Peter Doig Transforms Montreal’s Winter Cold Into The Warmth Of The Caribbean

Peter Doig

Peter Doig, In his latest exhibition, ‘No Foreign Lands’ at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MBAM) displays his most recent millennial paintings, sketches and etchings based on the culture and his personal experience in Trinidad, where he moved in 2002. 

The first room in the exhibition contains an explosion of monumentally scaled fluorescent coloured works with a volcanic aesthetic. Paintings such as Paragrand (2006) and Paragon (2006) immediately exports the viewer from the dreary Montreal winter cold into the warm of a Caribbean scene, a paradise of sun, jungle and sea. The clashing vibrant blues and oranges contrasted with light oozing dripping washes of yellow ochre are a treat for the eye.  This is in contrast with the other paintings in the exhibition that contain softer pastel colours with a more impasto texture.

Reoccurring motifs of the exhibition include typical Trinidad cultural themes such as summer sports like cricket and ping pong, imagery from masquerades such as Man Dressed as Bat (2007) which has a sombre mood, a glazing thick texture and soft neutral colours. Although I am personally drawn to colour its poetic visualisation of the soft midnight blue wash and powerful abstract shapes of this piece really stood out amongst the rest, a painting so alive that is breathes as if the bat is a pair of lungs.

The strongest room in the exhibition is the room filled with etchings and posters from STUDIOFILMCLUB a repertory pay what you can cinema that Doig and Trinidadian artist Che Lovelace established in his studio in the Caribbean Contemporary Arts and cultural centre, a former deserted rum distillery. The posters are loose, rough and raw and portray some of Doig’s typical motifs, rather than abstract these posters made with oil paint on paper have an outsider art aesthetic that works effectively and shows Doig’s integration with local arts and cultural and reflects back to the local community.

Words: Thea Robinson Image: Peter Doig 2006 Oil on linen 195 x 295 cm Amy and Vernon Faulconer and The Rachofsky Collection

From 23-01-2014 to 04-05-2014 Montreal Museum Of Fine Art, Montreal Canada