Peter Doig (London, UK), ‘Echo Lake’ 1998
Peter Doig (London, UK)
Echo Lake 1998
© Peter Doig
Peter Doig Country Rock 1998 to 1999 painting of mudane landscape with the roadside but a drainage tunnel is lined with colours to look like a rainbow

Peter Doig
Country Rock 1998–9
Oil on canvas
Ole Faarup Collection, Copenhagen © Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro Gallery, London

The paintings in this room are from the late 1990s and span an important period in Doig’s career. In these ambitious landscapes, he returns to themes and motifs such as the figure in the canoe (originally prompted by a scene from the horror film Friday the 13th) that first appeared in his paintings a decade earlier. 

Doig seems to test the means of making a painting: what it is that holds a painting together. Here, strong horizontal bands create taut compositions, and assert the primacy of the painted surface — however various the handling in the differentiated areas. At this time also Doig made a concerted shift away from heavily worked surfaces to thinner, more fluid washes of pigment. Increasingly sumptuous colours heighten the emotional tenor of these works, especially since colour is allowed to dominate large expanses of the canvas.