press release

press release

From January 25 to May 4, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) is pleased to present Peter Doig: No Foreign Lands, the first major exhibition of the artist's work since his mid-career retrospective shown at Tate Britain, London; Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; and Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, in 2008 but also the first exhibition of its kind to be presented in North America. This landmark event is part of an ambitious season of contemporary art exhibitions at the MMFA.

Peter Doig: No Foreign Lands is co-produced with the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh, where it was on view in the summer and fall of 2013 and met with great critical success. The exhibition will make only one stop in North America, at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. For the Scottish painter, presenting the exhibition in the two cities that have played a vital role in his life as an artist — Edinburgh, where he was born, and Montreal, where he spent some of his youth and where he returned to live as an adult—is deeply meaningful.

"To be exhibiting in Montreal, where I have lived, worked and have great fondness for means a lot to me. My time in Quebec as a child during the Expo, through my young teens and then again my 20s in Montreal, were formative years in the development of my paintings. I know the museum's rooms from childhood, so to be exhibiting in them now is a great privilege," said Peter Doig.

Over a career spanning nearly three decades, Doig has reinvigorated a medium considered by many to have fallen into irrelevance. His inventive style, uncommonly sensuous palette and suggestive imagery have set him apart from many of his contemporaries. A willingness to take up the challenge still posed by the paintings of Gauguin, Matisse, Bonnard, Marsden Hartley and Edward Hopper places Doig in a long line of great colourists, expressive handlers of paint and creators of richly textured worlds.

Peter Doig: No Foreign Lands is the first survey exhibition devoted to the artist's output since he returned to Trinidad in 2000 for an artist residency and then settled there in 2002. The move marked a turning point in his painting. As fellow Scot Robert Louis Stevenson wrote in The Silverado Squatters: "There are no foreign lands. It is the traveller only who is foreign."

During the period covered by the works in this exhibition, Doig, while based in Trinidad, has also divided his time between London, New York and Düsseldorf. Having left Edinburgh as a small child, his peripatetic life and memories of growing up in Canada, before studying and living in London for twenty years, have given Doig a particularly rich visual knowledge and archive of motifs, which he draws from continually in his work.

The exhibition will present over a hundred works executed over the past fourteen years, including forty major paintings. These diverse works, at once austere and monumental, beautiful and spontaneous, are the end result of a series of sketches and adaptations. Doig's highly unusual approach to pictorial composition will be explored by displaying preparatory works and finished paintings side by side. This original presentation will also include studies, personal documents and an extensive selection of film club posters and explore the artist's use of recurrent images.

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Peter Doig
No Foreign Lands

Peter Doig