I had not thought there was a connection between the work of Doig and Munch, but it seems Peter Doig consciously gave his picture Echo Lake similarities to the background in Edvard Munch’s Ashes. There is a similar use of swishy shapes of paint and horizontal bands of composition. There’s a similar sort of intensity and memorable imagery.
It turns out Doig was also influenced by casually seeing the film Friday 13th and the picture has the same composition and imagery as a shot in the movie.
It’s enjoyable to hear conversation between people who love the paintings and are able to talk about them sensitively, not glibly. Both Doig and Knausgård like the painting Munch did of a field of cabbages, which makes Karl think of death. Not being an art historian, he has no qualms about simply reacting personally to the works. They speculate about a late Munch picture of someone painting a house – is it some sort of self portrait or just a reaction to a man being there painting an outside wall?
The main benefit of watching the video is that, like a talk given in a gallery, it keeps us in front of the work, looking and feeling and thinking, held by the conversation and given the opportunity to share the experience of encountering paintings by Munch.
YouTube, 1 hour 10 minutes. November 2019
Volume 35 no 4 March/April 2021