Art & Design
A Guided Preview of New Peter Doig Show by Peter Doig
Landscape has always held pride of place in the paintings of Peter Doig. The peripatetic artist was born in Scotland, raised in Trinidad and Canada, worked in London and now paints primarily in Port of Spain, Trinidad, whose lush, hallucinatory colors are blotted into his canvases. Doig doesn’t paint directly from life; his works are meditations on scenes imagined or remembered. Sometimes there’s a figure in the landscape, but the imagery is dream-like and built up gradually from a mood board of photographs and drawings. There are vestiges of the familiar—a horse, a rider, a boat—but we can’t quite sort out the story that’s unfolding around them. That lack of specificity, Doig says, helps usher the viewer into another world. In Rain in the Port of Spain (White Oak), one of the 13 paintings in Doig’s latest show, opening Thursday night at Michael Werner Gallery in New York, an orange lion prowls outside of Port of Spain’s huge jailhouse as a sinister figure approaches. Has the lion been set free? Is his jailer returning? Night Studio (STUDIOFILM & RACQUET CLUB), aportrait of the artist working in the dead of night, is as much about his state of mind as it is about his studio. (Doig’s is a former rum factory, part of which alternates as a film club that he occasionally hosts.) Here, while in the midst of installing these new paintings, Doig offers a behind-the-scenes look at his creative process.