Clad in a worn coat, the lanky figure of the archetypal 19th century bohemian artist looks into a brightly coloured canvas that seems to float before him. Doig chose to give the figure a pale complexion, colouring his cheeks and nose in bright pink, a nod at Trinidadian popular culture, where a traditional figure in the island’s Carnival is that of a European who is mocked for getting easily sunburnt. Both figure and canvas stand out against a delicately coloured background depicting towering mountains of lush vegetation crowned by the outlines of palm trees.
In the years previous to his final move to Trinidad, Doig worked on House of Pictures (2000-02) which depicts a lonely figure that stares into the window display of a shop. Finished in the island, the composition reminded Doig of Daumier’s The Print Collector, which he had seen at The Art Institute of Chicago and that he describes as “a great painting of someone looking at paintings” (Peter Doig quoted in: Catherine Lampert, ‘Peter Doig: Dreams and the Light Imaginings of Man’, Peter Doig, New York 2011, p. 358). Inspired by this canvas Doig embarked on a new series of works, borrowing from the French caricaturist the lone figure with the top hat. Such is the recognition that the artist’s works from the Metropolitain series have attained, that in a recent exhibition of Daumier’s work at the Royal Academy in London Doig was invited to write about the painting that had inspired him. The artist explained how “although the title of the painting tells us that the man in the dark hat is a collector looking at prints in a gallery, I want to think of him as an artist. I feel his demeanour and clothing suggest that here is an artist looking at works-in-progress in a studio” (Peter Doig in: Exhibition Catalogue, London, Royal Academy of Arts, Daumier(1908 – 1979): Visions of Paris, 2013-14, p. 130).
Characteristically, this particular composition was also inspired by a scene in a movie; Fritz Lang’s 1944 film noir The Woman in the Window. Indeed, the bohemian flâneur in Cold Blooded stands in the same position as the film’s professor Richard Wanley when he discovers the portrait of the femme fatale Alice Reed, which is displayed in a shop window. That one of the sources of inspiration for this series of works is a movie is no coincidence, as Doig is a well-known cinephile; a year after his arrival in Trinidad he and fellow artist Che Lovelace set up StudioFilmclub, a weekly screening that takes place in Doig’s studio. In yet another take on the artist’s endless library of citations, the title of the present work is the same as a 1995 thriller by Wallace Wolodarsky.
Doig’s ease and absolute mastery of the art of blending seemingly disparate citations in his canvases dates from his student years, and he particularly recalls how when as a student at St Martin’s College of Art during the 1980s “all the new trends in art making, picture generation; Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, all these artists surrounding that group were brought very much to our attention” (Peter Doig in conversation with Gavin Lockheart, Turps Banana: Painting Magazine, Issue Nine, Winter 2010, n.p.). In Cold Blooded, as well as in the rest of the works in the Metropolitain series this influence is indeed quite palpable.
In Cold Blooded Peter Doig has done what he does best. The soft washes of paint, the unconventional setting for our artist-collector and his slightly otherworldly appearance imbue the work with a cinematic feel. Indeed, Cold Blooded transports the viewer to Peter Doig’s very particular reality, one which never ceases to captivate, and which is unique to the artist’s mastery of the medium of paining.
A Retro Racing Watch for the Modern Man
First Look: A Nearly Impossible Collection of the Most Legendary Wines
10 Dazzling Jewels from the Bourbon Parma Family Collection
First Look: Relive the 1990s Through the Collection of Damien Hirst’s Legendary Manager
Market-leading Contemporary Art Sales in Asia
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
L'inscription pour l'enchère en ligne est fermé pour cette vente . Voulez-vous regarder la vente en direct?Visionner La Vente En Temps Réel