View more Knowing that Doig's childhood was spent partly in Canada and partly in Trinidad, and that in he returned to the island to live and work, might tempt us to read his art as being a remembrance of youth in the snow and a meditation on a past and present awash with warm Caribbean hues. Or we might think we've seen some of his images from particular movies. While Doig's paintings might lead us to biographical, literary or filmic detail, elements of theatre, or the art of the past - all of which may play a part in their development - they are however ultimately to do with the placement of pigment on canvas and the ways in which, through a variety of processes, the painted image attains a specific resonance, a condition that is beyond words.
This work is rich in colors, textures and full of visual interest, but it is also obscure and hard to read. Much of the composition is overlaid with a large, floating orb. This piece was begun during Doig's final year at Chelsea School of Art and would come to represent the beginning of the snow scene motif that would dominate much of his art.
Katharine Arnold of London auction house, Christie's, said: "In taking up archetypal images of Canada's landscape, Doig sought to distance himself from its specifics.
These were not paintings of Canada in a literal sense, but rather explorations of the process of memory. For Doig, snow was not simply a souvenir of his childhood, but a conceptual device that could simulate the way our memories may be transformed and distorted over time.
The circle in the middle of the piece is a visual reference to the opening scene of Orson Welles' Citizen Kane , in which a flashback shows the protagonist now on his deathbed in an ambiguous snowy landscape.
The circle also resonates with a number of theatrical and film devices: the spotlight, camera lens, etc. The snowflakes are both figurative and abstract, and play with mark-making techniques to show how a painter might think about both snow descriptively and the colored dots of an abstract composition formally.
The complex, yet whimsical, relationship between form, brushwork, and content in this work is an important moment in contemporary painting. Doig not only selects and screens the films; he also paints the poster advertising the week's film. He told an interviewer that he finds this ongoing project liberating because it is "much more immediate" than his usual work.
It was critically acclaimed and showed works created in the previous ten years, mostly during his residence in Trinidad. Recently his work was included in the group exhibition Cooperations at Fondation Beyeler
Doig and Kennedy moved back to London in The ice is rendered in calming purples, grays and blues. One night in , Doig came back from the barn and caught the end of a movie that his younger sister Sophie was watching on videotape. Its roof is dusted with snow and there are dark forests in the background. Hitch Hiker, Under a turbulent sky, a red eighteen-wheeler truck moves across a darkening country landscape, its headlights casting twin beams on the road ahead. When some of those same works began to sell for surprisingly large amounts of money, around , no one could explain why.
He played ice hockey at his English-speaking school, and missed Canada a lot when his parents sent him and Andrew, at ages twelve and eleven, to a boarding school in the northeast of Scotland. The houses in these early paintings look uninhabited and desolate, and you see them through a screen of trees or underbrush, or blurred by falling snow.
The movement on top of the ice is mesmerizing and the figure is totally absorbed in his action. He was my first and only love. Doig not only selects and screens the films; he also paints the poster advertising the week's film.
His reflection is visible beneath and he is backed by a snowy bank, and higher up, a darkening forest. Doig had no trouble adjusting to the north country.
His paintings usually begin with an idea, and years can elapse before completion. Doig, who is fifty-eight, has never been an artist who shuts out the world. The refuges and defences against nature often seen in Doig's work are a kind of visual corollary for such considerations. Ofili put a bushy Afro on one of the figures, and added a few other jokey touches, and Doig took it back and added some more.