Peter Doig, Red Boat (Imaginary Boys), 2004, Oil on canvas, 200 x 186 cm, The Weston Collection, Photo Jochen Littkemann.

Peter Doig, 100 Years Ago (Carrera), 2001, Oil on linen, 229 x 359 cm, Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI,Photo Jochen Littkemann.

Practitioner and Exemplar of Great Salon Painting – Peter Doig's the One

Peter Doig, Pelican (Stag), 2003, Oil on canvas, 276 x 200.5 cm, Courtesy Michael Werner Gallery, New York and London, Photo Thomas Mueller.

Peter Doig, Walking Figure by Pool, 2011, Oil on linen, 260 x 200 cm, Private Collection, New York, Courtesy Michael Werner Gallery, New York and London.

Peter Doig, Cricket Painting (Paragrand), 2006-12, Oil on canvas, 300 x 200 cm, Private Collection, Courtesy Michael Werner Gallery, New York and London.


Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
1380 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest
+1 514-285-2000
Peter Doig. No Foreign Lands
January 25-May 4, 2014

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) is pleased to present Peter Doig: No Foreign Lands, the first major exhibition of the artist’s work since his mid-career retrospective shown at Tate Britain, London; Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; and Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt in 2008 but also the first exhibition of its kind to be presented in North America. This landmark event is part of an ambitious season of contemporary art exhibitions at the MMFA.

“With his oeuvre deeply rooted in a tradition that goes back to Gauguin, Bonnard and Munch, Peter Doig gives us a beautiful, contemplative and mysterious glimpse into the secrets of the painter’s craft, which finds its true home in a museum of fine art,” says MMFA Director and Chief Curator Nathalie Bondil.

Peter Doig: No Foreign Lands is a co-production of the MMFA and the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, where it was on view in the summer and fall of 2013 and met with great critical success. The exhibition will make only one stop in North America, at the MMFA. For the Scottish painter, presenting the exhibition in the two cities that have played a vital role in his life as an artist – Edinburgh, where he was born and Montreal, where he spent some of his youth and where he returned to as an adult – is deeply meaningful.

“To be exhibiting in Montreal, where I have lived, worked and have great fondness for means a lot to me. My time in Quebec as a child during the Expo, through my young teens and then again my 20's in Montreal, were formative years in the development of my paintings. I know the museum's rooms from childhood, so to be exhibiting in them now is a great privilege,” said Doig.

Peter Doig: No Foreign Lands is organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh. The exhibition is co-curated by Stéphane Aquin, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; Keith Hartley, Chief Curator at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art; and Julie-Ann Delaney, Curator at the Scottish National Gallery.

Exhibition Circuit Few exhibition spaces are as well suited to display the oeuvre of Peter Doig as the great classical galleries of the Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion. These galleries, dating from 1912, were designed for salon painting characteristic of the late-19th and early-20th centuries, a period in painting that Doig acknowledges as an influence. His work follows in the tradition of artists that include Bonnard, Matisse, Gauguin and Munch, but also of James Wilson Morrice and Tom Thomson, Canadian painters he admires, and of Wifredo Lam and Armando Reverón, the celebrated Cuban and Venezuelan artists. If there exists a legitimate successor to these great masters, Doig is widely held to be the one.

The exhibition unfolds like a voyage, a descent into the secrets of Doig’s creative process and into the imagination that inhabits his canvases and makes them so evocative. From one gallery to the next, visitors will discover Doig’s world of painting and how he explores its expressive potential, narrative power and its history with consummate virtuosity. Scenes from everyday life, tropical landscapes, visions of ghostly beings, solitary figures, boats, forests, walls – for Doig, all subjects are opportunities to commit himself fully to the act of painting. At times, he can take years to complete a canvas, and he often returns to the same subject. The exhibition features a number of “pairs” of works, paintings that share a similar motif but were not conceived of in series. These pairings, brought together in many instances for the first time, testify to the artist’s sense of obsession and inventiveness.

Publication The exhibition is accompanied by a lavishly illustrated catalogue, in English and French editions. Co-published under the direction of Parinaz Mogadassi for Hatje Cantz and the MMFA’s Publishing Department for the French edition, this art book includes essays by Keith Hartley, Chief Curator of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh; Stéphane Aquin, MMFA Curator of Contemporary Art; New Yorker staff writer, critic and noted author Hilton Als and a conversation with Peter Doig and Scottish writer and artist Angus Cook. By shedding light on his recent output, this 224-page catalogue, with over 230 illustrations, will make a major contribution to the study of Peter Doig’s work.

Credits and curators The exhibition is organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh. The co-curators of the exhibition are Stéphane Aquin, MMFA Curator of Contemporary Art, Keith Hartley, Chief Curator at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art; and Julie-Ann Delaney, Curator at the Scottish National Gallery. This exhibition would not have been possible without the invaluable contribution of the Michael Werner Gallery of New York and London, particularly Gordon VeneKlasen, Parinaz Mogadassi and Harry Scrymgeour. The Museum extends its thanks to Bruce Bailey for his invaluable assistance in securing major support for this exhibition. The Museum would like to underscore the major contribution made by RBC Royal Bank, presenting sponsor of the exhibition in Montreal. The MMFA also wishes to thank its exhibition partners: Joe Fresh, Bell, Air Canada, Richter, La Presse and The Gazette. The exhibition has also benefited from the invaluable support of the Volunteer Association of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

Peter Doig, Figures in Red Boat, 2005-07, Oil on linen, 250 x 200 cm, Private Collection, New York, Courtesy Michael Werner Gallery, New York and London, Photo Marcus Leith.

Peter Doig in his New York Studio, Photo : George Whitened.

Peter Doig, Man Dressed as Bat, 2007, Oil on linen, 300 x 350 cm., Private Collection, © Peter Doig.

Peter Doig, Hitch Hiker, 1989-90, Oil on postal bags, 152 x 226 cm, Courtesy of the artist and Victoria Miro Gallery, London, © Peter Doig.

The Atmospheric Oeuvre of Peter Doig Earns Survey at Tate Britain

Peter Doig, Swamped, 1990, Oil on canvas, 197 x 241cm, Courtesy Victoria Miro © Peter Doig.

Peter Doig, Young Bean Farmer, 1991, Oil on canvas, 186 x 199 cm., Collection of Victoria and Warren Miro, Courtesy of the artist and Victoria Miro Gallery, London, © Peter Doig.

Peter Doig, Figures in Red Boat, 2005-07, Oil on linen, 250 x 200 cm, Private Collection, © Peter Doig.

Peter Doig, Friday 13th, 1999, Oil on linen, 35,6 x 27,9 cm, Private Collection, Coral Gables, Florida, USA, © Peter Doig.

Peter Doig, Pelican Island, 2006, Oil on canvas, 120 x 70 cm., Private Collection, Courtesy Michael Werner Gallery, New York and Berlin, © Peter Doig.


Tate Britain
+44 20 7887 8888
Peter Doig
February 5-April 27, 2008

The most comprehensive exhibition to date of the work of Peter Doig opens at Tate Britain in February 2008. Spanning two decades, this major survey comprises over 50 paintings and a group of works on paper. It also includes a substantial body of work developed in the five years since his move to Trinidad in 2002 — many of them not previously shown in the UK.

Peter Doig’s highly distinctive approach to painting has won him international acclaim. He made his name in London in the early 90s and has been a leading figure in the British art scene ever since. Using everyday photographic images from newspapers or snapshots as a compositional starting point, Peter Doig's haunting paintings have a strong sense of atmosphere — his figures often seem out of time, and his landscapes possessed of a strange, unnamable presence. The narrative lure of the image is always countered by the visceral impact of the painted surface.

The current show, compiled in close cooperation with the artist, offers visitors an opportunity for exploring Doig’s complex themes and his development in terms of painting style and technique within a larger context. Works from two decades convey the experience of perpetual scene-shifting that nevertheless leads to ever-recurring locations and situations that seem to be oddly familiar and yet strange at the same time: a boat floating on an autumnal lake, a horse grazing in a paradisiacal bay, the white façade of an apartment block shining through a dark forest.

Although these fantastic landscapes are frequently based on real models, the pictures are not about specific places. The motifs are viewed from a distance and through the filter of memory. Whereas in his London studio the artist was painting Canadian winter landscapes, in Canada he was overwhelmed by his memories of London. His constructed landscapes simultaneously merge with images from the vast collective visual memory fed by current media coverage and art history. “People have confused my paintings with being just about my own memories,” says Doig. “Of course we cannot escape these. But I am more interested in the idea of memory.” The artist has often referred to his search for the “atmosphere” of each painting, and already in his early works the importance he attaches to the subject — not as narrative, but as the threshold of the spectator’s individual experience — becomes evident. Hitch Hiker (1989-90) takes the spectator on a truck ride, with all promise of an uncertain adventure. The straight line of the open road is folded into a turbulent sky; the washed green foreground falls away, drained of detail. The nocturnal landscape of Milky Way (1989-90) remains rooted in uncertainty as well. The idea for the painting and the motif of the canoe, which has continued to play a role in the artist’s work to date, derive from a scene in the well-known horror film Friday the 13th.

Many of Doig’s paintings make an uncertain, ambivalent, and contradictory impression. For example, time and again, the structure of the picture denies the space of the represented image. The artist causes color fields to flicker and covers the image with pale, shimmering patches resembling a veil, or else dissects the surface through overlaps of apparently almost abstract motifs. In the Concrete Cabin series (1992), the utopian dream of a modernist home — Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habilitation in Briey-en-Forêt — gets lost in the uncanny thicket of the forest enclosing the building, which was intended to accommodate itinerant workers. The artist deliberately dissolves the hierarchy within the painting, engendering visual disorientation, thus establishing himself as a formalist as much as a representational painter: “Instead of painting the façade of a building and then shrouding it in trees, I would pick the architecture through the foliage, so that the picture would push itself up to your eye. I thought that was a much more real way of looking at things, because that is the way the eye looks: you are constantly looking through things, seeing the foreground and the background at the same time.”

Born in 1959 in Edinburgh, Peter Doig grew up in Trinidad and Canada. After having lived in London for 20 years, he went back to Trinidad in 2002. From 1980 to 1983, he studied at St. Martin’s School of Art, where he undertook his first forays into figurative painting. In 1986, he temporarily returned to Canada, where he worked as a scene painter for the film industry in Montreal and devoted himself to his own painting in his free time. In 1989, he set out for London once again, where he enrolled at the Chelsea School of Art. This is where the current exhibition and the catalogue begin. It was during the first years following Doig’s return to London that the artist produced numerous works which formed the foundation for his entire future career, as well as his success in the art world, coming rapidly at the time: uncanny landscapes, whose effect is brought about by brilliant oils and an impasto treatment of surfaces. Over the years, Doig’s unmistakable painting style, oscillating between figuration and abstraction, evolved from this very approach. The Schirn Kunsthalle has already honored the artist’s work in two group exhibitions: in Dear Painter, Paint Me... (2003) and Ideal Worlds — New Romanticism in Contemporary Art (2005), works by Peter Doig played a central role.

In 2000, Doig returned to study in a place he knew from his childhood and which subsequently was to exercise a decisive impact on his art: the Caribbean island of Trinidad, where he eventually moved with his family in 2002. Although Doig has avoided directly referring to Trinidad for his pictorial motifs, the photographs he took there during his first stay reappear in crucial works: Grande Rivière (2001/02), 100 Years Ago (Carrera) (2001), Pelican (2004), and Pelican (Stag) (2004). When he first returned to Trinidad, he felt the landscape to be “so present and powerful.” Trinidad still serves not only as an inspiration for his imagination, but also for new methodical approaches. In such paintings as Figures in Red Boat (2005-07), Pelican Island (2006), or Man Dressed as Bat (2007), color — now marked by a delicate, glazing brilliance — plays an increasingly important part. Today Doig himself speaks of a search for “pure paintings, which evolve into a type of abstraction.”

A bizarre aspect is also inherent in the figures in Doig’s paintings. They seem to have sprung from another time, although they frequently depict real people. For example, the dream-like fantasy of Gasthof zur Muldentalsperre (2000-02) shows Doig and an artist friend. Both are wearing fantastic costumes from a production of Stravinsky’s ballet Petrouchka. Like many of Doig’s works, this pair of figures is based on a snapshot taken when Doig was working as a dresser at the English National Opera after finishing his studies. Merging the photograph with a 19th-century postcard resulted in one of the painter’s most surreal apparitions: the artist as a theatrical figure in romantic costume, standing in an enchanted landscape.

This exhibition not only provides the widest overview of the artist’s work to date, but also allows his themes and approach to be considered together — looking again at work from the early and mid 90s, and exploring his very particular choice of subjects.

The exhibition brings together works from international public and private collections including Grand Riviere 2001-2 (National Gallery of Ottawa), 100 Years Ago (Carrera) 2001 (N Md’a M, Pompidou, Paris) and Lapeyrouse Wall 2004 (Museum of Modern Art, New York).

Peter Doig’s work has been exhibited at major museums and galleries worldwide. Born in Edinburgh in 1959, raised in Canada, and based in London for two decades, he now lives in Trinidad. Doig attended Wimbledon School of Art (1979-80) and then Central St Martin’s School of Art (1980-1983), and later studied at Chelsea School of Art (1989-1990). Peter Doig won the John Moores Prize, Liverpool in 1993, was nominated for The Turner Prize in 1994, and served as a Tate Trustee from 1995-2000.

The exhibition is curated by Judith Nesbitt, Chief Curator, Tate Britain. An exhibition catalogue published by Tate Enterprises will include essays by Judith Nesbitt, and Dr Richard Shiff, Effie Marie Cain Regents Chair in Art, University of Texas at Austin as well as a conversation between Peter Doig and his friend, the artist, Chris Ofili.

This exhibition was organized by Tate Britain in cooperation with the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt and the Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris.

Peter Doig, Paragon, 2004, Oil on canvas, 275 x 200 cm, Private Collection, Courtesy Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin, Photo: Jochen Littkemann, © Peter Doig.

Peter Doig, Concrete Cabin, 1991/2, © The Artist. Courtesy of Victoria Miro Gallery, London, Oil on canvas, 200 x 240 cm.


Peter Doig, Film poster for The Passenger by Michelangelo Antonioni, 2007.

Film Posters Revisited, A Night at STUDIOFILMCLUB with Peter Doig

Peter Doig, Film poster for Lust Caution by Ang Lee, 2008.

Peter Doig, Film poster for Pan's Labyrinth by Guillermo del Toro, 2007.

Peter Doig, Film poster for The New World by Terence Malick, 2007.

Peter Doig, Film poster for Sullivan's Travels by Preston Sturges, 2007.

Peter Doig, Film poster for Touki Bouki by Djibril Diop Mambéty, 2008.

Peter Doig, Film poster for The Last Temptation of Christ by Martin Scorcese, 2008.


Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
Peter Doig's Studiofilmclub
Film Program:
October 15-November 26, 2008
Film Poster Exhibition:
October 9-December 18, 2008

For the retrospective on painter Peter Doig, on display at the Schirn Kunsthalle from October 9 through January 4, the Schirn is instituting a special Frankfurt version of Peter Doig’s STUDIOFILMCLUB. In 2003, Doig and artist colleague Che Lovelace jointly founded the STUDIOFILMCLUB in Port of Spain, capital of his adopted country Trinidad, where he shows independent films in weekly rhythm. The Schirn will be showing films selected by the artist in club rooms with bar every Wednesday from 7 to 10 p.m. In parallel, over 130 painted film posters created by Doig in recent years will be exhibited there. The Frankfurt STUDIOFILMCLUB program includes cineastic works that infrequently shown or not shown in a long time, such as the African film Touki Bouki (1973) by Djibril Diop Mambéty, The Night of the Hunter (1955) by Charles Laughton, or THX 1138 (1969) by George Lucas. Collectively experiencing cinema art and interacting socially are of central focus here. The composition of the rooms as well as the program have originated through collaboration between Peter Doig, Christiane Fochtmann and Dorothea Stiegemann (students from Doig’s class at Düsseldorf Art Academy), and the Schirn. A film club program designed by Doig’s Düsseldorf students is also available.

Both Doig and Che Lovelace, Doig’s artist colleague and STUDIOFILMCLUB cofounder, are self-declared movie enthusiasts. When Doig relocated to Trinidad in 2002, large multiplexes had already altered the local cinematic environment, having supplanted the traditional repertory cinemas. Doig and Lovelace decided to start showing — in Doig’s studio, a former rum distillery — films of their choice once a week: international independent-cinema works, blockbuster classics, and samples of Caribbean independent films. To this day the STUDIOFILMCLUB has maintained the character of a friendly makeshift arrangement, of an evening among friends. Every Thursday evening chairs are conveyed into the studio hall, a beamer is installed along with a monitor and loudspeakers, and the bar is opened. The audience is comprised both of film fans and of viewers appreciative of the club atmosphere and the informal gathering.

Peter Doig announces upcoming films by composing a respective individual poster. Painted on the day of showing, the poster aims to inform and arouse curiosity. Similar to Doig’s paintings — often underpinned with scenes from films or snapshots from private photo albums — the respective film, or moreover the memory of it, serves as source material for the poster. In this respect the painter appears inspired to newly interpret film images that have often been long anchored in collective memory. For instance, the individual protagonists in posters for Taxi Driver, The Big Lebowski, Some Like It Hot, or Volver are easily recognized, yet they are all the same represented in a completely unfamiliar way. Formal and motif-related references to paintings by the artist are more often than not to be found in Doig’s posters. The “Dude” from The Big Lebowski, for example, is portrayed viewing pictures — thereby reminiscent of the bourgeois figure in Doig’s painting Metropolitain (House of Picture) (2004), which in turn references the Amateur d’estampes (1863-65) in Honoré Daumier’s eponymous painting.

Doig’s posters reflect to a lesser degree established film posters but more strongly typical street billboards in Trinidad, which announce dancing events, parties, or festivals with sizable letters against loud backgrounds. Quickly thrown onto paper, frequently applied in thick layers of oil paint, a different method of production is involved than in the artist’s paintings: the posters provide the painter with an opportunity to quickly and boldly act out ideas for images. Yet the posters, originally designed to serve advertising purposes, are nonetheless comparable to the paintings as respects their artistic methods. In both cases, Doig’s compositions appear coupled with the everyday world through the integration of settings from real life — and simultaneously extend far beyond the commonplace. The posters have long been perceived as more than simply painted advertising — they instead represent their own complex of works in Doig’s oeuvre.

Touki Bouki, Wednesday, October 15, 1973, 86 min., color, original Wolof version + German subtitles, Director: Djibril Diop Mambéty. The legendary African movie follows the story of a young pair — Anta and Mory — who dream of leaving Senegal on a quest for happiness, adventure, and luxury in Paris. Being that both are penniless, they must first procure money for the trip . . . Touki Bouki is an experimental road movie from the day of Easy Rider where reality and imagination intersect. With nonlinear narrative threads and virtuosic image and sound montages, a dreamlike state is engendered that emphasizes how the characters are torn between tradition and modernism.

THX 1138, Wednesday, October 22, 1970, 86 min., color, original English version + German subtitles, Director: George Lucas. George Lucas’s first science fiction film takes place in a future where people live and work in underground facilities monitored by computers. Individual freedoms are nonexistent. As such, the people have been coded instead of named and are liberated from emotions by being perpetually medicated in order to facilitate high-capacity work performance. THX 1138 is one of Hollywood’s most important science fiction classics, evoking with gleaming “white-on-white images” a vision of a world where technology, rather than the human being, represents the ultimate dictator. Forming the backdrop for this sociocritical utopia was the social reality of the nineteen-seventies: George Lucas characterized his film as “a metaphor for the way we were living at the time.”

Die Bettwurst, Wednesday, October 29, 1971, 78 min., color, original German version Director: Rosa von Praunheim. It’s love at first sight: elderly secretary Luzi and young, unemployed Dietmar find each other by accident. The Bettwurst — a bed pillow resembling a sausage — given to Dietmar by Luzi for Christmas does more for their petit-bourgeois happiness than their first amorous night. But a shadow from Dietmar’s criminal past disrupts the lovers’ bliss and changes their lives. Films directed by Rosa von Praunheim, who with Die Bettwurst has staged a social satire on lower-middle-class Germany of the 1950s and 1960s, do not permit definitive labeling — they too strongly defy conventional genre classifications. Accordingly, in this off-key trash movie von Praunheim works without professional actors and incorporates the personal character of his protagonists into the screenplay. The idiosyncratic dynamic lent to the film by Luzi and Dietmar (a call boy in real life) obscures the margin between screenplay and representational self-determination.

Heart of a Dog, Wednesday, November 5, 1988, 130 min., black-and-white, original Russian version + English subtitles, Director: Vladimir Bortko. Based on the well-known story by Mikhail Bulgakov from 1925, Vladimir Bortko staged this biting satire in line with the notion of the “new Soviet person.” Elderly Professor Filip Filippovich Preobrazhensky and his young colleague Dr. Bormental implant a human pituitary gland into a dog. As a result, the dog takes on increasingly human characteristics, mutating into a proletarian who calls himself Poligraf Poligrafovich Sharikov and embarks upon a career at the Moscow Cleansing Department responsible for eliminating vagrant quadrupeds. This creature with a life of its own brings chaos to the professor’s world until he is finally able to reverse the procedure. The film, famous in Russia, is notorious for its stellar ensemble, penetrating music, and surreal black-and-white aesthetic.

Babylon, Wednesday, November 12, 1980, 95 min., color, original English version + English subtitles, Director: Franco Rosso. Babylon is an infrequently shown yet remarkable musical film classic — the only reggae movie with a soundtrack specially composed for the film. At the same time, the film constructs a realistic social analysis of the life of young Jamaican reggae musicians in London during the early Thatcher years. Blue, the lead singer in a reggae band, loses his job, his girlfriend, and is unjustly arrested. Moreover, the equipment used by him and his friends to make music in backyards is destroyed by adherents of the “National Front,” a British right-wing extremist party. With intense images impelled by sound, Babylon tells of social challenges, prejudices, and racial hatred, painting the profound portrait of a cultural minority whose megaphone is music.

The Night of the Hunter, Wednesday, November 19, 1955, 93 min., black-and-white, original English version + German subtitles, Director: Charles Laughton. In a heist, Ben Harper kills two bank employees, landing him in jail and saddling him with the death penalty. However, he had hid the stolen money in his house prior to his arrest. His cell mate, itinerant preacher Harry Powell, sets out to determine where Harper has hidden the money and, after Harper’s death, marries his widow. Not until later does it dawn on him that only the young children of his deceased cell mate know where their father’s stash is located. The Night of the Hunter is a film noir classic in which horror film and psychothriller merge to form a fairy-tale grotesque. With uncanny images reminiscent of expressionistic German cinema of the nineteen-twenties and thirties, Charles Laughton portrays a subtle nightmare: the battle of two children against a psychopathic murderer.

Nerdcore 2.0, Wednesday, November 26, Comedy Show with rasheed22. Rachid Maazouz, a student at the Düsseldorf Art Academy specialized in digital painting, videos, and “Nerdcore events,” leads an ironic-critical saunter through the archive of YouTube & Co. From the realm of video clips uploaded by users worldwide onto the Internet, Maazouz has selected his favorites along with the astonishing, the obnoxious, and the unbelievable in order to present these in an entertaining way at the STUDIOFILMCLUB.

Peter Doig, Film poster for Taxi Driver.

Peter Doig, Film poster for Night of the Living Sead.


Peter Doig, Film poster for Volver by Pedro Almodovar, 2007.