Pierre Soulages © EPA MAXPPP
Pierre Soulages

Pierre Soulages

Born in 1919, at Rodez (France)

Paris (France)

Pierre Soulages began his abstract body of work in the post-war years, using Expressionist gestures and dark colors. In the 1950s he began exhibiting around the world, notably in New York; since then, his work has been met with unanimous acclaim. 

For Soulages, black is both an obsession and a quest. Reflected light plays a dominant role in his work, where material creates texture— contrasts that give surfaces a rough quality. Soulages speaks of single-pigment painting rather than monochrome painting. In 1979, he began a new phase, which he termed “outrenoir” (beyond black), that focused on the depth of black and its relation to light. A meditative dimension is omnipresent in his work, arising from his interest in Zen and Asian cultures.


Encrevé, Pierre. Soulages, les papiers du musée. Paris ; Rodez : Gallimard ; Musée Rodez, 2014. 978-2-07-014646-8

Jaunin, Francoise. Pierre Soulages : outrenoir. Éd. revue et augmentée. Lausanne : La Bibliothèque des Arts, 2012. 978-2-88453-171-9

Encrevé, Pierre ; Pacquement, Alfred. Soulages : [exposition, Galerie 1 du Centre Pompidou-Musée national d'art moderne, Paris, du 14 octobre 2009 au 8 mars 2010]. Nouvelle éd. revue et augmentée. Paris : Centre Georges Pompidou, 2009. 978-2-84426-552-4

Coudert, Gilles ; Soulages, Pierre ; Fleck, Robert. Soulages-Fleck : grandes conférences. \[dvd\]. Paris : Apres éd (Rémanence.), 2009. 

Andral, Jean-Louis. Soulages : noir lumière : [exposition], Musée d'art moderne de la Ville de Paris, [du 11 avril au 23 juin 1996]. Paris : Paris-Musées, 1996. 978-2-87900-281-1

Encrevé, Pierre. Soulages : les peintures, 1946-2006. Paris : Seuil, 2007. 978-2-02-090761-3


All materials available at the Documentation Centre of the Fondation


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