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Pierre Soulages


Beyond Black

Pierre Soulages: Beyond Black is an exhibition celebrating the 100th birthday of France’s foremost living artist through a presentation of works spanning from the 1960s to today.
This focus invites viewers to consider the impact of a practice that has infused profound poetry into radical abstraction through its adherence to a single material: black paint.

“It’s fascinating to think that as soon as man came into existence, he started painting.”
Pierre Soulages
Pierre Soulages, Peinture 65 x 81 cm, 7 octobre 1968
oil on canvas, 65 x 81 cm (25.5 x 31.9 in)
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Pierre Soulages, Peinture 202 x 143 cm, 21 septembre 1967
oil on canvas, 202 x 143 cm (79.5 x 56.3 in)
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From the start of his career now spanning over eight decades, Pierre Soulages chose to free himself from all academic and cultural constraints as well as from all traditional aesthetic values. He opted for radical and instinctive ways of expression through total abstraction. Known as the “painter of black and light”, he creates vibrating, glistening and ever changing works of art that redefine our understanding of the spatial and temporal dimensions of painting.

“Black is never the same
because light changes it.”
Pierre Soulages
Pierre Soulages, Peinture 162 x 130 cm, 13 novembre 1969
oil on canvas, 162 x 130 cm (63.8 x 51.2 in)
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Installation view, Pierre Soulages: Beyond Black, Opera Gallery © Pierre Soulages

Pierre Soulages, Peinture 130 x 92 cm, 20 décembre 1991
oil on canvas, 130 x 92 cm (51.2 x 36.2 in)
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Pierre Soulages, Peinture 60 x 81 cm, 26 août 2013
oil on canvas, 60 x 81 cm (23.6 x 31.9 in)
Available

Pierre Soulages, Peinture 162 x 114 cm, 29 mars 1981
oil on canvas, 162 x 114 cm (63.8 x 44.9 in)
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Pierre Soulages works are featured in the collections of more than 300 international museums, including the MoMA in New York, the Tate in London and the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. In 2014, the Musée Soulages opened in his hometown of Rodez, France. Solo exhibitions of his work opened simultaneously at the Louvre and the Centre Pompidou in Paris in December 2019 to celebrate the artist’s 100th birthday.

Pierre Soulages, Peinture 81 x 130 cm, 5 janvier 2008
oil on canvas, 81 x 130 cm (31.9 x 51.2 in)
Available

Installation view, Pierre Soulages: Beyond Black, Opera Gallery © Pierre Soulages

Pierre Soulages, Peinture 102 x 63 cm, 7 août 2014
oil on canvas, 102 x 63 cm (40.2 x 24.8 in)
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Pierre Soulages, Gouache sur papier, 108,5 x 74,5 cm, 1977
gouache and wash on paper laid on canvas, 108,5 x 74,5 cm (42.7 x 29.3 in)
Available

“I like the authority of the black. It is a colour that does not compromise. A violent colour but which nevertheless encourages interiorisation. Both colour and non-colour. When light is reflected on black, it transforms and transmutes it. It opens up a mental field all of its own.”
Pierre Soulages
Pierre Soulages, Brou de noix, 1999
walnut stain on paper laid on canvas, 54,5 x 54,5 cm (21.5 x 21.5 in)
Available

Pierre Soulages, Peinture 57 x 81 cm, 10 janvier 2000
oil on canvas, 57 x 81 cm (22.4 x 31.9 in)
Available