Peter Doig (1959 − )
Edinburgh born Peter Doig, spent his childhood growing up in Trinidad and Canada before coming back to the UK in 1979. He then attended both Wimbledon School of Art and St Martin's School of Art before going on to study for his MA at Chelsea School Art in London. He returned to Trinidad in 2002 where he now continues to live and work.
He established a reputation as an artist whose oeuvre consists almost exclusively of landscapes, but he is a landscape painter only in a very altered sense of the classification. He has always resisted association with the landscape tradition and his work is not concerned with the rigid conventions of a genre. The landscapes he represents are images hovering between memory and imagination, triggered by photographic or cinematic sources chanced upon during urban existence, or from the repertoire of personal memories of the landscapes of his childhood. These are essentially artificial images, using a curious range of colours and light effects, inconsistent perspectives and a fusion of pictorial conventions and techniques. Amidst the snow-covered slopes, by a pond or a lake, forest or swamp, figures can be discerned, but they appear only to fulfil some formal function in the composition. What narrative these figures form part of is unclear. Modernist buildings or cabin style houses are glimpsed through gaps in trees but their function in this location is equally uncertain.
Doig evokes the landscape of his childhood. On big canvases, he replays the vast landscape of Canada, using not only his own bank of memories, but also the viewer's own conceptions of that landscape and shared memories of place. The broad panorama is reminiscent of cinema film and its scope. The artist has acknowledged the effect of film sequences on his work. He described this painting as 'a rendering from a photo found in National Geographic that served as a reminder of a place near where I lived in Quebec as a youngster. It is a fairly fictitious view of a memory'.The ten etchings, shown in Made in Britain, derive from Doig's own paintings from the period 1992 to early 1995. The artist describes the process as 'a way of cataloguing some of the work I have made over the previous years'. While all the etchings originate from the paintings, the paintings in turn originate from photographs, mostly taken by the artist. All but three prints relate to his childhood home of Canada. The two works entitled Concrete cabin refer to Le Cobusier's Unité d'habitation in North East France.
Untitled (Green) (1998) is one of a number of oil on paper studies made by Doig, the inspiration of which is said to have partially come from the concluding moments of the Sean Cunningham horror film Friday the 13th.
Doig has had a major retrospective exhibition at Tate Britain, 2008 which toured to Musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris and Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt. Other solo shows include Dallas Museum of Art, 2005; Pinakothek Der Moderne, Munich, 2004; Bonnenfanten Museum, Maastricht, 2003 and Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 1998. Doig was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1994.
Made in Britain Contemporary Art from the British Council Collection 1980-2010,China Federation of Literary and Art Circles Publishing Corporation 2010. ISBN 978-7-5059-7014-4.
Existing or coming into being at the same period; of today or of the present. The term that designates art being made today.
A transparent, flexible plastic material, usually of cellulose acetate or polyester, on which light-sensitive emulsion is coated, or on which an image can be formed by various transfer processes.
In a specialised sense this term refers to the portrayal of everyday life, and refers to painting; more broadly it means the subject types covered by an artist.
The 17th Century French Academy decreed that there were five main genres an artist should study. These were History, Portrait, Genre, Landscape and Still Life. History was considered the most important as it portrayed Man in his most noblest endeavours and in his relationship with God; Still Life the lowest as it dealt with the moribund and innate.
Landscape is one of the principle genres of Western art. In early paintings the landscape was a backdrop for the composition, but in the late 17th Century the appreciation of nature for its own sake began with the French and Dutch painters (from whom the term derived). Their treatment of the landscape differed: the French tried to evoke the classical landscape of ancient Greece and Rome in a highly stylised and artificial manner; the Dutch tried to paint the surrounding fields, woods and plains in a more realistic way. As a genre, landscape grew increasing popular, and by the 19th Century had moved away from a classical rendition to a more realistic view of the natural world. Two of the greatest British landscape artists of that time were John Constable and JMW Turner, whose works can be seen in the Tate collection (www.tate.org.uk). There can be no doubt that the evolution of landscape painting played a decisive role in the development of Modernism, culminating in the work of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists . Since then its demise has often been predicted and with the rise of abstraction, landscape painting was thought to have degenerated into an amateur pursuit. However, landscape persisted in some form into high abstraction, and has been a recurrent a theme in most of the significant tendencies of the 20th Century. Now manifest in many media, landscape no longer addresses solely the depiction of topography, but encompasses issues of social, environmental and political concern.
A medium in which ground pigments are mixed to produce a paste or liquid that can be applied to a surface by a brush or other tool; the most common oil used by artists is linseed, this can be thinned with turpentine spirit to produce a thinner and more fluid paint. The oil dries with a hard film, and the brightness of the colour is protected. Oil paints are usually opaque and traditionally used on canvas.
Work of art made with paint on a surface. Often the surface, also called a support, is a tightly stretched piece of canvas, paper or a wooden panel. Painting involves a wide range of techniques and materials, along with the artist's intellectual concerns effecting the content of a work.
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