Peter Doig (b. 1959)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTION 
Peter Doig (b. 1959)

Study for Olin MK IV

Peter Doig (b. 1959)
Study for Olin MK IV
signed twice, titled and dated 'Study for Olin mk IV 1996 Peter Doig' (on the reverse)
oil on paper
26 7/8 x 19 7/8in. (68.3 x 50.6cm.)
Executed in 1996
Zwirner and Wirth, New York.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2001.
M. Atwood, Peter Doig: Works on Paper, London 2005, no. 30 (illustrated in colour, unpaged).
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 20% on the buyer's premium.

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Lot Essay

Exquisitely rendered with gouache on paper, Study for Olin MK IV by Peter Doig offers a characteristically fantastical vision of a number of skiers in a winter setting. Filled with all manners of blues, whites and icy tones, the painting shows snow falling thick and fast across the scene. The dynamism of the natural atmosphere is emphasised by the rapid, darting movements of Doig's masterfully controlled brush. This creates a scene that moves equally quickly from abstraction to figuration, inviting the viewer to marvel as much at the technique of the artist as the scene he has conveyed.

Study for Olin MK IV dates from a pivotal moment in Doig's career, having been nominated for the Turner Prize in the same year. It is at this point that he painted the works that are widely considered to be the best of his career, including Olin MK IV (1994-95) for which Study for Olin MK IV may be a preparatory stage. Seen in this context, the piece should still be viewed as a painting in its own right. Indeed, the experimental nature of works on paper gives it a freedom that does not exist in the final piece and presents us with a unique opportunity to see the creative process as it happens. Central to this is the falling snow, which serves not just as a nostalgic emblem, but also a complex visual tool, as Doig explained that it was "like a screen, making you look through it." (P. Doig quoted in R. Schiff, 'Incidents' in J. Nesbitt (ed.), Peter Doig, exh. cat., Tate Britain, London, 2008, p. 30).

Looking through to the snowy scene reveals the work to be a description of emotions as much as physical weather, reflecting Doig's own childhood. He moved with his family to Montreal at the age of seven, and this image revisits his youth spent playing ice hockey and skiing. However, this is not an idealised depiction of youthful calm, but rather one in which emptiness, strangeness, and uncertainty come to mind, reflecting Doig's upbringing in which he was forced to move every few years as his father changed job. In this sense, whilst there is a fictional, abstract element, the scene is also infused with an autobiographical narrative. This reveals Doig's work to be about "journeys real and metaphorical, places of arrival and departure, no-man's lands between waking and sleeping, and the slippage between the present and the past and the real and the imaginary." (A. Searle, 'A Kind of Blankness' in A. Searle (ed.), Peter Doig, London, 2007, p. 52).

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