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Indepth Arts News:

"Peter Doig: Charley’s Space"
2003-05-11 until 2003-09-07
Bonnefanten Museum
Maastricht, , NL Netherlands

The Bonnefanten Museum in Maastricht opens a solo exhibition of works by the British painter Peter Doig (1959) entitled ‘Charley’s Space’ – paintings and drawings 1989 - 2002. Doig ranks among the foremost artists who have breathed new life into contemporary art, in particular the classical landscape genre. Everything in Doig’s work communicates the absolute confidence he has in the medium of painting – the large formats, the alienating use of colour, the meticulously worked out surface, the attention to detail, and not in the last place, the choice of the landscape genre. This is the first showing in a Dutch museum of a cohesive selection of Peter Doig’s major works from the period 1989-2002.

Born in Scotland and brought up in Trinidad and Canada, Peter Doig made a name for himself in England during the mid-1990s. After studying in London, he won the Whitechapel Artists Award in 1991, after which he had a first solo exhibition at a museum. He won first prize at the 18th John Moores Exhibition in the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool in 1993 with a painting entitled Blotter. After being nominated for the prestigious Turner Prize – England’s leading art award – Doig went on to acquire an international reputation.

Looking at Doig’s work, you have the sensation that you have seen it before. His paintings allude to existing images stored in our collective memory. Doig draws on his personal picture archive that is made up of newspaper and magazine photographs, record sleeves, snapshots from his family album, postcards, etc. He often works these existing pictures by partially painting them in, copying a photocopy of them or using several fragments to make a collage. Doig thus creates new images which then serve as guidelines for constructing staged landscapes, weaving everything into everything – autobiographic elements (Pond Life), a sequence from a horror film (Canoe-Lake), or the tragic life of a pop idol (100 Years Ago).

Employing sequences of divergent styles, over the years Doig has continued to explore a limited number of topics and motifs in ever greater depth. These include a canoe with a lifeless figure on a reflecting water surface and the Concrete Cabin, a pinnacle of modernistic architecture (Unité d’Habitation by Le Corbusier). In dense and atmospheric landscape paintings, Doig combines the melancholy of remote horizons, reflecting water surfaces and minuscule figures that lend the landscape its monumental scale with the suggestive force and the fluttering tension of a film still.

A richly illustrated catalogue to accompany the exhibition is available in English and French in the Museum Shop for EUR 29.80 (ISBN 90-72251-33-4). From October 9 2003 to January 4 2004, the exhibition will be on show at the Carré d’Art, Musée d’ art contemporain de Nîmes.

Peter Doig 1994-6
Briey (Concrete Cabin),
Oil on canvas,
277 x 188cm (109 x 74in)

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