Biography of Peter Doig
With auction results regularly eclipsing the 10-million Dollar mark, the deeply resonant and imaginative work of Peter Doig has ensured that he has risen to become one of the world’s most celebrated painters. Capturing moments of deep and almost sensual tranquility, Doig’s work possesses a unique oneiric quality, as though one were conscious in a dream landscape. Now his mysterious and richly-layered figurative paintings command astounding prices and it is expected that he might overtake Damien Hirst as Europe’s most expensive living artist.
Although often depicting familiar imagery such as architecture and figures, Peter Doig’s earthy paintings still have the power to mystify the viewer. The magical realism that seems to pulse through his paintings is said to stem from his childhood in Canada. In viewing his work, we are thrust into an unreliable world of multiple reflections and mirrored surfaces, which are reflective in a literal and in a metaphorical sense. Whilst Doig’s work draws upon filmic or biographical sources, it is ultimately his use and manipulation of paint that creates a condition said to be beyond words. Often drawing inspiration from photographs, Doig will never directly refer to them but use them for their evocative presence. Doig has himself stated that he never intentionally sets out to be “deliberately sinister, but I always wanted to make paintings that told stories and suggested things.”
Born in Edinburgh in 1959, Peter Doig has travelled extensively and, as well as Canada, spent much of his childhood in Trinidad where he lives and works. He says himself “I'm just one of those people who don’t feel like they're from anywhere,” and this feeling of displacement is palpable in his work. Remarkably, Doig manages to convey that same sense of coming across mysterious hideaways on the outskirts of paradise in his limited edition prints.
Nominated for the Turner Prize, Peter Doig was awarded the Wolfgang Hahn Prize from the Museum Ludwig in Cologne that same year. He has had major solo exhibitions at the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh in 2013 and the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in 2011. Further important exhibitions were held at Tate Britain, London and the Dallas Museum of Art, Texas. In November 2014 Peter Doig exhibited at the prestigious Foundation Beyeler in Switzerland.