and Aboriginal art.