Persona October, 16th 2020 by

World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 285 - Peter Doig

peter doig – 1

World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 285 – Peter Doig
The Scottish painter Peter Doig (1959) is one of the most successful painters of his generation. Among other things, he made landscape paintings, a bit abstract. Some of them show scenes from Canada, where he spent his childhood years. Lots of scenes in the snow.

peter doig – 2

The composition of his landscapes is often horizontal, creating an atmosphere of vastness and tranquility. In his paintings he combines different colors, making them playful. His works are often based on found photos (and sometimes his own photos). However, they are not painted in a photo-realistic style. Doig uses the photos for reference only. He often refers to the work of famous painters such as Munch, H. C. Westermann, Friedrich, Monet and Klimt.
In 2007 his painting White Canoe was sold at Sotheby’s for $ 11.3 million, then an auction record for a living European artist.

peter doig – 3

Born in Edinburgh, he first traveled the world with his parents, and later independently. In 1962 the family moved to Trinidad, where father Doig worked in a shipping and trading company, and in 1966 to Canada. In 1979–80, Peter moved to London to study at the Wimbledon School of Art in 1979–80, Saint Martin’s School of Art from 1980 to 1983, and Chelsea School of Art, in 1989–90, where he obtained an MA.

peter doig – 4

Shortly after graduating from Chelsea College of Arts, Doig was awarded the prestigious Whitechapel Artist Prize, which earned him a solo exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in 1991. The Whitechapel exhibition featured major works including Swamped (1990), Iron Hill (1991) and The Architect’s Home in the Ravine (1991). This latest painting depicts Canadian architect Eberhard Zeidler’s modernist home in Rosedale in the heart of Toronto’s ‘Canyon’.

peter doig – 5

Trinidad invited him to come back to the country to start an artist residency with his friend and fellow painter Chris Ofili. He did so in 2002. He founded a studio in the Caribbean Contemporary Arts Center near Port of Spain. In 2003, Doig started a weekly film club called StudioFilmClub in his studio together with the Trinidadian artist Che Lovelace. Doig not only selected and screened the films; he also painted the posters announcing the movie of the week. He told an interviewer that he found this project liberating because it was “much more direct” than his usual work.

peter doig – 6

Doig made a series of paintings of Le Corbusier’s modernist communal residential apartments, known as l’Unité d’Habitation, located in Briey-en-Forêt, France. In the early 1990s, Doig was involved with a group of architects and artists who worked from this building. Modern urban structures were simultaneously revealed and hidden by the forest that surrounded them. Doig: “When you walk through an urban environment, you take for granted the strangeness of the architecture.”

peter doig – 7

Doig has had major solo exhibitions at Tate Britain, Dallas Museum of Art, Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, in collaboration with the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.


As mentioned, Peter Doig is very successful. We already saw that White Canoe sold for $ 11.3 million, Night Playground received $ 5 million, The Architect’s Home in the Ravine 7.66 million, Jetty 11.3 million, Gasthof zur Muldentalsperre 17,04 million, Swamped 25,95 million and Rosedale 28.8 million.

peter doig – 9

The proceeds from his work at auctions raise high expectations, which led to a curious lawsuit in Chicago in 2016. Doig was charged by a Canadian probation officer who claimed to own a work he made in prison in 1976 as a 17-year-old. He wanted to put it up for auction and expected to get millions for it. Doig denied making the work and had to defend it in court. He was upheld by the judge after showing that he had never been in prison, that he could never have made the work, and that it did not resemble his other works.

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Since 2005 he has been professor of painting at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf.
1) White Canoe, 2) Charley’s Space and Snowballed Boy, 3) Iron Hill, 4) The Architects Home in The Ravine, 5) Night Playground, 6) Jetty, 7) Gasthof zur Muldentalsperre, 8) Rosedale, 9) Two trees , 10) Peter Doig

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