Darran Anderson reviews Peter Doig: No Foreign Lands at the Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, on view through November 3, 2013.
Anderson writes: "Every landscape is a portrait of its viewer. In Doig’s scenes, you can view wonders or read foreboding auguries. It is Doig’s great strength to make these possible simultaneously. The paintings may inevitably be static, but the feelings they arouse are protean… Doig has claimed that he rarely paints scenes directly, but uses found images, postcards and earlier sketches or photographs. In this sense then, these are ghosts he is painting. They, and the scenes they are in, have long disappeared by the time of painting. Change, whether it is the weather or light or human beings, is an unacknowledged presence continually at work. At a time when conceptual art was thought to have consigned painting to ineffectuality, Doig’s art has prompted a reassessment not only of the skill and aura of the works themselves, but of their storytelling capacity."