Superstar Painter Peter Doig Has Parted Ways With His Longtime Gallery Michael Werner After 23 Years

The artist is now working independently.

Peter Doig speaks at Skowhegan Awards Dinner 2018 at The Plaza Hotel on April 24, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Presley Ann/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

The recent opening of a major Peter Doig show at the Courtauld Gallery in London is a true event for fans of the influential painter. Meanwhile, for observers of the behind-the-scenes machinations of the art market, a close look at the wall labels also turns up a major bit of industry news: Doig, who is one of the most expensive living artists in the world, has split with his longtime dealer Michael Werner after almost a quarter of a century.

A representative for the gallery confirmed that it no longer represents Doig.

The paintings on view at the Courtauld, some large in scale, include works that were created in the artist’s new studio in London, where he recently relocated from his longtime home in Trinidad. It is extremely unusual that new work would go to a museum straight from the studio.

It is not clear if these new pieces are for sale. Sources said primary market prices for Doig works tend to run in the seven figures.

A viewer admires Canal (2023), one of the most recent paintings by Peter Doig in his self-titled exhibition at the Courtauld Gallery in London. Photo: Vivienne Chow.

A viewer admires Canal (2023), one of the most recent paintings by Peter Doig in his self-titled exhibition at the Courtauld Gallery in London. Photo: Vivienne Chow.

Other pieces at the Courtauld have been loaned from private collections, including one from the Pinault collection. The show is sponsored by Morgan Stanley, with billionaire collector Ken Griffin also identified as a supporter.

“Peter is now working independently and not represented by any gallery,” said his wife Parinaz Mogadassi, who founded and runs Tramps Gallery on the Lower East Side. Tramps “has collaborated extensively with Doig on projects in the past, and will certainly continue to do so in the future. It is an organic evolution of both the personal and professional relationship between he and I.”

One source said the split between painter and gallery had been happening gradually for quite a while and that the Courtauld show simply had the effect of making it more official. Another source said the artist appeared to be “taking a pause, or a beat.”

Mogadassi worked with Doig in her previous roles at both Gavin Brown’s Enterprise and Michael Werner. One of the last Doig shows at Werner took place from in 2019 in London.

The record for a Doig painting at auction is $39.9 million, paid for Swamped (1990) at Christie’s New York in November 2021. The second-highest price of $28.8 million was paid four years earlier, at Phillips New York in May 2017, for Rosedale (1991). To date five Doig works have sold above $20 million each at auction, while 19 works have sold sold above $10 million each at auction, according to the Artnet Price Database.

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