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Pierre Soulages

Painting, 222 x 157 cm, August 24, 1979


Pierre Soulages
Rodez, France, 1919 – Nîmes, France, 2022


Painting, 222 x 157 cm, August 24, 1979




Oil on canvas


243.8 x 154.9 cm


Gift of the Louise and Bernard Lamarre family, inv. 2006.115


International Contemporary Art

The abstract painter Pierre Soulages made it a habit to title his works with only their dimensions and date of completion. He also insists that they not be framed, but simply be mounted on stretchers, which he often makes himself. The broad swaths of paint he brushes over the canvas enable him to combine contour, surface, colour and medium at one and the same time. According to Soulages, 1979 marked a break with his previous practice through the “invention” of what he called “black light,” or “beyond black,” that is, the use of black paint to produce light through reflection. As he has said: “Beyond black: meaning reflected light, transmuted by black. Beyond black: a black that, by ceasing to be black, emits light, a secret light. Beyond black: a mental space that is different from mere black.”

© Pierre Soulages / SOCAN (2024)

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