Coinciding with Burns Night on 25 January 2017, Scottish painter Peter Doig (b. 1959) was the fourth artist to receive the prestigious annual Art Icon award in partnership with Swarovski. Surrounded by over 200 artists and art world luminaries, Doig was presented with the award at Whitechapel Gallery by Iwona Blazwick OBE (former Director, Whitechapel Gallery) and Nadja Swarovski (Member of the Swarovski Executive Board) at a spectacular gala dinner.
Guests bought tickets for the evening to help raise funds for the Whitechapel Gallery’s Education and Community programmes. An auction led by Henry Highley of Phillips featured work donated by leading artists Hernan Bas, Joe Bradley, Cecily Brown, Enrico David, Stephen Gill, Camille Henrot, Annie Morris, Laurence Owen and Jonathan Trayte, alongside an online auction featuring a selection of unique ‘experiences’.
Michael Clark, a long time friend and collaborator of Doig, choreographed a hypnotic new work performed by Michael Clark Company during the evening. Peter Doig and his friend and master potter Stuart Carey also created a small edition of ceramic artworks that were launched exclusively at the event.
Peter Doig was born in Edinburgh in 1959 and raised in Trinidad and Canada before moving to London in 1979 to study. He currently lives and works between Trinidad, New York, Dusseldorf and London. Doig has been the subject of a number of major exhibitions worldwide, including a mid-career survey organized by Tate Britain in 2008; an exhibition in 2013 at the Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh; a display at Fondation Beyeler, Basel, Switzerland in 2014 and at Louisiana Museum in Humlebæk, Denmark, 2015. Doig served as a Trustee of the Tate from 1995 to 2000, and in 2008 was awarded the Wolfgang Hahn Prize of the Society for Modern Art, Museum Ludwig, Cologne.
Swarovski delivers a diverse portfolio of unmatched quality, craftsmanship, and creativity. Founded in 1895 in Austria, the company designs, manufactures and markets high-quality crystals, genuine gemstones and created stones as well as finished products such as jewelry, accessories and lighting. Having celebrated its 120th anniversary last year, and now run by the fifth generation of family members, Swarovski Crystal Business has a global reach with approximately 2,680 stores in around 170 countries, more than 26,000 employees, and revenue of about 2.6 billion euros in 2015. Together with its sister companies Swarovski Optik (optical devices) and Tyrolit (abrasives), Swarovski Crystal Business forms the Swarovski Group. In 2015, the Group generated revenue of about 3.37 billion euros and employed more than 30,000 people. A responsible relationship with people and the planet is an integral part of Swarovski’s heritage. The global Swarovski Waterschool education program has reached 257,000 children on the world’s greatest rivers, and the Swarovski Foundation, set up in 2013, works to support culture and creativity, promote wellbeing, and conserve natural resources to achieve positive social impact.
Find out about how Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon 2017 with Swarovski supports our youth programme.
Image: Peter Doig, Pelican (Stag), 2003. © Courtesy the artist and Michael Werner Gallery, New York and London