Comments on: Alan Davie: The Phenomenon of Expanding Form http://abstractcritical.com/article/alan-davie-the-phenomenon-of-expanding-form/ Abstract Critical is a not-for profit company aiming to establish a new critical context for all generations of artists involved with ambitious abstract art. Sun, 09 Nov 2014 17:23:33 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: anthony seymour http://abstractcritical.com/article/alan-davie-the-phenomenon-of-expanding-form/#comment-755250 Wed, 13 Aug 2014 11:29:36 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=8371#comment-755250 Still thinking about all this:

Perhaps people respond to the later Davie partly because its not messy(!)paint, which seems a bit silly, but also because his work continues suspended definitions and even his earlier and I reckon better painting in the Fifties/Sixties, is sort of composed of fragments. They are made in a way with a promiscuous ambience, protecting secrets in a crowd of perceptual constellations.

Also I wanted to say it always bugs me whenever Bacon comes up! So I feel like defending him against detractors but then I argue with his fans as well!

Curious that whilst Heron was not keen as a critic on Bacon at all, he was kindly disposed towards Bacon when he was in St Ives.

Interesting that when Roger Hilton told Bacon his painting was no good at Heron’s house, Bacon proposed doing joint paintings with Hilton!

Bacon was potentially receptive to learning from abstract painters and often said in interviews how he wished in many senses he could have had more help and advice with his art, but perhaps the abstract painters were just too negative towards him or could not take him seriously, (too melodramatic as Hoyland would complain to Hirst).

The only painter according to David Sylvester who agreed to do paintings with Bacon was Karel Appel, albeit as Appel himself revealed in a later interview the problem was that whenever he met up with Bacon to do this they ended up inebriated and so the paintings never happened…..

On another note and referencing Gouk’s regret about British painting being set back, I wonder what would happen if Hirst had the sense to look at Davie instead of only John Bellany and Bacon?

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By: anthony seymour http://abstractcritical.com/article/alan-davie-the-phenomenon-of-expanding-form/#comment-748356 Mon, 11 Aug 2014 11:20:59 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=8371#comment-748356 Strong writing & engaging comments – a good read.

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By: Pete Hoida http://abstractcritical.com/article/alan-davie-the-phenomenon-of-expanding-form/#comment-703744 Sun, 27 Jul 2014 10:46:14 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=8371#comment-703744 This is a beautifully clear article, Alan must be one of our best writers, on painting, succinct, and dare I say it, poetic. I think the esteem enjoyed by Bacon is due to innate English prurience, we “love to be shocked”, as if concentrating on the subject matter gives the painting gravitas. Not that there is anything wrong in his chosen subject if he can make art of it, but as Alan says, the painting is pretty thin, conventional and photographic (even if grease or worse smeared). Philip Guston took fairly crude biographical material and made painting out of it, in contrast to Pop, which again never ever got beyond literal presentation, in an admiring, if tongue in cheek way, of crude commercialism. Of course these late Gustons were absolutely not abstract, and looking at his earlier work you can see why he threw the towel in with that, and more praise to him for that. But I’m not suggesting we all take to the cartoon. Alan’s own painting is a prime example of how abstraction can be made interesting, expressive, personal and, like Davie, about in the world. Haven’t we had enough of anodyne academe and its “programme”. As for the Latest Grand Pretender, New Old Master, progressing himself up the ladder, busting onto the podium, elbowing his way into the hallowed halls….. is everyone going to fall for it ?

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By: Robert Linsley http://abstractcritical.com/article/alan-davie-the-phenomenon-of-expanding-form/#comment-691367 Wed, 23 Jul 2014 22:19:11 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=8371#comment-691367 Sometimes one sees space in a picture and it’s a great pleasure, sometimes it isn’t. I wouldn’t know how to give a reason, because it may be partly me. Receptivity is variable. And a lot depends on accidents of vision. For instance I recently saw a Beckmann triptych reproduced in black and white, and it had more space than I remember it having – I guess the values were more obvious and not complicated by the colour. There’s a certain magic that may not be amenable to explanation, and I suspect that it may be unwise to make too much of a conscious thing of it – but could be wrong. Stella says “Space is part of the spirit of the thing, but it’s secondary…The question of space is an inherent one, not the subject matter.” It sounds to me as if he believes that space is of the essence of painting, but that he doesn’t labour over it or focus too directly on it. But I’m not sure about any of this and my own feelings about space in my watercolours is changing, so don’t want to set limits. With Davie it seems (from a mediated distance, not in front of the works) that the effort to see space doesn’t give much of a pay off.

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By: Robin Greenwood http://abstractcritical.com/article/alan-davie-the-phenomenon-of-expanding-form/#comment-688335 Tue, 22 Jul 2014 22:15:01 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=8371#comment-688335 I’d like to hear more on that (from both of you), with maybe some specific instances in Davie, and maybe examples of more felt (?) spaces by others? Do you mean the space is “illustrated” rather than really made or built? Too figurative?

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By: Sam http://abstractcritical.com/article/alan-davie-the-phenomenon-of-expanding-form/#comment-688175 Tue, 22 Jul 2014 20:32:51 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=8371#comment-688175 This says something that chimes with my recent experience of Davie at the Portland. I got v excited about him because of Patrick’s Delight, but there is something unconvincing about some of his structures, you can see them but not feel them.

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By: Robert Linsley http://abstractcritical.com/article/alan-davie-the-phenomenon-of-expanding-form/#comment-685987 Tue, 22 Jul 2014 03:13:46 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=8371#comment-685987 Very good discussion of Davie, strengths and weaknesses. I can see the spaces you talk about but can’t get enthusiastic about them.

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