From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Doig was born in Edinburgh, and moved with his family to Trinidad in 1962, where his father worked with a shipping and trading company, and then to Canada in 1966. He went to London in 1979 to study art at the Wimbledon School of Art, St Martin's School of Art - where he became friends with Billy Childish - and later the Chelsea School of Art where he received an MA.
In 1991 he won an important award from the Whitechapel Art Gallery, and in 1993 he won the first prize at the Liverpool John Moores University exhibition with his painting Blotter. This brought public recognition of his work, cemented in 1994, when he was nominated for the Turner Prize. From 1995 to 2000 he served as a trustee of the Tate Gallery.
Many of Doig's pictures are landscapes, with a number harking back to the snowy scenes of his childhood in Canada. His works are frequently based on found photographs, but are not painted in a photorealist style, Doig instead using the photographs simply as a reference. Peter Doig’s work captures moments of tranquillity, which contrasts with uneasy elements similar to that found in a dream. He uses unusual colour combinations and depicts scenes from unexpected angles. This gives his work a magic realist feel. In The Architect’s Home in the Ravine the thick undergrowth partly obscures the house. It is the play of twig like shapes and range of colours overlapping the building which one notices. He is also a photographer, using both his own and others' as reference for his paintings.
In 2005 he was one of the artists exhibited in part 1 of The Triumph of Painting at the Saatchi Gallery in London.
- ^ "National Galleries eyes up Doig after £5.7m sale", Sunday Herald, 11 February, 2007
- Hans-Jürgen Tast (Hrsg.) „As I Was Moving. Kunst und Leben“ (Schellerten/Germany 2004) (z.m.a. K.) ISBN 3-88842-026-1;
 External links
- Victoria Miro Gallery: Peter Doig
- Michael Werner Gallery: Peter Doig
- Saatchi Gallery: Peter Doig
- StudioFilmClub essay
- Crown Point Press: Peter Doig
- Tate Britain: Peter Doig retrospective (2008)
In the woods
Feb 7th 2008
From The Economist print edition
Tate Britain showcases a modern master of landscapes
IF PETER DOIG is famous, it is for a painting called “White Canoe” (pictured below) that was sold by Sotheby's last year for £5.7m ($11.2m), then a record for a living European artist. Now Tate Britain is giving him a one-man show. It ought to make his paintings as well known as his prices.
Mr Doig is fairly young (48); he is British and an artist, but he is not a Young British Artist (YBA). There are no medicine cabinets or unmade beds—as in pieces by Damien Hirst or Tracey Emin—or any anarchic reworking of old masterpieces. Instead, his work is unpredictable, colourful and done almost entirely in heavily worked oil paint. Among 45 large canvasses, together with 61 smaller oils and works on paper, there is an oddly compelling painting, entitled “Lapeyrouse Wall”, of a solitary man with an umbrella. Its dreamlike realism recalls Edward Hopper, which is unusual because the rest of the show reminds you only of Peter Doig.
Mr Doig was born in Edinburgh and lived in London for 23 years. Mostly, though, he was a travelling man; he grew up in Canada and has lived for the past six years in Trinidad. His Canadian paintings were done in London, and he drew on a variety of sources. The canoe, which features in many of his pictures, is a haunting image from a 1980 horror film, “Friday the 13th”.
Other primitive memories were a hangover from teenage experiments with LSD, such as “Blotter”, which in 1993 won Britain's most prestigious painting award, the John Moores prize. In it, a lonely figure standing on a frozen pond is reflected vividly in shallow water, an effect the artist contrived himself by pumping water onto the ice. Mr Doig's Canada is a cold, wet, sad place, and the screen of snow in “Cobourg 3 + 1 More” gives a simple landscape of a river and trees a patina of abstraction. You wonder why people live there.
In his pictures of Trinidad the sea is warm and the foliage tropical. To start with, the colours are richer and the subjects more various. The latest paintings are larger, more abstract, and the colour more monochrome, such as in a mysterious piece titled “Man Dressed as a Bat”. The canoe also retains its central place, except that the empty vessel in the Canadian paintings is now crowded with six passengers.
There is one respect, however, in which Mr Doig is like the YBAs. “White Canoe” was one of seven paintings by this artist that Charles Saatchi sold to Sotheby's in 2006 for £11m. Mr Doig is still trying to come to terms with the price put on his work. His accomplished Tate show ought to help him do so.
“Peter Doig” is at Tate Britain, London, until April 27th. The show then moves on to the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris from May 29th to September 7th, and afterwards to the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt from October 9th 2008 to January 4th 2009