Alan Davie was a painter, poet, jazz musician and jewellery designer.
London’s Tate Gallery described his canvases for an exhibition at Tate Modern as “the result of an improvisatory process that the artist relates to his love of jazz”.
He was for over 25 years, Visiting Professor in Painting at the University of Brighton, working closely with his friend and critic Professor Mike Tucker.
Alan Davie's relationship with the University of Brighton goes back to 1987 when he was invited by Professor Mike Tucker to lecture at the institution. Subsequently, he was made Visiting Professor in Painting at the university, and Mike Tucker curated a number of important British touring shows of his work, for example: the 1993-94 'Alan Davie: The Quest for the Miraculous (Paintings, Gouaches & Drawings 1959-93)'; the 1997-98 'Alan Davie: Drawings' (in collaboration with the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art) and the 2000-2001 'Alan Davie: Small Paintings 1949-2000'.
Mike Tucker published catalogue essays for all of the above shows as well as contributing, with Douglas Hall, to the major 1992 Lund Humphries monograph on Alan Davie. The freshly considered mythopoetic context in which he placed Davie's work was expanded, from the point of view of twentieth-century art history, in Tucker's Dreaming with Open Eyes: The Shamanic Spirit in 20th Century Art and Culture of the same year. Tucker has also written extensive essays for the 1999 University of Hertfordshire show 'Alan Davie: Works of the 1990s' and the major 2001 'Alan Davie: Paintings 1950-2000' show held at the COBRA Museum for Modern Art, Amstelveen.
In Spring 2005 Printmaking Today published 'Magic Man: Alan Davie, Printmaker', an illustrated article by Tucker about his recent innovative work in screenprint. Most recently Tucker has discussed musical aspects of Davie's painting in his essay 'As If Mirroring A (Jazz) Melody,' published in the catalogue Eye Music: Kandinsky, Klee And All That Jazz, which documented the 2007 Palland House Gallery, Chichester show of that name and which toured to the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia.
Over the years, Davie has been invited many times to lecture - and, on occasion, give musical recitals - at the University of Brighton. Tucker has lectured on his work in connection with such landmark shows as 'Alan Davie: Bilder Aus 50 Jahren' at the Galerie Georg Nothelfer in Berlin, the 2004 'Alan Davie: Jingling Space' at Tate St Ives and the 2004-2005 'Alan Davie: Prints' at the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery & Museum, Bedford.