oil and acrylic on photoprint
21 x 29,5 cm (8 1/4 x 11 5/8 in.)
verso signed, dated and dedicated 'für Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin. "Country Rock"'
Characteristic of Doig’s painterly output, the present work recalls his years spent in Canada, manifested in a series of paintings based on the Don Valley Parkway and a tunnel built in 1961 on the eastern perimeter of the northbound highway in Toronto, underpassing a railway line next to the highway. The famous rainbow tunnel, visible from the highway which is now the main way in and out of the city, was painted as a memorial by Berg Johnson in 1972, at the tender age of 16. It is now officially sanctioned as public art some 30 years on. Between 1998 and 2000, Peter Doig painted three monumental works centered on the Don Valley rainbow. Despite only featuring in three major canvasses, Doig made a number of paintings, drawings, watercolours and aquatints that retell this unique experience, the mysterious view from the car seen by millions of commuters over several decades. The deep blackness of the tunnel’s centre is enigmatic, at once suggestive of an entrance to another realm whilst also depicting an anonymous marginal urban space. As Doig has commented, ’a lot of the works deal with peripheral or marginal sites, places where the urban world meets the natural world. Where the urban elements almost become, literally, abstract devices. There are a lot of ‘voids’ in the paintings. A lot of the paintings portray a sense of optimism that can often be read as being a little desperate, like the image of a rainbow painted around the entrance to an underpass.’