BASEL.- The Fondation Beyeler
is holding an exhibition that presents the most important paintings of the British painter Peter Doig, who lives and works in Trinidad, London and New York. Doig, who was born in Edinburgh in 1959 and grew up in Trinidad and Canada, is currently also Professor of Painting at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf.
Doig is a versatile artist who masters a wide range of techniques, drawn from both the present and the past. Generally representing people in nameless landscapesin which motifs from Trinidad or Canada can frequently be recognised his large-format paintings are often based on private pictorial material or found objects. Their colourfulness, luminosity and enigmatic atmosphere make them fascinating. Doig thereby continues the tradition of great masters such as Gauguin, Bonnard, and Matisse.
In the Romantic sense, Doigs works convey a sense of yearning in which viewers can lose themselves. His representations of nature, which are often extremely mysterious, are as exotic as they are melancholy and as attractive as they are sinister.
In a method akin to sampling, Doig seeks out fragments from contemporary life and civilisation, and integrates them into his works. He takes photos, newspaper cuttings and pictures drawn from pop culture, like album covers and film posters, and uses them as the starting-point for his paintings. The subject matter and painting techniques of the works he creates therefore offer new visual possibilities while nonetheless subtly seeming familiar to viewers.
The exhibition presents many of Doigs famous large-format works, which are mirrored and complemented by an installation on the lower floor. Examples of Doigs eye-catching and highly innovative graphic works, which show his rich inventiveness, are also being displayed downstairs. His graphic works, too, often provide the starting-point for his paintings.