Scottish painter Peter Doig is primarily known for three kinds of works: portraits of Le Corbusier’s brutalist communal housing complex in France, abstract landscapes inspired by his childhood in Canada, and somewhat unsettling depictions of lone canoes. The last category is the most intriguing, because one of those works—1991’s “White Canoe”—fetched a jaw-dropping $11.3 million at an auction in 2007. At the time, it was the highest amount ever paid for a work by a living European artist. Doig didn’t see a dime from that sale—advertising mogul and art patron Charles Saatchi sold the painting at Sotheby’s—but it nonetheless rocked him. “It made me feel sick, really,” he told The Guardian in 2008. “I’m talking about nauseous sick, not so much disgusted or anything. That someone should have put their hand in their pocket and spent that much money on a painting of mine seemed so unconnected to anything that I ever did.” Presumably Doig’s had time to adjust—since then he’s had multiple works sell for seven figures.
Doig speaks at 6 p.m. at the Phillips Collection, 1600 21st St. NW. $20, registration required. (202) 387-2151.