New York

Peter Doig

Gavin Brown's Enterprise/Michael Werner Gallery

In a roundtable in these pages one year ago, Peter Doig became the fall guy for several participants’ vexations with the big bad art market. One had to feel a little sorry for him in the reckoning: One of his paintings, through no doings of his own, breaks auction records for a work by a living European artist, and he gets pitted against no less a luminary than Giovanni Battista Tiepolo as quintessential of what art historian James Meyer called the market’s “overestimation of the contemporary.” Economies, art and otherwise, are of course worlds different now, and the point that Doig’s work (like any contemporary artist’s) has not had the kind of critical assessment afforded by the long view is a reasonable one. Even so, his being made to epitomize the contemporary seems unfair, imputing as it does a trendiness to paintings that are plainly unfashionable, even old-fashioned. As demonstrated

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