Red Dwarf [Opus 0.458]
© Alan Davie

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Red Dwarf [Opus 0.458] 1962
  • Scottish Art
Davie painted his first triptych, ‘Creation of Man’, in 1957 followed by four more in 1960, and ‘Red Dwarf’ in 1962. Like all works from this period, ‘Red Dwarf’ was painted on the floor, though sometimes he would prop up the canvas in order to judge the progress. Davie recalls that the works were not conceived as triptychs, but that three separate panels were easier to handle than one enormous canvas. The panels were worked on at the same time, with motifs and forms being introduced into one part and transferred to another with changes such as emphasis and orientation. ‘Red Dwarf’ shows how Davie’s style developed in the 1960s to feature bolder segments of flatter colour and more defined shapes.

Glossary Open


A distinctive element in a work of art or design.


An artwork consisting of three components. It may refer specifically to a work with wings that fold over the central image; this is a common form for altarpieces.

Motif, Triptych


  • Acc. No. GMA 4114
  • Medium Oil and enamel paint on canvas (triptych)
  • Size Centre panel: 213.00 x 121.00 cm; right panel: 213.50 x 122.00 cm
  • Credit Presented by the artist 1997