Peter Doig: Works on Paper
Though her introduction is brief and inconsequential, Margaret Atwood’s presence at the beginning of this beautifully produced volume underscores that, though Doig was born and educated in the U.K., and though he spent part of his life in Trinidad, his work derives exclusivelyalmost obsessivelyfrom his years in Canada. The Canada that seeped into Doig’s bones is not the land of Shania and Gretsky; it’s the silent, interior “North” of Glenn Gould and Michael Snow, the home of the austere, Nordic modernism of the “Group of Seven” painters, the sepulchral rainforests of Emily Carr, the Freudian tundra of David Milne, and of Atwood’s own chilly dystopias. Executed with equal adeptness in watercolor, pastel and oil, his formally inventive recastings of a limited number of motifswintry landscapes, cabins, hooded figures facing away, people in canoesalso recall that other northern master, Edvard Munch. Doig’s source images are photographs, often archival, and his images exist in a dreamlike, haunted space where psychology, landscape and history intermingle uncomfortably.
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