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Pierre Soulages

Painting, 130.2 x 162.5 cm, July 27, 1956


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


Painting, 130.2 x 162.5 cm, July 27, 1956




Oil on canvas


130.2 x 162.5 cm


Purchase, Horsley and Annie Townsend Bequest, inv. 1960.1233


Western Art

Born in Rodez, a small city in the south of France, Pierre Soulages, essentially a self-taught artist, was first inspired by the prehistoric and Romanesque art of his region. He took up painting seriously when he moved to Paris in 1946, having been introduced to abstract art some time earlier by Sonia Delaunay. The following year, he made his first non-figurative works, with black – or its near equivalent – as an essential element. This painting provides a striking contrast between black patterns reminiscent of Japanese calligraphy and the controlled treatment of the lighter background. Typical of his production during the mid-1950s, the artist would reduce his palette even more in subsequent years, banishing all colours except black. Soulages believed that the more limited the means, the stronger the expression.

© Pierre Soulages / SOCAN (2024)

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