Peter Doig, one of the world’s most renowned artists working today, will release a new limited edition print depicting influential dub poet and activist Linton Kwesi Johnson, to help raise vital funds for the George Padmore Institute in North London. Exclusively available from Paul Stolper Gallery in London from 9 November, proceeds from sales of the print will go towards supporting the Institute’s urgent building repairs, helping to secure its future.
Established in 1991, the George Padmore Institute (GPI) is an archive, educational research and information centre housing materials and documents relating mainly to black communities of Caribbean, African and Asian descent, in post-war Britain and continental Europe. Since the GPI was founded as an independent charity in 1991, it has been located at 76 Stroud Green Road, London. It has also been the home of legendary publishing house and book shop New Beacon Books since 1973. The historic building currently faces major structural issues and an emergency fundraising campaign was launched this year to protect the future of the organisation.
Doig’s print is a stunning portrait of Linton Kwesi Johnson depicted, in his trademark hat, mid-performance. Rendered in muted blues, Johnson’s face is outlined by the text ‘Brixton Ritzy’, referencing the iconic South London venue where Johnson performed in 1980. A long term fan of Linton Kwesi Johnson, Doig’s print evokes the hand-painted posters made for his studiofilmclub series.
For Desert Island Discs, Doig selected ‘Want Fi Goh Rave’ by Linton Kwesi Johnson as one of his most treasured tracks; stating that
The track that I’ve chosen is one that I think remains as fresh today as it was when I first heard it back in 1979.
It was in that year that Doig moved to London.
I was very interested in Punk and particularly Post-punk music, and that was really the draw to come to London.
The idea for the print originated in March 2023, when Paul Stolper Gallery presented ‘The Wisdom Man’, a group exhibition acknowledging Linton Kwesi Johnson as a pivotal figure in contemporary poetry and culture featuring multiple works by artists including Peter Blake, Chila Kumari Singh Burman and Denzil Forrester.
Doig’s exclusive print, which will be released in an edition of 150, will be on display at Paul Stolper Gallery in London on 9th November and available to purchase directly from the gallery.
Peter Doig Brixton Ritzy, 2023 Inkjet on Photo Rag 308gsm. Signed and numbered
101.5 x 71.5cm. Edition of 150 + 30 APs Launch price: £2,000+VAT unframed Available at this launch price for a period of 24 hours until 10 November 16:00 GMT
Peter Doig was born in Edinburgh in 1959. He gained his BA from Saint Martin’s School of Art, London, in 1983, and his MA from the Chelsea School of Art, London, in 1989-1990. The following year he was awarded the Whitechapel Artist Prize and was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1994. In 2000 Doig returned to Trinidad, when he was invited to join a residential programme in Port of Spain with friend and fellow artist Chris Ofili. Two years later he settled back on the island, establishing a studio there. His work has been exhibited internationally, including a current solo exhibition at the Musee D’Orsay, Paris, and recent solo exhibition at the The Courtauld Gallery, London (2023). His work has been acquired by major public collections around the world, including Tate Modern, London; Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Linton Kwesi Johnson was born in Jamaica in 1952. He joined his mother in the UK in 1963, attended Tulse Hill Secondary School in London and studied sociology at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He was a member of the Black Panther Movement. His poetry collections include ‘Dread Beat an Blood’ (Bogle-L’Ouverture 1975), ‘Inglan Is A Bitch’ (Race Today Publications 1980), ‘Tings An Times’ (Bloodaxe/LKJ Music 1991) and ‘Mi Revalueshanary Fren: Selected Poems’ (Penguin 2002). His reggae albums include ‘Dread Beat an Blood’ (Virgin 1978), ‘Bass Culture’ (Island 1980), and ‘More Time’ (LKJ Records 1998). He has worked as a journalist and broadcaster and wrote and presented the 10-part series, ‘From Mento To Lovers Rock’ for BBC radio in 1983. He was awarded the Order of Distinction – Commander Class by the Jamaican government in 2014. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2013. In 2020, LKJ received the Pen Pinter Award.
The George Padmore Institute was set up in 1991. It grew out of a community of people connected with New Beacon Books, Britain’s first black publisher and bookshop, and its founder John La Rose. The Institute is an archive, educational research and information centre housing materials and documents relating mainly to black communities of Caribbean, African and Asian descent in post-war Britain and continental Europe.
The Institute organises and preserves the archival materials in its care to ensure they are available to individuals, researchers, students, schools and anyone interested in the social, economic and cultural history of black British communities. Educational and cultural activities are also organised by the Institute including conferences, courses, seminars, talks and readings as well as publishing books and other materials. 76 Stroud Green Road, Finsbury Park, London, N4 3EN, UK | georgepadmoreinstitute.org