Peter Doig (b. 1959)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Peter Doig (b. 1959)

Concrete Cabin

Details
Peter Doig (b. 1959)
Concrete Cabin
signed, titled and dated ''98 Peter Doig 'Concrete CABIN'' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas laid on board
5 5/8 x 13in. (14.5 x 33.2cm.)
Painted in 1998
Provenance
Gift from the artist to the present owner.
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.

Lot Essay

Held in the same collection since its creation, Concrete Cabin, 1998, is is a stunning conclusion to Peter Doig’s multiyear meditation on Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation. Comprising nine paintings, works from this series have been exhibited at Victoria Miro and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and were included in Doig’s Turner Prize exhibition at Tate Britain. Doig first visited the Unité d’Habitation in 1991 as part of a cohort of artists, architects and designers involved in the building’s restoration. Constructed in 1956 in Briey-en-Forêt in northern France, the building was part of the architect’s grand vision for democratised housing in post-war Europe only to be deserted less than two decades later. This discarded utopian dream, left to the mercy of the creeping forest, deeply touched Doig: ‘Whereas other buildings had represented a family or maybe a person somehow, this building seemed to represent thousands of people… I went for walk in the woods on one visit, and as I was walking back I suddenly saw the building anew…seeing it through the trees, that is when I found it striking’ (P. Doig quoted in A. Searle, K. Scott and C. Grenier (eds.), Peter Doig, London 2007, p. 16). In Concrete Cabin, a canopy of impressionistic green daubs obscures the faded façade, represented by a faint lattice of pale blue and bright, impenetrable white. Purposefully hazy and wistful, the painting summons the sensation of Doig’s own revelatory walk through the woods.
After leaving northern France, Doig sought to capture the experience of veiled looking. Combing through the video footage he had shot on the grounds of the Unité d’Habitation, Doig found stills that captured the ‘suggestion of the eye moving’ (P. Doig, email to R. Shiff, 24 July 2007, quoted in R. Shiff, ‘Primal’, Peter Doig, exh. cat., Fondation Beyeler, Basel, 2014, p. 85). Indeed, echoing the constant motion of the eye itself, little in Concrete Cabin appears fixed and behind the smattering of flickering green, the windows of the Unité ripple continuously. Perception is always a shifting process, reflecting both the experience of seeing and how past events are secured in one’s mind. Concrete Cabin, accordingly, acts not only as a record, but also as a vessel containing the oscillating evanescence of memory. Like the effort of remembering a past dream, the painting remains an abstracted image, an apparition in a forest of irresolvable painterly marks.
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