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Peter Doig Courtauld REVIEW

Scottish-Board Peter Doig is the first living painter to get a show since the Courtauld re-opened. To reach the two small rooms that form the temporary exhibition space, you have to walk through what must be one of the most extraordinary Impressionist collections in the world. It's quite a warm up act. But Doig, back from twenty years in Trinidad is more than up to the task.

The paintings on display are full of musicality and colour, symbolism and folklore. They are drawn from the Caribbean, from the mountains, from - quite clearly - the artists in the room you have just walked through. For a child to see how art lives on, inspires, is reimagined and remains modern, it is a masterclass. Some of the works are unnerving, tell stories; all entrance. The artist's daughter swinging in a hammock brings the lush colour of sunnier climes on a rainy day; the Cezanne-inspired skier stands goggle-clad, the Matterhorn behind him. His most recent work is a huge canvas of Regent's Canal, a child having breakfast. A strange hand is in the bottom corner. They are paintings to start a conversation but also paintings full of life. Just brilliant.

The permanent collection is our favourite London gallery for kids. It is free for U18s (including temporary shows). Adult tickets are £9, £14 if combined with the Doig. It is well worth the additional fiver. Normally, we would say to visit chronologically - coming through the centuries as you rise the blue spiral staircase. In this instance though, especially if you are with younger kids, I would be tempted to make a beeline to the third floor and have an Impressionists + Doig day.

The Morgan Stanley Exhibition: Peter Doig 10 Feb–29 May Tickets: £14 adults, £4.50 students, U18s free (includes access to the permanent collection).

Emily Turner


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