15 January 2010

Alan Davie at Gimpel Fils

 This exhibition should certainly be worth going to.  Hard to believe that Davie is 90 years old!

Some details here and press release below

Alan Davie
Night Gems
22 January - 6 March 2010
Private View: Thursday 21st January 2010, 5-7 pm

“Marks become signs which can convey meaning from their magical evocations”
- Alan Davie

To celebrate Alan Davie’s 90th birthday, Gimpel Fils is delighted to present Night Gems, the first in a series of exhibitions taking place this year that will chart the career of this extraordinary artist.

Comprising works made in the last two years, Night Gems demonstrates Davie’s unwavering commitment to painting. In his thesis, Towards a philosophy of creativity published in 1997, Davie spoke of the necessity of letting go of material concerns and embracing the intuitive possibilities that can be found in natural states of being unhindered by external anxieties. This ‘letting go’ of exterior concerns in order to tap into hidden, mystical interior worlds has been Davie’s life-long project and significantly, he has never been afraid to change his style or painterly technique in order to achive this goal.

Davie’s clean, flat geometric style, familiar since the 1970s is here counterposed by a series of small oil paintings on board, executed in short staccato daubs of colour, perhaps a more volatile form of pointillism. There is a sense of frenetic engery in these paintings, different from the youthful exbuerance found in earlier works: dynamic coils of energy waiting to be unfurled are discernable in the tightly wound spirals of ....For a Birthday, while the dense and crowded areas of patternwork in Wheel Bender bristle with potential energy straining for escape.

Shamanism, mysticism, alchemy and magic are concepts closely linked to Davie’s work. These ideas are manifested in forms reminiscent of a Bhuddist prayer wheel, a crescent moon, the Hindu God Shiva garlanded with a snake, the geometic forms of Hopi basketry. And whilst these forms can all be found in this exhibition, also on display is a series of blue-black paintings suggestive of night meditations, depicting shapes only half comprehended, shrouded as they are in a cloak of darkness.

This exhibition is the first of a number of displays in 2010. Other exhibitions will take place at The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, University of Leeds; Callendar House, Falkirk; Kings Place Gallery, London; and Northumbria University Gallery, Newcastle.

Alan Davie’s artwork can be found in numerous international public collections including Tate Collection, London; The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh; the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; and Museu de Arte Contemporanea, São Paulo.

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