Fondation Beyeler is presenting British painter Peter Doig, who lives and works in Trinidad, London and New York. Doig is a versatile artist using a wide range of techniques, drawn from both the present and the past. Generally representing people in nameless landscapes–in which motifs from Trinidad or Canada can frequently be recognised– his large-format paintings are often based on private pictorial material or found objects.
The colourfulness, luminosity and enigmatic atmosphere makes Doigs works truly fascinating and in this sense he continues the tradition of great masters such as Gauguin, Bonnard, and Matisse.
Turning to a slightly romantic tune, Doig’s works convey emotions of yearning in which viewers can lose themselves. His representations of nature, which are often extremely mysterious, are as exotic as they are melancholy and as attractive as they are sinister.
In a method akin to sampling, he seeks out fragments from contemporary life and civilisation, and integrates them into his works. He takes photos, newspaper cuttings and pictures drawn from pop culture, like album covers and film posters, and uses them as the starting-point for his paintings. The subject matter and painting techniques of the works he creates therefore offer new visual possibilities while nonetheless subtly seeming familiar to viewers.
The exhibition shows many of Doig’s famous large-format works, mirrored and complemented by an installation on the lower floor. Examples of Doig’s eye-catching and highly innovative graphic works, which show his rich inventiveness, are also on display. His graphic works, too, often provide the starting-point for his paintings.
One of the highlights of the show is a site specific mural created by the artist on the occasion of this exhibition.