Pierre Soulages

Pierre Soulages

In the duration and agelessness of his career, Pierre Soulages is an anomaly: He is a peer of Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, Barnett Newman and other the titans of postwar Abstract Expressionism, and yet is working alongside such significant present-day figures as Mark Grotjahn, Wade Guyton, and Christopher Wool. Since his first retrospective exhibition in Hanover, Germany in 1960, Soulages' oeuvre has been exhibited internationally without interruption, most recently with a major 2009 retrospective at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris as well as retrospectives at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico; Kunstmuseum, Berne; Seibu Museum of Art, Tokyo; Museum Fridericianum, Kassel; IVAM- Centro Julio González, Valencia; Musée d'Art Contemporain, Montréal; and the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul. In 2001, Soulages became the first contemporary artist to be exhibited at the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

A highlight of Soulages’ career came in 1986 with a commission from the French Ministry of Culture to create a cycle of stained glass windows for the Romanesque Abbey-Church Sainte-Foy in Conques, France. What Soulages achieved at Conques, over a grueling eight-year period ending in 1994, is nothing less than a total work of art. With the authorities’ decision to re conceptualize all the windows, the church was purged of its World War II memories, for the windows had been filled by neo-medievalist scenes commissioned in the 1940s under Marechal Petain’s collaborationist government at Vichy. Soulages’ overall scheme effectively liberated the church’s astonishing architecture and transformed it into a site-specific installation. In the glass he developed for this project, Soulages found the perfect translucent vehicle—in essence, a transmogrified two-sided painting—that, as a soft and ever changing grey-white, is equally legible from inside and outside the church. In the 104 windows he created for Sainte-Foy, Soulages rendered a battery of straight and softly arcing black lines that engage the architecture and visitors’ movement through it, as well as the winds and mountains of the surrounding Aveyron. The Sainte-Foy cycle perfectly illustrates the central concern with light that has always suffused Soulages’ abstract paintings, and vividly affirms the strong architectonic urge that had always been present in the artist’s work.

Today Pierre Soulages’ paintings are part of over a hundred museum collections, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the National Gallery of Art, Washington; the Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo; the Fogg Art Gallery, Harvard University; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Aldrich Museum, Ridgefield; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Tate Gallery, London; the Centre Georges Pompidou and the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; and the Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro.

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Selected Works

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  • Peinture 81 x 59 cm, 11 mars 1960
    1960
    Oil on canvas
    31 7/8 x 23 1/4 inches (81 x 59 cm)

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  • Peinture 202 x 159 cm, 28 octobre 2013
    2013
    Oil on canvas
    79 1/2 x 62 9/16 inches (202 x 159 cm)

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  • Peinture 202 x 143 cm, 3 Mars 2013
    2013
    Acrylic on canvas
    79 1/2 x 56 3/8 inches (202 x 143 cm)

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Exhibitions

Other Exhibitions

Publications

Selected Press

THE ART NEWSPAPER | OFAs (old French artists) are the new YBAs

May 3, 2016

When Emmanuel Perrotin and Dominique Lévy organised a joint exhibition of old and new work by Soulages …

Christies | Pierre Soulages: Beyond Black

May 28, 2015

If art aficionados ever wonder how the work of great Abstract Expressionists whose careers were cut …

Le Figaro | Découvrez les promus de la Légion d'honneur de Pâques

April 5, 2015

C'est une des traditions de Pâques de la République. Le Journal officiel a révélé ce dimanche …

Le Figaro | Soulages, l'éternité et un jour

March 17, 2015

DANS L'ATELIER DE...Visite, un matin ;hiver, dans son refuge parisien où le peintre des «Outrenoirs» …

Nowness | Pierre Soulages: Outrenoir

January 20, 2015

“I don’t work with black,” says Pierre Soulages, who, for over 60 years, has injected poetry …

France Magazine | Soulages is the New Black

June 28, 2014

Few artists have the privilege of seeing a major museum built in their honor during their lifetime. …

Haber's Art Reviews | The Red and the Black

June 27, 2014

What lies beyond black? How about more black—and the blacker the better? Pierre Soulages does not …

BBC News | The president and the 'greatest living artist' in the world

June 23, 2014

Things have going badly for French President Francois Hollande. Defeat in the European elections, …

Art in America | All Black Everything: Soulages Museum Opens in South of France

June 19, 2014

The French are no strangers to strikes. So few took notice, on the morning of May 30, when a group …

Artnews | 10 Famous Black Paintings

June 18, 2014

In the name of balance and harmony it’s only right to do a list of ten famous black paintings today! …

Aesthetica | Pierre Soulages, Dominique Lévy Gallery and Galerie Perrotin, New York

June 14, 2014

The art of Pierre Soulages, currently on display at Dominique Lévy Gallery and Galerie Perrotin, …

Francofile Central | Pierre Soulages: Paint it Black

June 12, 2014

On May 31st, French President François Hollande inaugurated the brand new Musée Soulages in Rodez, …

Art Observed | New York - Pierre Soulages at Galerie Perrotin and Dominique Lévy Through June 27th, 2014

June 4, 2014

Held in high regard in his home country of France, and throughout much of continental Europe, the …

France 24 | A Museum for the Master of Black

June 2, 2014

Pierre Soulages, arguably France’s most famous living artist, is known as a master of the colour …

Irish Times | Steel-cube Soulages museum honours France’s ‘outrenoir’ painting master

May 31, 2014

Some 300 protesting farmers, steel workers and temporary entertainers confronted riot police in the …

Les Echos | Pierre Soulages, pas si noir

May 30, 2014

L’histoire commence dans une rue aux façades sévères. Une rue que Kafka aurait pu imaginer.

Le Monde | Un musée pour Soulages, chercheur de lumière

May 29, 2014

Parlant du musée qui ouvre ses portes à Rodez le 31 mai et qui porte son nom, Pierre Soulages a …

Art in America | Pierre Soulages

May 23, 2014

In France, Pierre Soulages enjoys a reputation comparable to Rothko’s or de Kooning’s in the …

Quintessence | Pierre Soulages Returns to New York

May 22, 2014

According to art critic Brooks Adams, who spoke several weeks ago at the preview of the Pierre Soulages …

The New York Times | Pierre Soulages: Master of Black, Still Going Strong

May 20, 2014

PARIS — Pierre Soulages, 94, still paints every day on the floor of his atelier in the Latin Quarter …

Day of the Artist | Day 134 - Pierre Soulages - The Painter of Black

May 14, 2014

It’s Day 124 and it is just as hot yesterday if not hotter! I hosed down the dogs which they hated, …

Daphne Nash | Dominique Lévy + Galerie Perrotin | Pierre Soulages

May 14, 2014

What is there to see in a canvas of black paint? More than you might initially think if the current …

TimeOut New York | Pierre Soulages

May 12, 2014

The name Pierre Soulages may not be familiar to current art aficionados, but a half century ago, the …

Exhibition Reviews | Pierre Soulages

May 2, 2014

From April 24 to June 27, 2014, Dominique Lévy and Galerie Perrotin are jointly presenting “Pierre …

Vanity Fair FR | Back to Black

April 30, 2014

On pourrait croire il a plus rien a prouver. Pierre Soulages, apprete a inaugurer, fin mai, son propre …

British Airways High Life | Meet France's greatest living artist

April 30, 2014

I still find myself working in a trance on a painting, in a fit, doing nothing else, in the middle …

Purple FR | Pierre Soulages at Dominique Lévy and Galerie Perrotin, New York

April 29, 2014

Dominique Lévy and Galerie Perrotin jointly present Pierre Soulages, the first American exhibition …

French Morning | Pierre Soulages voit noir sur Madison Avenue

April 28, 2014

Depuis Rodez où il s’occupe de la mise en place de son musée qui ouvrira fin mai, il communique …

Artnet | Top 10 Most Expensive Living French Artists

April 25, 2014

artnet News’s ongoing series on the world’s most expensive living artists by nationality turns …

Paper Mag | 10 Must-See Art Shows Opening This Week

April 24, 2014

Galerie Perrotin and Dominique Levy Gallery (909 Madison Avenue) are opening the first New York exhibition …

Art Market Monitor | Re-Acquainting America with Pierre Soulages

April 24, 2014

Emmanuel Perrotin and Dominique Lévy are doing everything they can to remind the art world that Pierre …

Masde Arte | Soulages, áun negro y luminoso

April 24, 2014

Las salas Dominique Lévy y Perrotin de Nueva York presentan conjuntamente desde hoy la primera muestra …

Gallerist | 12 Things to Do in New York’s Art World Before April 28

April 21, 2014

THURSDAY | Pierre Soulages at Dominique Lévy A joint exhibition of the 94-year-old artist, a national …

ArtFCity | This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Stereotypical Zinesters

April 21, 2014

Is art getting too boring? We’ve found some exceptions this week, as always, but fuck: MoMA’s …

Harper's Bazaar | The LIST Gallerina Guide

April 17, 2014

As a proud Franco-American, French culture has always been a big part of my life so I’m very much …

tsugi | Gesaffelstein & Pierre Soulages: noirs désirs

April 8, 2014

Il en rêvait, Tsugi l’a fait. Lorsque l’on préparait en septembre dernier le numéro du magazine …

Paris Match | Soulages En Pleine Lumiere

April 7, 2014

Le plus célèbre peintre français a pour la première fois accepté qu’on lui consacre un musée. …

Museum Soulages | Official opening of the Soulages Museum

April 3, 2014

The museum of the « Outrenoir » master (« ultra-black »), Pierre Soulages, will be opening its …

A Mag | Pierre Soulages

April 1, 2014

Still painting and sculpting at age 94, artist Pierre Soulages is the subject of a full career retrospective …

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