12 December 2008
Alan Davie, H.R.S.A. (b. 1920)
Fish Charm No. 1
signed, inscribed and dated 'Alan Davie/NOV 1965/FISH CHARM' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
48 x 60 in. (122 x 152.5 cm.)
with Gimpel Fils, London, where acquired by the Wood Prince family, and subsequently given to the present owner.
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Exhibition catalogue, Alan Davie, London, Gimpel Fils, 1966, illustrated.
A. Bowness (ed.), Alan Davie, London, 1967, no. 518, pl. 100.
London, Gimpel Fils, Alan Davie, March 1966, no. 16.
The present work belongs to a series of Fish Charm pictures that Davie painted in 1965. Alan Bowness comments, 'The fish has an inevitable Christian reference, and this is confirmed in the Fish Charm pictures, of 1965, by its association with the Egyptian symbol of life, which also suggests both the phallus and the Christian cross. Such a multi-evocative use of symbols is very characteristic' (see A. Bowness (ed.), op. cit., p. 174).
In an interview with Iain Gale, Davie talked about the symbols that became more apparent in his work from the mid-1960s: 'I realised you didn't have to have wild paint on a picture to make it a dynamic object. There is an incredible source of creative energy within oneself - an archetypal imagery within. Jung had the same idea: all sorts of symbols which one recognises without having to know what they mean. You find the same symbols in different cultures from all over the world from Australian Aborigines or Pictish tribes to Caribbean Indians' (see 'Tales of man, myth and magic', The Independent, 18 May 1993).
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent. VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium
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