Francis Davison (1919-1984)
Francis Davison 1919-1984
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For the last thirty-two years of his life Francis Davison (1919-84) made coloured paper collages. A Cambridge graduate, he began as a poet but turned to painting in the late 1940s after Patrick Heron, a friend from school days, had invited him to St Ives.
In 1950, now married to the artist Margaret Mellis, he moved to Suffolk. The early paintings and collages of landscapes and cottages confess their Cornish roots but, progressively, colour took over and, while a strong sense of landscape remained, any hint of depiction was dismissed. Davison's mature collages are made of coloured papers, butting, interlocking or overlaid, added and subtracted, built and adjusted towards their eventual, accumulative shape.
By choice an outsider, Francis Davison has still to be fully acknowledged as one of the major British abstract artists and colourists of the 20th century.