Peter Doig

One of today’s most distinguished contemporary painters, Peter Doig explores the workings of memory. Filtering his own experience through eclectic source material and art-historical references, his dreamlike paintings visualise the sensation of looking back on the past. Doig amplifies this drama through virtuosic brushwork, suspending his art in the twilight zone between abstraction and figuration. Since coming to prominence in the 1990s, his work has revitalised painting for new generations.

Doig spent his childhood between Scotland, Trinidad and Canada, before moving to London to study painting. He graduated from Chelsea School of Art in 1990, winning the prestigious Whitechapel Artist Prize that year. Many of his early landscapes looked back to his Canadian youth: paintings such as Blotter (1993) and Cobourg 3 + 1 More (1994) used snow and icy reflections to capture the distortions of memory.

The canoe also became a defining subject during these years, inspired by the film Friday the 13th (1980). Swamped (1990), one of the first paintings on this theme, has broken Doig’s auction record twice at Christie’s, most recently selling for $39,862,500 in 2021. Others, including White Canoe (1990–91) and Echo Lake (1998), reprised the motif like recurring dreams.

The cabin was another significant early subject in Doig’s paintings. Many, such as Pine House (Rooms for Rent) (1994) and Camp Forestia (1996), evoked Canadian-style dwellings. Meanwhile, his seminal cycle of Concrete Cabins drew upon his visit to Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation at Briey-en-Forêt in France. Paintings from the series formed part of Doig’s Turner Prize exhibition in 1994, and have performed strongly at Christie’s. Depicting an abandoned Modernist utopia veiled by trees, they demonstrate the full breadth of Doig’s artistic heritage, combining echoes of Monet, Munch, Cezanne, Mondrian, Van Gogh, Bonnard, Newman and Richter.

In 2000, Doig completed an artist’s residency on Trinidad. Struck by flickering memories of his early childhood, he settled on the island in 2002. His painterly language transformed during this period: major works including his 100 Years Ago series, Grande Riviere (2001–02) and Lapeyrouse Wall (2004) shimmer with fluid, hazy veils of tropical colour.

Though primarily known as a painter, Doig’s recapitulation of different motifs over the years has spilled into drawing and printmaking; elsewhere, he has collaborated with the poet Derek Walcott. The artist moved back to London in 2021, marking his return with an exhibition at the Courtauld Gallery in 2023.


PETER DOIG (B. 1959)

Fisherman, from Black Palms

Peter Doig (b. 1959)

Camp Forestia

PETER DOIG (B. 1959)

Boiler House

Peter Doig (b. 1959)

Pine House (Rooms for Rent)

Peter Doig (b. 1959)

The Architect's Home in the Ravine

Peter Doig (b. 1959)

Cobourg 3 + 1 More

Peter Doig (b. 1959)

Charley's Space

Peter Doig (b. 1959)

Cabin Essence

Peter Doig (b. 1959)

The Architect's Home in the Ravine

Peter Doig (B. 1959)

Almost Grown

Peter Doig (b. 1959)

Reflection (What does your soul look like)

Peter Doig (b. 1959)

Red Boat (Imaginary Boys)

PETER DOIG (B. 1959)

House of Pictures (Haus der Bilder)

Peter Doig (b. 1959)

The Heart of Old San Juan

Peter Doig (B. 1959)

Olin MK IV Part 2

Peter Doig (b. 1959)

Night Playground

Peter Doig (b. 1959)

Island Painting

Peter Doig (b. 1959)

Night Fishing

PETER DOIG (b. 1959)

Rainbow Wheel

Peter Doig (b. 1959)

Tour de Charvet

PETER DOIG (B. 1959)

Some Houses on Iron Hill

Peter Doig (b. 1959)

Concrete Cabin West Side

Peter Doig (b. 1959)

Pine House (Rooms for Rent)

Peter Doig (b. 1959)

Figures in Trees

Peter Doig (b. 1959)

Concrete Cabin

Peter Doig (b. 1959)

Orange Forest

Peter Doig (b. 1959)

Entering a City

PETER DOIG (B. 1959)

White Canoe (version)

Peter Doig (b. 1959)

Cobourg 3+1 more

Peter Doig (b. 1959)

Metropolitain (Stag)

Peter Doig (b. 1959)

Snowballed Boy

Peter Doig (b. 1959)

Snowboarder

PETER DOIG (B. 1959)

Frozen Lake

Peter Doig (b. 1959)

Flying Saucer

PETER DOIG (B. 1959)

Star Apple Stag & Philip Guston

Peter Doig (b. 1959)

Echo-Lake (Reflection)

PETER DOIG (B. 1959)

Untitled, Ping Pong Player

Peter Doig (b. 1959)

Siegfried (bird)