Alan Davie Black Mirror 1952

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Artwork details

Artist
Alan Davie 1920–2014
Title
Black Mirror
Date 1952
Medium Oil paint on board
Dimensions Support: 1219 x 1219 mm
frame: 1245 x 1270 x 65 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 1973
Reference
T01749
Not on display

Display caption

Black had a special meaning for the artist following a brief illness in 1946 during which he was temporarily blind. He described this traumatic visual experience as 'whiteness'. In contrast black came to signify life and 'the depth of life'. Davie's usual practice at this time was to produce each painting swiftly and violently through a 'flash of inspiration'. If he was subsequently unhappy with the result he would begin again, obliterating the image with a completely new painting. Davie resisted the notion of pure abstraction and his title emphasises this. According to Davie 'here is a picture which you would call abstract but is a mirror in itself'.

September 2004

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