Attendees treasured the dazzling event in the world’s most vibrant contemporary art quarter. For the fourth year, the partners ensured that auction and ticket proceeds, which doubled in size this year to nearly €250,000, benefited local art outreach and education programs in addition to building anticipation of the winner reveal.
On January 25, 2016, Scottish figurative painter Peter Doig took home the great honor of the winning the annual “2017 Art Icon” award. His distinctive, often-abstracted landscape explorations had a certain captivating allure, which made him victorious.
A regular in the studio – and on the tarmac – Doig paints personal narratives of his life and the places he’s called home from Trinidad and NYC to Dusseldorf and London. His artwork has long been recognized in major exhibitions. This has also made him a regular at the Tate Britain, Scottish National Gallery, Foundation Beyeler and the Louisianan Museum. In winning, Doig lands himself among heralded past Art Icon winners such as: British painter and printmaker Sir Howard Hodgkin (2014), English sculptor Richard Long (2015) and American visual/video/performance artist Joan Jonas (2016). Their work all has something resounding in common.
Nadja Swarovski commented, “We are delighted to continue our support of the Whitechapel Art Icon Award. Peter Doig is a truly visionary talent whose work evokes beautiful and inspiring universes, and his celebration of the natural environment, and the people and animals that inhabit it, is something that speaks to us all. It is a pleasure to honour his contribution to the world of painting with this prize.”
Gallery director Iwona Blazwick summaries, “This award celebrates the work of an artist who has made a profound contribution to a particular medium, influencing their own and subsequent generations of artists.”
“Peter Doig was chosen in recognition of his spectacular oeuvre to date and his continuous evolution and invigorated approach to his medium,” she continued. This is especially authenticating coming from the gallery that has premiered world-class artists for over 100 years and partnered with other leaders such as Swarovski that continue to maintain longstanding commitments to the arts and arts education.