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Alan Davie

(British, 1920-2014)

Improvisations on a Chagall Theme no. 1

December 1966
oil on canvas
213 x 172.5 cm (84 x 68 in.)
signed and dated (on the verso)

Morone Gallery, Milan
Private collection, Paris (acquired from the above in 2004)

D. Hall & M. Tucker, Alan Davie, London, 1992, p. 178, no. 579

Milan, Morone Gallery, Alan Davie “Il Risveglio della Conoscenza Intuitiva”, 2001 (incorrectly dated 1996)

The 1960s proved to be a fruitful time for Alan Davie. His success enabled him to give up teaching and acquire a house in Cornwall. This extra time and space allowed Davie to return to his 1950 works which were influenced by Zen Buddhist principles; basic symbols of which (i.e., the circle) were used to represent objects such as targets and the sun.

These quasi-symbolic shapes were revisited in the 1960s and Davie began to look at works in which avatars were synonymous with the artist, namely Marc Chagall. The present work is a mature example of Davie’s ability to interpret existing motifs and engage these with symbols of his own creation.


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