A painting by Scotland’s “most valuable living artist” which refers to a building in Toronto will come to auction next month with an estimate of £14-18 million.
Born in Edinburgh in 1959, Peter Doig first came to prominence after winning the Whitechapel Award in 1991, and recent years have seen significant demand for his works by international collectors.
Sotheby’s said the painting marks an important milestone in the artist’s career since it dates from the year of the highly prestigious award.
The auction house added: “The Architect’s Home in the Ravine refers to a building remembered from the artist’s childhood in Canada – the home of Eberhard Zeidler, which is situated in the wealthy Toronto suburb of Rosedale. However, whilst this is the stated subject, the eerie mood and the composition can be better traced to a celebrated building by architect Le Corbusier, the Untié d’Habitation in Briey-en-Fôret in North-East France. In the summer of 1991 Doig visited this site as part of a team of artists and architects working on its restoration; the building had been derelict since 1973. He was struck by the view of the modernist building from the dense surrounding forest. It appeared just out of reach; at once threatening and inviting, comforting and obscure.
“Le Corbusier’s building at Briey is referenced in the The Architect’s Home in the Ravine through the coloured panels that bedeck the front of the house, only just visible through the thickets of forest. Doig would refer back to the building repeatedly and in more explicit terms in the celebrated Concrete Cabin paintings that were executed between 1992 and 1996. This conflation of physical experience and emotive recollection is typical of Doig. He is an artist of oneiric atmosphere whose works are as much meditations on the concept of memory itself as musings on previous personal experience.”
Other paintings by Doig include Iron Hill (1991) which became the first work by the artist to sell for over £1m at Sotheby’s auction in 2006, and Rosedale (1991) which established a new $28.8m auction record for any living British artist last year.
Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s European Head of Contemporary Art said: “The Architect’s Home in the Ravine undoubtedly ranks among Peter Doig’s greatest works. Standing in front of it, it is immediately clear as to why he is considered one of Britain’s foremost living painters.”
The Architect’s Home in the Ravine returns to auction on 7 March to lead Sotheby’s Evening Sale of Contemporary art.