Pierre Soulages, portrait d’un peintre français pas comme les autres

PIERRE SOULAGES Christelle FALSE - 06/03/2013

This article is in French. Click here to read it in English.

“Why black? Because. ” Thus meets Pierre Soulages when asked about the pervasiveness of black in his works. From an early age, black fascinates. Paradoxically, he sees the color of the light and it is this light that tries to tell us through his creations. 

Discreet and this at a time, this artist of 93 years has passed the crazy bet to give rise to color from black. That is what he named the ” outrenoir . ” Black-gray to deep black, the artist has tamed and use black so that it becomes a revealing light . Shocking the art world, his hometown of Rodez will honor him in May 2014 by inaugurating a museum in his name.

A French painter unusual

EXPOSURE MAC VAL Christelle False - 03/06/2013
Born in 1919 in the south of France, Pierre Soulages was interested in art from early childhood.

Indeed, it is during a visit with his school in the abbey of Conques, that it was the birthplace of his passion for art.

A few years later, in the 30s, he was admitted to the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts in Paris. However, it will only be a short stint, disappointed by the conformism of education.

It was only in 1946 that he devoted himself entirely to his passion: painting .

Soulages then began to paint abstract paintings using a palette restricted colors where black and blue predominate.

He also used unusual painting techniques, abandoning traditional brushes paint brushes used in construction and manufactured his own pigments.

Considered unconventional in a post-war period where the paintings were meant very colorful, his work was initially very time critical.

The painter would Picabia even told him “You’ll make a lot of enemies.”

Yet Pierre Soulages is now more than ever on the front of the stage and “beyond black” style continues to seduce.

The French painter of black and light

DARK SILENCE Christelle False - 03/06/13

In 1979, the “outrenoir” appeared.

After a night of hard work to paint black and play with the material, Soulages discovered the next morning the amazing result of his work: the creation of a new style where the black became bright.

Created through the effects of topography and cuts into the material, it is this light which he called “beyond black”.

The same year, he exhibited his paintings mono pigment Centre Pompidou in Paris.

Then in 1987, he entrusted the construction of windows of the abbey of Conques, a symbolic place for Soulages. In 1994 he completed his work in collaboration with the workshop Jean-Dominique Fleury.

Thereafter, his paintings have been exhibited in various museums such as the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg and the Musée Fabre in Montpellier.

In 2009, the Centre Pompidou paid him tribute by performing the largest retrospective ever devoted to a living artist.

A real tribute to this artist both discrete and present, through his art that we will soon see in Rodez.

The South of France honors him

Rodez Christelle False - 06/23/13

His hometown of Rodez wanted to dedicate a museum: the museum Pierre Soulages.

This museum will house the world’s largest collection of the artist. In total more than 500 works will be displayed, recalling the years of the artist’s work.

The museum will also offer 500m ² of exhibition space devoted to other artists.

A beautiful project that will see the current day in May 2014 .

Will you be there?

1. “Pierre Soulages, Painter or nothing!”
2. official website of Pierre Soulages
3. Biography of Pierre Soulages
4. “Soulages” book by Alfred Pacquement & Pierre Encrevé – 10/2009
5 Film “Pierre Soulages – Black Light.” – Film Reiner Moritz (1997)
Image credits:
1. Pierre Soulages in Lyon , via Design Party.

2. Exhibition MAC / VAL Pierre Soulages , by manub. via Flickr

. Dark Silence by chieroz via Flickr.
Rodez , Great Sites of Midi-Pyrenees viaFlickr.

About the Contributor

Christelle Faux

Originaire de Toulouse, c’est suite à mes études de commerce que j’ai décidé de m’orienter vers la communication et plus particulièrement le journalisme. Passionnée de voyage, de mode et d’art, c’est à travers mes articles que je souhaite partager avec vous mes découvertes et coups de cœur. Suivez-moi sur Instagram.

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One Comment

  1. Florent Rols Aug 9, 2013 at 3:54 PM - Reply

    Le coût du Musée Soulages a été très controversé à Rodez. Il est beaucoup attendu et sera beaucoup observé par la population de sa ville natale.
    Les vitraux de Conques sont exceptionnels grâce aux verres qui transforment la lumière extérieure; passant du bleu au rouge puis au jaune au fil de la journée.

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