Peter Doig at Musée d'Orsay

Written by: Rebecca Bury

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Time to read 3 min

In a captivating convergence of artistic brilliance, the Musée d'Orsay in France plays host an extraordinary exhibition of two parts by the acclaimed contemporary artist Peter Doig. The first, a collection of his own masterpieces titled "Reflections of the Century," and the second, a curated showcase of his favourite works from the museum's esteemed collection. Together, these works offer a panoramic view of Doig's artistic evolution and his profound connection to the art that has inspired him.

'Doig inventively mines and transforms myriad sources — films, photographs, album covers, paintings — into multi-layered, elusive narratives. '

Jackie Wullschläger, Financial Times October 2023

Who is Peter Doig?

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1959, Peter Doig is a contemporary artist celebrated for his rich and evocative paintings that often blur the boundaries between reality and imagination. Raised in Canada and later settling in Trinidad, his diverse upbringing has profoundly influenced his artistic vision. Doig's academic journey took him to institutions like Wimbledon School of Art and Chelsea School of Art in London, where he honed his skills and developed a distinctive artistic voice.

 

Peter Doig is renowned for his unique approach to painting, characterised by vivid colours, dreamlike landscapes, and a sense of nostalgia. His works often feature scenes from nature, including forests, lakes, and figures in contemplative poses. One of his most famous works, "Canoe Lake," encapsulates his ability to capture the beauty of the natural world while infusing it with a surreal quality. Doig's art is marked by a sense of narrative ambiguity, inviting viewers to interpret and connect with the imagery on a personal level. His paintings frequently explore themes of memory, identity, and the passage of time, creating a poetic and emotionally charged atmosphere.

'Reflections of the Century' at Musée d'Orsay

"Reflections of the Century" is a curated collection of Peter Doig's own works that serves as a visual chronicle of the artist's engagement with the world around him. Doig, known for his mesmerising use of colour and dreamlike landscapes, invites viewers to delve into his unique perspective on the 20th century. The collection, a contemplative journey through time and memory, captures moments of cultural significance, personal reflection, and the ever-shifting dynamics of human existence.

 

Doig's exploration of reflections extends beyond the literal sense, as he skilfully manipulates light and colour to create surfaces that seem to ripple and shimmer. His mastery of the interplay between the real and the imagined, the tangible and the ethereal, elevates "Reflections of the Century" to a profound exploration of the human experience through the lens of an artist deeply attuned to the intricacies of life.

The second section, curated by Peter Doig himself, offers a unique glimpse into the artist's personal pantheon of artistic influences. Drawing from the rich tapestry of the Musée d'Orsay's collection, Doig selects works that have left an indelible mark on his creative journey. From the iconic brushstrokes of the Impressionists to the avant-garde visions of the early 20th century, this curated collection is a testament to Doig's eclectic taste and his ability to find inspiration across diverse artistic movements.

 

For Doig, the act of curation is a dialogue between his own creations and the works that have fuelled his imagination. Visitors are invited to experience the museum through the eyes of an artist, tracing the threads of influence that weave through his own oeuvre. This exhibition is not just a display of artistic prowess; it is a celebration of the symbiotic relationship between artists across time and space.

Peter Doig Musee d
Peter Doig Musee d

Collecting Peter Doig Artworks

Peter Doig's impact on the art market has been significant, with many of his works achieving substantial success at auctions. His painting "Swamped" set a record in 2015 when it sold for $25.9 million at a Christie's auction, emphasising the growing demand and appreciation for his oeuvre. The artist's appeal lies not only in the aesthetic allure of his paintings but also in the depth of emotion and storytelling embedded in each piece. His ability to seamlessly blend traditional painting techniques with contemporary themes has garnered him a dedicated following among collectors and art enthusiasts alike.

For those seeking to bring a piece of Peter Doig's artistry into their homes, limited edition prints offer a unique opportunity. Doig has released several series of prints that showcase his iconic imagery in a more accessible format. These limited editions allow art lovers to possess a tangible piece of his creativity, often accompanied by the artist's signature.

As visitors weave through the galleries of Musée d'Orsay, they embark on a dual journey—one that unravels the layers of Peter Doig's artistic evolution and another that explores the timeless resonance of the masterpieces that have shaped him. In this confluence of creativity, "Reflections of the Century" stands as a testament to the enduring power of art to reflect, inspire, and connect across the vast expanse of artistic endeavours.

 

The exhibition is open from October 17th, 2023 to January 21st, 2024.


 

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