Soulages: A Retrospective

15 June–25 November 2018

Exhibition Overview


Pierre Soulages, Peinture 260 × 202 cm, 19 June 1963.

The Pierre Gianadda Foundation, celebrating the 40th anniversary of its creation, is dedicating its summer exhibition to Pierre Soulages, the painter of dark and light.

Pierre Soulages, born December 24, 1919 in Rodez (Aveyron), lives and works between Paris and Sète (Hérault). A major figure in abstraction, he is recognized as one of the greatest painters of the current French scene for his work running through the second half of the 20th and beginning of the 21st Century. "Soulages chooses very young color that carries all the others: black. He remains very attached to it, so that it participates in his artistic identity. Major in its art, it declines, according to the tools with which it is applied, on smooth or rough surfaces, which reveal a multiple and unsuspected light. "Interested in Prehistory and Romanesque art," Soulages develops its creation outside of any stylistic group, according to a solitary and free approach ". (Excerpts from Camille Morando, Soulages , Paris, Center Pompidou editions, 2015)

Soulages - A Retrospective, shows for the first time collected the collection of the works of the painter, dated from 1948 to 2002, preserved at the Center Pompidou Center. This is an exceptional ensemble composed of twenty-four works out of the twenty-five listed: sixteen paintings, two tars on glass, three walnut and five drawings. The exhibition is completed by three walnut nuts lent by the museum Soulages de Rodez and respectively created in 1949, 1999 and 2003, as well as by works from private collections.

Among the remarkable works of the collection, are exposed several "outrenoirs" of which Painting 202 x 453 cm, June 29, 1979 which marks the major turning point in the career of the artist: "outrenoir", a neologism to explain that from April 1979, the fluid black completely covers the surface, worked to reflect the light, itself treated as a material; two tars on glass made during the summer of 1948 - the tar, this original new material, which leaves on the glass a surprising, mysterious trace -; Painting 159 x 202 cm, August 20, 2015 and Painting 202 x 125 cm, June 19, 2017 , unpublished and recent work, recall that from 2004 the artist abandoned the oil for acrylic.

(Photo courtesy of ADAGP, Paris.)

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