Peter Doig's London spell-bounding show of Early Works... and Early signs of Genius

Peter Doig has grown slowly but surely as one of my favourite contemporary painters and since seeing his exhibition of early works at the Michael Werner gallery in London last weekend, I am quite literally inspired to keep going down the route of developing my own personal visual style and imagery in fun and innovative ways.

He is undeniably producing some sublime work at the moment particularly as he’s living in the exotic lands of sunny Trinidad. And so its probably a surprise to see he was producing some very colourful works even back whilst studying his art degree in 1980’s London, around the same time as the 
influential YBA’s. 

I was both surprised and taken aback in the most fantastic way when I saw his abundant use of spray paint, neon/metallic paints, graphic lines, spontaneous mark-making and unruly shapes. In fact, all of his work featured weird perspectives and unusual compositions, a lot of them were partly upside down, or to the left and right, a real treasure trove of visual magic. There was an overall emphasis on shape rather than detail, yet where detail was needed for instance in his large city scenes, you will find funny characters, quirky writing and silly cartoons throughout the piece.

In his fun themes surrounding still life, people and places, you can see that an especially important theme is Rome as he was planning to visit there during his studies but ended up never going in the end! Sculptural forms take a priority focus in some of his large scale canvases, yet are irreverent, edgy and playful, never taking themselves too seriously.

Myself pictured in front of Doig's paintings and drawings
A carefully executed, brilliant show to see with plenty of smaller paintings and drawings too. So if you’re planning a trip to London anytime before the end of May, then catch a tube to Marble Arch where its literally a hop, skip and jump to the gallery.


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