Peter Doig (b. 1959)
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Peter Doig (b. 1959)

Echo Lake

Peter Doig (b. 1959)
Echo Lake
signed twice, titled and dated 'ECHO-LAKE Peter Doig ‘00 PETER DOIG' (on a label affixed to the reverse)
watercolor, gouache and pastel on paper
22 x 29 7/8in. (55.8 x 76cm.)
Executed in 2000
Galleria Raucci/Santamaria, Naples.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2000.
Peter Doig, exh. cat., London, Tate Britain, 2008-2009, fig. 7 (illustrated in colour, p. 34).
C. Lampert and R. Shiff (eds.), Peter Doig, New York 2011, p. 336, no. 13 (illustrated in colour, p. 334).
Naples, Galleria Raucci/Santamaria, Peter Doig/Michael Raedecker, 2000.
Dallas, The Dallas Museum of Art, Peter Doig—Works on Paper, 2005-2006, p. 168, no. 80 (illustrated in colour with incorrect dimensions, p. 91). This exhibition later travelled to Vero Beach, The Gallery at Windsor and Toronto, The Art Gallery of Ontario.
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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.

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Lot Essay

‘[Doig] followed Echo Lake [1998] with a number of oil on paper studies, including one that exaggerates the screen-like, snow- like effect of the illuminated rocks. In this reduced version of the theme – Echo Lake 2000 – the rocks and their reflections, as well as similarly illuminated elements of the picture, seem suspended in a plane, like water droplets on a pane of glass. This and many of Doig’s other works on paper are exercises in low-resolution vision, where forms join with neighbouring forms, losing their identifying distinctions in the blur that results from an ever – widening focus’
–Richard Shiff

Rendered in shimmering painterly layers that quiver like watery reflections, Echo Lake is an exquisite work on paper relating to Peter Doig’s 1998 masterpiece of the same title (Tate, London). Held in the same collection since its creation, it represents one of Doig’s final investigations of a source that defined his early oeuvre. Both the large-scale painting and its subsequent studies were based on Sean Cunningham’s 1980 slasher film Friday the 13th, which the artist first encountered on a trip home to Canada in 1987. Fascinated by the magical aura of suspense that pervaded the film’s lake scenes, Doig began a series of canvases based on this imagery, including the iconic Swamped (1990), White Canoe (1990-1), Ghost Canoe (1991) and Canoe Lake (1997-8). Whilst many of these works drew inspiration from the film’s famous canoe sequence, Echo Lake was based on a related scene, in which police arrive and call out to the girl asleep in the vessel. Doig transposes the setting from day to night, lending the composition a foreboding, dreamlike quality. Characteristically, the artist entwines his cinematic source with personal and art-historical memories: the work’s title refers to Echo Lake in Ontario, where his parents had use of a cabin, whilst the figure’s pose is modelled on Edvard Munch’s 1894 painting Ashes. As white globules spread across the surface of the work like drops of rain or snow, Doig’s hybrid image speaks directly to the inarticulate act of remembering: of piecing together half-forgotten times, places and thoughts. Other works on paper relating to Echo Lake are held in the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Tate, London.

Created two years after the 1998 canvas, the present work dates from a pivotal moment in Doig’s career. In 2000, he undertook an artist’s residency on Trinidad – where he had spent part of his childhood – and would move there shortly afterwards. During this period, Doig began to experiment with painterly texture, relinquishing the thick surfaces of his snowy Canadian-inspired paintings in favour of thin washes of colour. The present work bears witness to this shift whilst retaining elements of his earlier language. As Richard Shiff notes, Doig exaggerates the rock formations of the 1998 canvas, turning them into luminous white puddles that recall his former fascination with blizzards and screens. ‘This and many of Doig’s other works on paper are exercises in low-resolution vision’, he explains, ‘where forms join with neighbouring forms, losing their identifying distinctions in the blur that results from an ever-widening focus’ (R. Shiff, ‘Incidents’, in Peter Doig, exh. cat., Tate Britain, London, 2008, p. 34). Working on paper provided Doig with critical opportunities for experimentation, allowing him to explore new techniques and – as in the present work – to re-imagine his own paintings. ‘[Doig’s works on paper] are not merely a preamble to the canvases’, writes Kadee Robins. ‘Vehicles for innovation that are full and finished entities in themselves, they have a presence which is entirely their own. Many maintain the tension between abstraction and representation that is characteristic of his painting, but the experimental nature of the works on paper offers a freedom that painting does not … Doig plays with technique and mood; there are no constraints’ (K. Robbins, ‘Foreword’, in Peter Doig: Works on Paper, exh. cat., Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, 2005, p. 5).

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