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. 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: The painter, 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A representative for the gallery confirmed that it no longer represents Doig (a few works by him still appear on the gallery website).
The paintings on view at the Courtald, 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.
Other pieces at the Courtald 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.”
Neither side gave a reason for the split, though one source said it 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 late 2017 to early 2018 in London.
The record for a Doig painting at auction is $39.9 million, paid for (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 (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.