Born in Edinburgh, Peter Doig and his family ensured that the painting At the Edge of Town entered the Scottish national collection.
The acquisition was made under the Scottish Government’s ‘acceptance in place’ scheme, which allows important works of art to be transferred into public ownership to help reduce inheritance tax bills , following the death of his first wife Bonnie.
Doig, who had five children with Bonnie, said he was “honoured” that the work is now on display at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.
Experts have described the 62-year-old, who has lived in Trinidad – where he spent part of his childhood – for the past 20 years, as “one of the most beloved painters in the world”.
The deal fulfilled the National Galleries of Scotland’s long-standing ambition to acquire a work by Doig, who became Europe’s most valuable living painter in 2007. One of his paintings sold for 39 million (at a Christie’s auction in New York last year.
Doig’s career was celebrated in his hometown in 2013 when the National Galleries staged the first major exhibition of his work in Scotland. He admitted that he “just couldn’t afford” to buy any of his paintings on the open market.
Deputy director Keith Hartley said: “The show focused on work he had produced since moving to Trinidad in 2002, a country he had known since childhood when his family moved there. installed.
“Working closely on the exhibition created a good relationship between him and the National Galleries. Doig knew we were very keen to have one of his paintings in our collection.
‘At the Edge of Town’ was, as Doig himself recently explained, ‘made before I painted Milky Way – considered by many to be a seminal work – and the first painting to make direct reference to the landscape. It is the first painting made in the late 80s that informs the group of works that immediately followed”.
“At the Edge of Town is, indeed, a new departure in Doig’s work. He began it in Canada – the country where he had grown up after his family moved from Trinidad – in the summer of 1986.”
Doig said: “I am very honored to have this early and essential work in the Scottish National Collection and on display in Edinburgh, my hometown and some of my earliest memories.”
Simon Groom, Director of Modern and Contemporary Art at the National Galleries, said: “Peter Doig is one of the most respected painters working anywhere in the world, and whose prices put him well beyond the budget of any public institution.
“At the edge of the city is a painting that any great museum in the world would love to have, and it is only through the acceptance program instead that we can acquire the painting for the nation.
“As an Edinburgh-born artist, this work by Doig fills one of the greatest gaps in our contemporary collection. We are extremely grateful to Peter Doig and his family for making this possible.”