Alan Davie was born in Grangemouth, 1920, his father a painter and printmaker. Between 1937 – 40 he studied at Edinburgh College of Art where he won several scholarships. After a period spent serving in the army he worked as a jazz musician, while developing his interests in writing poetry, designing and making textiles, ceramics and jewellery. His influences have always been diverse and by the time of his first solo exhibition held in Edinburgh, 1946, his interest in the works of Paul Klee and primitive artists was apparent. By 1947 his work was considered groundbreaking, with successful exhibitions held in the Florence and Venice. During this period the collector Peggy Guggenheim became a major supporter introducing him to many ground breaking American artists, and to the London gallery Gimpel Fils who have continued to represent him for more than 60 years.

His first New York exhibition was held in 1956 and from this time he was warmly accepted and welcomed by the likes of Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Gorky. During 1957-59 he was Gregory Fellow at Leeds University.

He has continued to exhibit internationally and his work is held in many of the worlds major public collections.

In 1972 he was awarded C.B.E. and in 2013, elected Royal Academician.

Alan Davie died peacefully at home on the 5th April 2014.

A major exhibition of his work was  held at TATE Britain in 2014.