Peter Doig, Lion in the Road (Sailors), 2019, installation view Secession 2019, photo: Hannes Böck, Courtesy the artist and Michael Werner Gallery, New York and London / Bildrecht Vienna, 2019

Peter Doig

April 12 – June 16, 2019

Peter Doig paints representational pictures as though they were abstractions. His spellbinding works combine planar forms and a palette that is as bold as it is subtle with vivid painterly gestures. His distinctive visual idiom interweaves personal recollections and found imagery with references to art history and pop culture in compositions that unfold into complex narratives. With the new paintings on view at the Secession, Doig continues to explore recurring motifs that have appeared throughout his recent work, drawing from the physical and cultural landscape that surrounds him in Trinidad, where these works were made.

Doig returns to his 2017 homage to the American modernist painter, Marsden Hartley – a depiction of Robert Mitchum on a beach in Trinidad – but now Mitchum is nearly unrecognizable, an abstraction that allows Doig to experiment in paint handling and image-making. Organized as horizontal striations, the manifold color fields not only evoke a range of ambiances between day and night, they also draw attention to the means of painting. Doig is less interested in rendering identifiable, real scenes than in the interplay of representational and compositional elements that, weaving between reality and imagination, meld different planes of perception and recollection.


Doig was born in Edinburgh in 1959 and grew up in Trinidad and Canada before moving to London in 1979 to study painting. He currently lives and works in New York and Trinidad.