The Whitechapel Gallery has announced that the Scottish painter Peter Doig (b. 1959) is the fourth artist to receive the prestigious annual Art Icon award. The Art Icon 2017 award will be presented at Whitechapel Gallery on 25 January 2017, during a gala dinner hosted by Iwona Blazwick OBE (Director, Whitechapel Gallery) and Nadja Swarovski (Member of the Swarovski Executive Board).
Iwona Blazwick said: “This award celebrates the work of an artist who has made a profound contribution to contemporary practice, influencing their own and subsequent generations of artists. Peter Doig was chosen in recognition of his spectacular oeuvre to date and his continuous evolution and invigorated approach to his medium. Doig’s distinctive paintings waver between figuration and abstraction. He presents environments from Canada to Trinidad; these dream-like spaces are fluid and recognisable equally complex and disorientating. Often working from photographs and films, employing memory and motifs, his landscapes celebrate the aesthetics and potential of painting.”
Nadja Swarovski commented: “We are delighted to continue our support of the Whitechapel Art Icon Award. Peter Doig is a truly visionary talent whose work evokes beautiful and inspiring universes, and his celebration of the natural environment, and the people and animals that inhabit it, is something that speaks to us all. It is a pleasure to honour his contribution to the world of painting with this prize.”
The Whitechapel Gallery’s annual Art Icon event is organised in partnership with Swarovski, which has a longstanding commitment to the Gallery and its programme. The event committee includes Nadja Swarovski, Erin Bell, Maryam Eisler, Bettina von Hase, Rebecca King Lassman, Luigi Maramotti, Farshid Moussavi, Alice Rawsthorn, Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Maria Sukkar, Beth Swofford, Jonathan Tyler and Damien Whitmore.
An auction, led by Henry Highley of Phillips, of works donated by leading contemporary artists including Hernan Bas, Cecily Brown, Enrico David, Camille Henrot, Laurence Owen and Jonathan Trayte will also take place. All funds raised support the Whitechapel Gallery’s programmes, in particular, its work with thousands of children and young people each year.
Peter Doig was born in Edinburgh in 1959 and raised in Trinidad and Canada before moving to London in 1979 to study. He currently lives and works between Trinidad, New York, Dusseldorf and London. Doig has been the subject of a number of major exhibitions worldwide, including a mid-career survey organised by Tate Britain in 2008; an exhibition in 2013 at the Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh; a display at Fondation Beyeler, Basel, Switzerland in 2014 and at Louisiana Museum in Humlebæk, Denmark, 2015. Doig served as a Trustee of the Tate from 1995 to 2000, and in 2008 was awarded the Wolfgang Hahn Prize of the Society for Modern Art, Museum Ludwig, Cologne.
Image Credit: Peter Doig, Pelican (Stag), 2003, Oil on Canvas, 276 x 200cm © Courtesy the artist and Michael Werner Gallery, New York and London