October 6, 2008 - Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt - Peter Doig
October 6, 2008

Peter Doig

Peter Doig
Man Dressed as Bat, 2007
Oil on linen
300 x 350 cm
Private Collection
Copyright Peter Doig.

Peter Doig
9 October 2008 – 4 January 2009

60311 Frankfurt, Germany
phone: (+49) 69 29 98 82-0
fax: (+49) 69 29 98 82-240
welcome [​at​] schirn.de


The Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt presents a retrospective of the painter Peter Doig with two-month screenings from the artist’s STUDIOFILMCLUB in Frankfurt.

Peter Doig is regarded as one of today’s most crucial and internationally influential artists. Presenting some 50 paintings, a group of works on paper, and about 130 painted film posters, the Schirn offers a comprehensive overview of the artist’s achievements from the past twenty years. One focus of the show will be on works Doig created in Trinidad within the past five years and on painted posters produced for his cinema project STUDIOFILMCLUB in Port of Spain, Trinidad. On the occasion of the exhibition, Doig will also set up a special STUDIOFILMCLUB in Frankfurt, screening films selected by the artist. Although on the one hand Peter Doig’s pictures relate to the history of painting, they are firmly anchored in present-day life on the other. He often uses travel brochures, newspaper images, film stills, or private snapshots as his point of departure. They reflect the changing scenes and social environments in which the artist has lived: the frozen lakes of his childhood in Canada, the dazzling metropolis of London, Caribbean sceneries, and the cityscapes of Trinidad. In his visionary landscapes, whose quiescence seems to be most precarious, memories, biographical moments, popular images, and narrative plots congeal to form dreamlike sequences.

The current show, compiled in close cooperation with the artist, offers visitors an opportunity for exploring Doig’s complex themes and his development in terms of painting style and technique within a larger context. Works from two decades convey the experience of perpetual scene-shifting that nevertheless leads to ever-recurring locations and situations that seem to be oddly familiar and yet strange at the same time. Although these fantastic landscapes are frequently based on real models, the pictures are not about specific places. The motifs are viewed from a distance and through the filter of memory. Diog’s constructed landscapes simultaneously merge with images from the vast collective visual memory fed by current media coverage and art history. “People have confused my paintings with being just about my own memories,” says Doig. “Of course we cannot escape these. But I am more interested in the idea of memory.” The artist has often referred to his search for the “atmosphere” of each painting, and already in his early works the importance he attaches to the subject – not as narrative, but as the threshold of the spectator’s individual experience – becomes evident.

Many of Doig’s paintings make an uncertain, ambivalent, and contradictory impression. For example, time and again, the structure of the picture denies the space of the represented image. The artist causes color fields to flicker and covers the image with pale, shimmering patches resembling a veil, or else dissects the surface through overlaps of apparently almost abstract motifs. A bizarre aspect is also inherent in the figures in Doig’s paintings. They seem to have sprung from another time, although they frequently depict real people.

In 2000, Doig returned to study in a place he knew from his childhood and which subsequently was to exercise a decisive impact on his art: the Caribbean island of Trinidad, where he eventually moved with his family in 2002. Although Doig has avoided directly referring to Trinidad for his pictorial motifs, the photographs he took there during his first stay reappear in crucial works. When he first returned to Trinidad, he felt the landscape to be “so present and powerful.” Trinidad still serves not only as an inspiration for his imagination, but also for new methodical approaches. In such paintings as Figures in Red Boat (2005–07), Pelican Island (2006), or Man Dressed as Bat (2007), color – now marked by a delicate, glazing brilliance – plays an increasingly important part. Today Doig himself speaks of a search for “pure paintings, which evolve into a type of abstraction.”

This exhibition was organized by Tate Britain in cooperation with the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt and the Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris.

15 October to 26 November 2008, Wednesdays, 7–10 p.m.

When Peter Doig and the artist Che Lovelace founded STUDIOFILMCLUB in Port of Spain in Trinidad in spring 2003, large multiplex theaters had already affected the local film scene and replaced independent arthouse cinemas. Since then, weekly screenings, for each of which the artist designs a poster, have been held in Doig’s studio, a former rum factory. The Schirn will present more than 130 of Doig’s posters and bring STUDIOFILMCLUB to its exhibition room and bar each Wednesday evening. The program includes films that are rarely shown or have not been screened for a long time, such as Touki Bouki (1973, 95 min., color) by Djibril Diop Mambéty, or Night of the Hunter (1955, 93 min., b/w) by Charles Laughton. Just as in Trinidad, admission is also free in Frankfurt, and there will be a brief introduction before each film. The focus is on the joint experience of films and social interaction. The scheme and program for STUDIOFILMCLUB were conceived in close cooperation between Peter Doig and his students at the Düsseldorf Art Academy and the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt.

CATALOGUE: Peter Doig, edited by Judith Nesbitt. With a foreword by Max Hollein and texts by Judith Nesbitt and Richard Shiff. German edition, approx. 175 pages, approx. 150 illustrations, DuMont, ISBN 978-3-8321-9088-0.

DIRECTOR: Max Hollein

CURATORS: Judith Nesbitt (Tate Britain), Katharina Dohm (Schirn)

OPENING HOURS: Tue., Fri.–Sun. 10 a.m. –7 p.m., Wed. and Thur. 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

INFORMATION: www.schirn.de

PRESS CONTACT: Dorothea Apovnik, phone: (+49-69) 29 98 82-118, fax: (+49-69) 29 98 82-240, e-mail: dorothea.apovnik@schirn.de, www.schirn.de (texts and images for download under PRESS).

Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
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