The Visual Fables of Peter Doig at the Michael Werner Gallery

Spending a few hours at the Michael Werner Gallery in front of a canvas or a drawing by Peter Doig - especially for the first large exhibition dedicated to the artist since 2012 - is a bit like stepping into a visual fable or having an intimate experience in front of a roaring fireplace. Emerge yourself in the troubled Arcadia of the British painter with its sunny climate, sea, golden beaches and fluffy white clouds, but also monsters and worrisome giants. Nude, heroic figures such Red Man, rise up out of the fine sands. But there are also desolate environments, such as that of the Port of Spain, where a lion, in front of a lemon-yellow wall, comes to life out of the graffiti, proud and hungry. Next to the dreamlike visions and atmospheres that recall the spectral immobility of the empty town squares of De Chirico, there is also the monumental seaside scene of Two Trees, in which the two trees that come up out to the water seem like the tentacles of some strange marine creature. The characters found in these works come from the encounters of Doig himself, from the experiences of the times in which we live. And for this reason, it’s easy to feel like they are also our very own.
Samantha De Martin - © 2018 for Bulgari Hotel London