The Montreal Gazette puts painter Peter Doig’s work in context with the upcoming sale of his work in London’s Contemporary art auctions:
“A lot of my paintings aren’t of Canadian subjects, but somehow they always end up looking Canadian,” Doig has said. “In Europe, people see it as a northern romantic sensibility.”
He lives in Trinidad now, where he also lived for a time as a small child. But Peter Doig grew up in Canada and his art owes more than a little something to his Canadian predecessors:
After returning to Britain as a young artist in the early 1980s, Doig drew attention from critics and collectors with a style once famously described as “Group of Seven on acid.”
Wilderness landscapes recalling Thomson and the Group of Seven are blended in Doig’s work with disturbing elements drawn from horror movies — including a grisly scene from “Friday the 13th” in which a victim is shown floating in a canoe before her killer suddenly surfaces and pulls her into the water.
Many of Doig’s paintings feature canoes, snowbound hills or forests.
He said during a 2001 exhibition of his work at the National Gallery of Canada that Thomson and the Group of Seven are “so ubiquitous” in this country he “had to get away from them” to really appreciate their uniqueness in the world of art.
Back in Britain, he said, he was “able to see them from a distance and see how strange the work really was.”
Doig Painting of Canadian Childhood Could Fetch $3m (Montreal Gazette)