It’s been fifteen years since Peter Doig moved from London to Trinidad. But his art has never gone tropical. If anything, his work these days seems more “northern” than ever. The thirty-four paintings and works on paper in this show kept making me think of Marsden Hartley, Max Beckmann, Helene Schjerfbecknot of the Gauguins and Matisses who looked to the south for their light. Doig’s early paintings often seem to represent remembered or, perhaps, imagined scenes from his Canadian childhood, but stylistically they are hard to locate, concerned more with inner than outer landscapes, apparitions rather than appearances. Doig has spoken of how, in his art, “the figures almost disappear as you get closer,” so that “the paintings are very empty, in a way.” That sense of evanescence, of the dissolution of the boundaries between things, is rarer in the new work. Now, the closer you
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