Decisions In Paradise Part Ii Essay

Decisions In Paradise Part Ii Essay-29
Having studied at Edinburgh College of Art (1938–40), his aspirations to be a painter were abandoned when he was conscripted into the Royal Artillery in 1942 and sent to an aircraft battery in the Warwickshire countryside near Kenilworth.Davie never experienced frontline combat and described these years spent surrounded by fields and trees as a crucial first encounter with nature.

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Unlike other British artists who made straight for Paris and stayed there, Davie ventured further afield.The miracle that comes to pass; the light which gleams suddenly within me, the flash of true understanding, for a moment blinding me, then filling me with a complete joy and satisfaction; it is so difficult to define, yet it forces me to try.4 In Paris Davie was stimulated by the exoticism he saw in early Christian, Byzantine and Romanesque art which he found chimed with the spiritual intensity of his Celtic tradition, as well as modernist paintings by Picasso, Matisse and Arp.After hitchhiking to Switzerland and walking around the Matterhorn, the Davies went to Venice.In 1961, Davie’s jewellery was featured in at London’s Goldsmith’s Hall, a milestone in the history of jewellery making in Britain where an impressive roster of international and British artists including Alexander Calder, Naum Gabo, Victor Pasmore and John Mc Hale appeared in a section on ‘Modern Work by Sculptors and Painters’.2The power and mystery of jazz, which Davie believed to be the creative medium of the 1940s, was a continual source in his search for ‘the mystery of life’.His painting process, which the artist compared to Paul Klee’s famous statement that drawing is ‘taking a line for a walk’, is not unlike that of a jazz musician improvising melody and rhythm.Alan Davie’s activity as a painter is often described as resembling shamanistic artists of remote times engaged in conjuring up visions linked to mysterious and spiritual forces.His kaleidoscopic paintings are the result of an improvisatory process into the unknown, their gestures and biomorphic forms celebrating a world of imagination and beauty at odds with the common view of the alienation and disaffection of the post-war milieu.Harnessing his engagement with jazz, Zen Buddhism and prehistoric cultures, Davie’s images emerge from networks of spontaneous forms and symbols that often overlap and obscure each other until the final composition is revealed.From his abstract canvases of the 1940s and 50s that draw attention to the materiality of paint and the physical gesture of the artist to later works with their mystical symbols and text, Davie (who died in april 2014) demonstrated his commitment to art as a search for inner beauty that grows naturally with the rhythms of the mind and body.This display, showcasing all eight of Davie’s paintings in Tate’s collection as well as material from the artist’s personal archive, is a timely opportunity to reassess his unique visual language.This text uses these works to trace the development of Davie’s practice over the last 60 years, highlighting particular moments in his visual journey.

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