- Peter Doig born 1959
- Oil paint on canvas
- Support: 2398 × 3595 × 65 mm
- Presented by the Tate Americas Foundation, courtesy of the Roman Family Collection 2021
On long term loan
The isolated, anonymous figure is a motif that has recurred throughout Doig’s career (see, for example, the earlier painting Echo Lake 1998, Tate T07467). Similarly, landscape settings of an ambiguous somewhat dislocated nature are another constant theme in his work; the atmosphere of his pictures is often highly charged, yet the narrative is uncertain. Doig’s work is inspired by the flow of things seen in everyday life and by the art he looks at, from past and present. It seems intensely personal, yet he often draws upon found photographic sources – newspaper images and postcards, as well as photos he has taken himself. Suffused with strangeness, his paintings have a dreamlike quality. They seem to hinge on the tension between narrative content and the formal, purely visual qualities of painting. The viewer is often pulled between reading the painting as a series of marks on canvas and as a representational image. His paintings are as much about the sensuous materiality of paint as about the figurative subjects they portray. Doig has commented:
People often say that my paintings remind them of particular scenes from films or certain passages from books, but I think it’s a different thing altogether. There is something more primal about painting. In terms of my own paintings, there is something quite basic about them, which inevitably is to do with their materiality. They are totally non-linguistic. There is no textual support to what you are seeing. Often I am trying to create a ‘numbness’. I am trying to create something that is questionable, something that is difficult, if not impossible, to put into words ... I often use heightened colours to create a sense of the experience, or mood or feeling of being there ... I think the paintings always refer back to a reality that we all have experience of ... I am using ... natural phenomena and amplifying them through the materiality of paint and the activity of painting.
(Quoted in Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery 2001, pp.15 and 17.)
Kitty Scott, Peter Doig, exhibition catalogue, Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Power Plant, Toronto 2001.
PeterDoig, exhibition catalogue, Tate Britain, London 2008.
October 2010 , updated September 2019
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