You have 2 more free articles remaining

First, last autumn, St James’s gallery Alan Wheatley Art was appointed sole representative of Davies’ estate.

Then, this month, his story was added to the latest update of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Next up for the artist is a major selling retrospective at Wheatley’s Mason’s Yard gallery, which specialises in modern British and international art.

Running from April 18-May 4, the show spans the painter’s long career, showing previously unseen early oils and large, colourful compositions that he completed shortly before he died as well as many works in between.

Davie was born and studied in Scotland. After the Second World War he travelled widely, meeting a number of his best-known contemporaries such as Paul Klee and Jackson Pollock.

He was influenced by jazz (he was a keen and accomplished musician in his own right), the teachings of Zen philosophy, primitive art and underwater swimming.

“I don’t practise painting or drawing as an art, in the sense of artifice, or making an imitation of something. It’s something I do from an inner compulsion that has to come out,” he said in an interview near the end of his life.

Interest returns

After the 1970s, critical interest in his work subsided. It returned during his final years and culminated with a show at Tate Britain in 2014. The show at Alan Wheatley follows two previous exhibitions which the gallery held around the artist in 2012 and 2014.

Davies’ paintings have regularly taken six-figure prices with the top-seller, according to the Art Sales Index, his 1954 Goddess of the Green, which took $396,708 at Sotheby’s London in 2007. A number of other highs came in the year of his death.

Pieces in the collection of pictures now on offer at Alan Wheatley are priced from £5000-200,000. Some smaller works and drawings will be offered for three-figure sums.

It is accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue with an introductory essay by Michael Tucker, who collaborated on the 1992 Alan Davie monograph published by Lund Humphries.

alanwheatleyart.com