Modern and Contemporary Art

The House that Jacques Built

The House that Jacques Built
  • Peter Doig Born in Scotland, 1959, lives in Trinidad
  • The House that Jacques Built
  • 1992
  • Oil on canvas
  • 200x250cm
  • Gift of the British Friends of the Art Museums in Israel, Young Friends Committee, 1995

Isolated and deserted houses in untamed, snowy, and expansive landscapes are recurrent subjects in British artist Peter Doig's large-scale paintings. His work is influenced by the landscape paintings of European and American artists - especially by the works of Caspar David Friedrich, John Constable, Claude Monet, and Edward Hopper; yet it also draws on personal sources such as his childhood memories. Like a location hunter who looks for ideal spots in which to shoot movie scenes, he photographs many places and landscapes. These photographs, together with newspaper photographs and postcards he finds at random, and scenes from movies, constitute additional sources of inspiration on which he then elaborates in his work. The result goes beyond the depiction of a specific geographical place, and his landscapes are simultaneously strange and familiar, expressing an experience that is both personal and collective.

The House that Jacques Built belongs to a series that Doig calls "Horizontal Triptychs." Inspired by the stripes in Barnett Newman's early paintings, in which Doig saw mini-landscapes between solid blocks of color, he divided the picture plane into three horizontal strips. The house, located in an expanse of forest, seems to be squeezed between two planes containing abstract elements - which suggest a sky in the upper plane and a brick wall or linoleum surface in the lower one. The house and the landscape surrounding it are painted naturalistically, yet the treatment of color, and the way the paint is applied to the surface, have abstract qualities.



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