Peter Doig: Arts Club of Chicago

By Higgs, Matthew | Artforum International, October 2003 | Go to article overview

Peter Doig: Arts Club of Chicago


Higgs, Matthew, Artforum International


For much of the past decade, the painting and subject matter of Edinburgh-born artist Peter Doig appeared at odds with the art world's prevailing taste. Taking their (painterly) cues from such unfashionable and unlikely precedents as Edward Hopper, David Milne, Edvard Munch, and James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Doig's melancholic works--invariably landscapes--were anathema to the visceral theatrics and conceptual endgames of much '90s art. However, Doig's persistent engagement with painting's potential to describe or imagine pictorial realms outside of, or just beyond, those of our rational world can be seen as both prescient and increasingly pervasive: Echoes of his folksy and often unrepentant romantic "realism" can be found in the work of his near-contemporaries Verne Dawson, Kai Althoff, Daniel Richter, Elizabeth Magill, and Laura Owens, among others.

Doig paints exclusively from photographic sources: snapshots, film stills, postcards, travel brochures, album sleeves, and so on. Walking through the Arts Club of Chicago's survey of his paintings and works on paper made since 1991, one soon becomes aware that Doig uses photography as a surrogate for preparatory drawings and that his compositions are thus entirely determined by the restrictive and particular frame of the viewfinder. Doig is attracted to compositional tableaux that reverberate with the apparent artlessness of the New Topographic photography of the late 1960s and the 1970s--and in particular William Eggleston's vernacular images of the American South. Doig's paintings are commonly set amid communities and neighborhoods on the fringes of metropolitan centers. In describing a milieu that is neither strictly suburban nor exactly rural, Dole, like Eggleston, conjures up a territory that seems permanently suspended in a state of in-betweenness: a neither-here-nor-there where time has been not so much slowed down as arrested. Like Eggleston's South, Doig's Canada, where the artist spent his formative years, ultimately comes across as simultaneously banal and exotic, familiar and unfamiliar.

Pinto, 2000, is a painting of a typical roadside scene: a horse lazily munching on grass in an otherwise empty field. The distant and surrounding landscape is barely acknowledged, tentatively sketched in thin washes of autumnal-hued oil paint. A notably unremarkable image: Were it not for its scale--some seven by eight feet--and self-conscious painterly effects, it could for all intents and purposes be an Eggleston composition. Similarly, Girl in White in Trees, 2001-2002, betrays its snapshot origins. Seen from below and caught in the flare of a camera's flash, a young girl stares down expectantly from the entanglement of branches in the tree she has just climbed, her sense of achievement photographically preserved as if by a proud parent. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Peter Doig: Arts Club of Chicago
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.