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Artists Peter Doig
Peter Doig Photo

Peter Doig

Scottish Painter

Movement: Magic Realism

Born: April 17, 1959 - Edinburgh, Scotland

Peter Doig Timeline

Quotes

"In many ways, it's about getting a living thing from the studio to the gallery, something that has an energy. I think that's what we find exciting about looking at other people's paintings, something that's living - not inert or complete or perfect. That's what I like, anyway."
Peter Doig
"I knew what I didn't want to be, which was a lyrical painter. I started exploring paint as material and that somehow freed my imagination."
Peter Doig
"It's a hard thing to do, painting. Especially finishing a painting. The years I have spent in my studio, days and days, and hours and hours. You get into some sort of state, for sure, a kind of altered state where your own memories and observations come up unedited. It's not logical. Its not intellectual."
Peter Doig
"People often say that my paintings remind them of particular scenes from films or certain passages from books, but I think it's a different thing altogether. There is something more primal about painting. In terms of my own paintings, there is something quite basic about them, which inevitably is to do with their materiality. They are totally non-linguistic. There is no textual support to what you are seeing."
Peter Doig
"I am trying to create something that is questionable, something that is difficult, if not impossible, to put into words."
Peter Doig

"I'm an outsider. I've always been an outsider. Even in London. If I returned to Scotland, I'd feel a complete foreigner."

Synopsis

Peter Doig went from being an artist whose peers were too embarrassed to show alongside him, to possibly the most internationally loved painter of our time. He is a leading figure in contemporary art's 'return to painting' and is particularly responsible for re-inserting magic, narrative, and lyricism into painting today.

Doig is a meticulous colorist, who often uses uneasy, disquieting color combinations to create simultaneously charming and foreboding landscape paintings. Doig similarly combines seemingly incongruous, disparate reference points in his work often, inserting images from his own lived experience, film, art, and literary histories together in one composition.

Key Ideas

Doig's paintings almost always contain human figures, although they are often partly obscured, hidden, or dwarfed by their environment. He rejects the split between figurative and abstract painting, however, and uses recognizable tropes of abstract painting - such as the dot or splatter - in the service of representation or suggestion - as in his snowscapes.
Doig uses color chaotically and extremely effectively. His palettes can be subdued, cool, warm, or bright, but he is unparalleled in his understanding of how to (un)balance a composition via color. Complementary colors, sickly greens, sentimental pastels, and uncompromising reds all feature heavily, demonstrating a boldness with color that is unique in his generation.
Magical Realism refers to a genre of literature and art in which everyday situations are interrupted, or mixed with, supernatural, spiritual, or other unlikely and uncanny events, environments, and characters. Doig has developed a magical realist painting style, which has some resonances with Surrealism, however is particular in its suggestion of narrative, character, and conflicting worlds. Doig combines imagery from multiple sources - film, art, and literary references as well as his own memories - to create these part realist, part magical scenes in his paintings.

Biography

Peter Doig Photo

Childhood

Peter Doig was born in Edinburgh in 1959 to Mary and David Doig. At the age of two, his family moved to Trinidad where his siblings Andrew and Sophie were born. When he was seven, the family moved to Montreal, Canada, due to his father's job as a shipping merchant. He was sent to a Scottish boarding school from the age of 12 thanks to money left by a great-aunt, but after three years of unhappiness, his parents let him come home. His mother had been worried he'd be expelled; he was "an adventurous, free spirit" in her words. The family moved to Toronto where Doig struggled at school. He was not an academic child and preferred to spend time with friends, listening to music, smoking weed or taking LSD.

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Peter Doig Biography Continues

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Peter Doig
Interactive chart with Peter Doig's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
View Influences Chart

Artists

Francis BaconFrancis Bacon
Marc ChagallMarc Chagall
Edward HopperEdward Hopper
Edvard MunchEdvard Munch
Henri RousseauHenri Rousseau

Personal Contacts

Chris OfiliChris Ofili

Movements

ExpressionismExpressionism
SymbolismSymbolism

Influences on Artist
Peter Doig
Peter Doig
Years Worked: 1980 - present
Influenced by Artist

Artists

Hurvin Anderson
Michael Armitage
Lisa Brice
Chris OfiliChris Ofili

Personal Contacts

Chris OfiliChris Ofili
Derek Walcott
Lisa Brice

Movements


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Content compiled and written by Sarah Ingram

Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors

" Artist Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by Sarah Ingram
Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors
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