Peter Doig is a nice guy. For a painter who enjoys a nearly cult like following among his peers, has been lauded with prizes from the Tate shortlist to the Wolfgang Hahn, and has been honored with exhibitions at the Tate, the Scottish National Gallery, and the Fondation Beyeler (the latter of which is currently on view at Copenhagen’s Louisiana Museum of Modern Art through August 16), Doig will happily chat with fans of all stripes, including critics, curators, collectors, and students, and was present for the opening and after remarks by Tate director Nicholas Serota, gamely received the thoughts and offerings of the assembled.
Left: Peter Doig, Untitled, 2014. Oil on paper, mounted on canvas. 59.5 x 42 cm. Right: Peter Doig, Spearfishing, 2013. Oil on linen. 288 x 200 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Michael Werner Gallery, London and New York
Apropos of such an insider star, the artist’s first solo exhibition in Italy was unveiled today at the Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, a nearly 120-year-old venue that has championed rigorous art of the new since its founding, featuring the work of such practitioners as William Kentridge, Joseph Beuys, Jim Hodges, and Marlene Dumas. The show of 14 previously unseen paintings offers the range of Doig’s accomplishment with his medium from delicately scratched mark making to lush strokes of the brush, mixing thin and thick applications in the same composition. Scottish-born and raised in Trinidad and Canada, his subject matter of colonial fallout on island nations mixed with romance for the true nature of such places remains staunchly in tact.
Peter Doig, Horse and Rider, 2014. Oil and distemper on canvas. 240 x 360 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Michael Werner Gallery, London and New York
For more features, interviews and videos from Venice, see our Venice Biennale Blog