House of Flowers (see you there) depicts a lone man in a landscape, a frequent motif in Doig’s work. The spectral figure, silhouetted in profile, walks along a barrier of black blocks and a wall of yellow masonry, which together confine a blue sky. Head bowed, torso curved, hands on hips, the murky body appears to merge with the environment as delicate pink petals fall into his torso from the flowering tree above. The path is bordered by a cement barricade on which Doig has painted the words “see you there”—a text taken from the posters he designed to advertise the StudioFilmClub, a weekly program he cofounded in 2003 to bring international film to Port of Spain, Trinidad.
In 2002, after moving from London to Trinidad, where he had spent his early childhood, Doig began to take his immediate surroundings as subjects. He has said of his work, “There exists a tension between the often generic representation of a pastoral scene and the investment in my own experiences of the landscape.” House of Flowers (see you there) is characteristic of the uncertain terrain that Doig’s painting explores: part observation, part invention, but all conveying a palpable but indeterminate psychological charge.
Publication excerpt from From MoMA Highlights: 375 Works from The Museum of Modern Art, New York (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2019).