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Peter Doig's White Canoe - the most expensive work by a living European painter
February 15, 2007 9:28 AM   Subscribe

Peter Doig's White Canoe just sold at auction for £5.7M making it the most expensive work by a living European painter. Gallery 1, 2.
posted by johnny novak (39 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Wow.

They bought the wrong one.
posted by nathancaswell at 9:38 AM on February 15, 2007


Although the canoe one is nice too.
posted by nathancaswell at 9:39 AM on February 15, 2007


That's insane. Peter Doig is like an abstract Thomas Kincaid. Also, he's Canadian.
posted by Flashman at 9:40 AM on February 15, 2007


an abstract Thomas Kincaid

ouch

I like this one.
posted by nickyskye at 9:43 AM on February 15, 2007


an abstract Thomas Kincaid

It's painful because it's true. I've never heard of this artist. Now I'll never need to.
posted by Nelson at 9:47 AM on February 15, 2007


Admittedly perverse logic, but it pleases me that Doig has unseated Damien Hirst for top dog.
posted by papoon at 9:48 AM on February 15, 2007


Flashman: "That's insane. Peter Doig is like an abstract Thomas Kincaid. Also, he's Canadian."

He's pretty cool, but he's not Canadian. Although it's a bit disingenuous to call him "European," although it's technically correct; he grew up in Trinidad, and has lived there for years.
posted by koeselitz at 9:48 AM on February 15, 2007


although although
posted by koeselitz at 9:49 AM on February 15, 2007


papoon, also much less likely that this painting will start to rot and need to be replaced.
posted by nathancaswell at 9:49 AM on February 15, 2007


OH WAIT. It's SUPPOSED to rot.



For the record, I actually kind of like Damien Hirst.
posted by nathancaswell at 9:50 AM on February 15, 2007


though Doig lived in Canada for several years he was born in Edinburgh, and probably more importantly he studied and made his name as an artist in the UK and is best known as one of the YBAs, and as a trustee of the Tate Gallery. All of which probably qualifies him as European, though I doubt that's how he introduces himself at dinner parties.

Pedantry aside, I like his work, but that's one big price tag.
posted by johnny novak at 10:03 AM on February 15, 2007


papoon: "Admittedly perverse logic, but it pleases me that Doig has unseated Damien Hirst for top dog."

Unfortunately, he hasn't. That stupid shark thing sold for 6.5 million pounds. I guess they're using the word "European" to qualify him into the top spot.
posted by koeselitz at 10:11 AM on February 15, 2007


painter - it says painter...
posted by johnny novak at 10:16 AM on February 15, 2007


"Peter Doig is like an abstract Thomas Kincaid..".
posted by Flashman

That's an extremely mean, unfair and brilliant comment.

It made me cringe at my first positive reaction to the Doig. Now I don't know what to think.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 10:25 AM on February 15, 2007


Flashman is like a sarcastic Reuben Kincaid.
posted by fleetmouse at 10:31 AM on February 15, 2007


Now don't get me wrong. I like his work too, he's a hugley talented painter. The white canoe stirs all kinds of emotions in me, memories of summers gone etc... but I just can't see Peter Doig as being a truly great artist - I'd always just grouped him in with a bunch of ther Canadian landscape painters that I've seen at the National Gallery in O-dot.

Perhaps meanly, cruelly (after all, who the hell am I), I summed him up as the above. I guess all I meant was that his themes are kind of easy and overly sentimental, and cliched.
posted by Flashman at 10:41 AM on February 15, 2007


If Thomas Kincaid stirs emotions at all, they're emotions you've already felt a million times. That's kitsch.

Doig's work stirs inchoate emotions. That's art.

/steps off soapbox
posted by dontoine at 10:55 AM on February 15, 2007


Do inchoates even have emotions?
posted by Flashman at 10:58 AM on February 15, 2007


It's okay to eat inchoates cause they don't have any feelings.
posted by dontoine at 11:04 AM on February 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Doig paints white like it’s got every colour in it; he paints dark like it’s got every colour on it. A mirrored image of a lake at night, White Canoe is a wishful infeasibility where the reflection is more detailed than the landscape itself. The boat is aberrantly glowing. The landscape has the all-consuming blackness of an oil slick, deafening and motionless; all other colours seem to slide across it in a rustic laser show. The blue stains of tranquil moonlight have the eerie effect of erasing; Doig’s perfect night seems to be melting like celluloid stuck in the projector.
I love art that requires a paragraph to tell you why you're supposed to be impressed by it.
posted by designbot at 11:07 AM on February 15, 2007


BUT IT DOESN'T LOOK LIKE A PHOTOGRAPH!!!!!!!11111
posted by nathancaswell at 11:08 AM on February 15, 2007


an educated opinion on art is not an opinion at all.
posted by breakfast_yeti at 11:16 AM on February 15, 2007


Also: I'd never heard of Doig until this post. Thanks.

I really like that painting. I wish I could buy it.
posted by koeselitz at 11:20 AM on February 15, 2007


Something about how uniformly intense the color and dazzle of the paint in these pieces is very Kincaid-ish, though. I can definitely see where Flashman's coming from. I don't know how I feel about it.
posted by furiousthought at 11:23 AM on February 15, 2007


Hang on now, this artist knows his medium. His paintings are valuable because -- unlike "Thomas Kincaid" to which he was just inexplicably compared -- he is involved in his medium to a point where the use of it becomes innovative. I see this to be especially true (in the limited faithfulness of internet-quality images, vs. the more worldly person's firsthand view) in White Canoe. Thomas Kincaid appears to be only a couple of steps above your average annual local-participant art fairs, and specifically to color: There is absolutely no comparison. Kincaid's is vastly inferior.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 12:04 PM on February 15, 2007


Also, i'd hit it.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 12:05 PM on February 15, 2007


the whole 'house through the trees' thing is a very Kincaid theme...oh no, now I've really got buyer's remorse
posted by johnny novak at 12:06 PM on February 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think the major difference between them is is no one would buy a Franklin Mint collector's plate with Doig's work on it.

and

Metafilter: the more worldly person's firsthand view
posted by fleetmouse at 12:09 PM on February 15, 2007


I wasn't familiar with Doig's work before this post - thanks!

While I can see a superficial resemblence between Kincaid and Doig, Kincaid's work appears to be designed to hang in model McMansions, while I'd go to a museum to see Doig's paintings.
posted by found dog one eye at 12:47 PM on February 15, 2007


Though I may not be as "in the know" as some of the commenters above, to my eye, "White Canoe" is a fascinating and inexplicably beautiful painting, and bears no comparison (except in the negative sense) to Thomas Kincaid.

Then again, I'm probably a big fat philistinic idiot.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 12:50 PM on February 15, 2007


I liked the painting, but lord is that description ("Doig paints white like it’s got every colour in it...") the biggest load of crap.
posted by juv3nal at 1:14 PM on February 15, 2007


Peter Doig is like an abstract Thomas Kincaid

My first look at both these guys -- I don't see any similarity. Unless you dismiss both as "little landscapes" or genre painting.

That canoe painting is just like the experience of luminescent deep colour at the spooky end of a northern sunset that took hours to fade, the white canoe glowing in the moonlight. Why that's worth 5.7 million pounds, I dunno, but good for him.
posted by Listener at 1:26 PM on February 15, 2007


Thanks for introducing me to this Doig guy, very intriguing work. The Kincaid comparison is pretty off-base, I'd say, but I would hazard that it was meant in snark.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 2:16 PM on February 15, 2007


(these are not abstract paintings)
posted by Wolof at 2:19 PM on February 15, 2007


This record won't last, a Lucian Freud picture will break it before he pops his clogs. He is currently hovering at £3/4m.
posted by fire&wings at 2:30 PM on February 15, 2007


I hate Kinkaid's too perfect Coca-Cola ad scenes.

I like Doig's stuff. Thanks for the intro, johnny novak.
posted by figment of my conation at 2:49 PM on February 15, 2007


I really like that painting. I wish I could buy it.

Yeah, I had the same thought. Hopefully he gets famous enough for some big-ass museum to host a bunch of his work, and then dies after a long and fulfilling career, and the gift shop starts selling posters.

(Wait, how does that work anyway? Do I need to wait for his death or the expiration of copyright? I've never understood how those laws apply to reproducing paintings.)
posted by nebulawindphone at 3:41 PM on February 15, 2007


(these are not abstract paintings)
(I know they're not, in the literal, artistic sense, but I was going for the punchy soundbite)

(Turns out, was a little too punchy)
posted by Flashman at 3:31 AM on February 16, 2007


If pushed, I'd call him Impressionist - he reminds me of Gaugain, Van Gogh and some Whistler. This is probably why his art is selling for so much.
posted by johnny novak at 3:46 AM on February 16, 2007


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