NO FOREIGN LANDS: PETER DOIG
3 August – 3 November 2013
Scottish National Gallery, The Mound, Edinburgh EH2 2EL
Admission £8/£6 | Telephone: 0131 624 6200
nationalgalleries.org

Part of the Edinburgh Art Festival, 1 August – 1 September 2013

Keith Hartley, Curator of the exhibition, explains to The Guardian his thoughts on the Edinburgh born painter who he describes as a ‘free spirit’.

The National Galleries of Scotland is delighted to announce a major exhibition of the work of Peter Doig (b. Edinburgh 1959) at the Scottish National Gallery this summer. Peter Doig is one of the most highly regarded and internationally-renowned painters working today. This will be the first major exhibition of his work to be shown in the country of his birth.

Peter Doig, commented:“I left Scotland as a child as many of my generation did; however I know Edinburgh, the city where I was born, through many visits as a child and youth. To be able to exhibit my paintings in the magnificent rooms of the National Galleries is a great great honour.”

This important international exhibition is a collaboration with the Museum of Fine Arts in Montréal. Surveying Doig’s paintings and works on paper of the past 10 years, this exhibition places particular emphasis on the artist’s approach to serial motifs and recurring imagery. Formally spare yet monumental in scale, at times approaching the exotic in their subject matter, these works show Doig working at the height of his extraordinary powers.

Simon Groom, Director of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art said: “Peter Doig has been one of the most consistently inventive and seductive painters working anywhere in the world today. His art is figurative and often based on photographic images, but the end effect is to take us into a completely different world of often hallucinatory power. The works reveal a transforming vision of the world, steeped in a sense of beauty and mystery, rich in their imaginative suggestion yet remaining grounded in the real.”

Doig first came to prominence in the 1990s with his paintings of winter landscapes, highly atmospheric scenes of lakes (often with a lone canoe), and houses screened by trees and ski slopes. The rich and layered surfaces of his paintings showed that Doig was as much interested in abstract, formal qualities as he was in subject matter.

Over the period covered by this exhibition Doig has split his time between a house and studio in Trinidad, a studio in London and a professorship at the Düsseldorf Art Academy. His peripatetic life, memories of a childhood partly spent in Canada and his later life and studies in London have given him a particularly rich visual knowledge. Regardless of where Doig’s motifs originate, his experiences cross-fertilize and enhance his works. As fellow Scot Robert Louis Stevenson wrote in The Silverado SquattersThere are no foreign lands. It is the traveller only who is foreign. Doig the traveller is not merely a foreigner seeking out the exotic; rather, he is like Baudelaire’sflâneur, whose eye uncovers and finds significance in details which transcend locale, while spanning both time and space.

Throughout a career of three decades, Doig has reinvigorated a medium considered by many to have fallen into irrelevance. His inventive style, uncommonly sensuous palette and suggestive imagery set him apart from the conceptualism dominating much of contemporary art.  Doig’s willingness to take up the challenges posed by the work of Gauguin, Matisse, Bonnard, Marsden Hartley and Edward Hopper places him in an ongoing dialogue with a long line of great artists.

Following its debut in Edinburgh, No Foreign Lands: Peter Doig, travels to Canada, where it will be shown at the Museum of Fine Arts in Montréal and curated by Stéphane Aquin. The exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue featuring essays by Keith Hartley, Chief Curator at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art;  Stéphane Aquin, Curator of Contemporary Art in Montréal; and an interview with the artist conducted by Hilton Als, a New York-based critic, author and regular contributor to the New Yorker magazine.

More information here.