Soulages, master of the “outrenoir”


« Pierre Soulages, the immense artist who taught us to see the light in the dark leaves us a legacy of a profoundly renewed visual imagination.,
thus Rima Abdul Malak, Minister of Culture, paid tribute to him.
Brush in hand until the last day, he is the undisputed master of black painting, of radical abstraction in the service of matter and light.
ARTIST The Studio BF would like to salute this major artist, one of the last great figures of modern art.
« We who exist through color consider black to be one in its own right. We would have loved the challenge of an offbeat, almost monochrome collection based on a piece of Soulages. An inaccessible dream... The capture of light is dazzling, the material so powerful. The thicknesses, the furrows… It feels like you have your hands in it. After visits to the Rodez museum and the Sainte-Foy abbey church in Conques, the highlight was the 2009-2010 retrospective at Beaubourg Paris: polyptychs in immense formats suspended in space. A punchy exhibition, an unforgettable aesthetic emotion.” B.F.
Some painters contributing to the Art-à-Porter brand ARTIST have humbly shared their testimonies. Warm words like color to evoke this “other painting” in all its diversity. With him, black became much more than a color: a deep universe, a limitless landscape.
“Of course, the longevity of his work, his international recognition, his extremely brilliant trajectory are fascinating. First of all, the radicality of an artistic approach impresses me. What constancy to follow your path without repeating yourself, or getting lost in anecdote! And finally, the sobriety of the means used. Soulages repeated this axiom “The more limited the means, the stronger the expression”. It's always the same question for an artist: get to the essential! ".
Anne Damesin -
« Soulages is a model for me in many ways.
He is first and foremost a painter of rigor, with a well-established work protocol that he respects in each of his works to get to the essential. No superfluity, temptation of decorative elements, ease, he puts everything on the gesture. It is a model of simplicity, sobriety, economy of means, going so far as to “deprive” oneself of color.
Painter of paradox too: choosing black to speak of light, what a genius idea! »
Anne Gerard -
I think I understood better what abstraction meant, moved and fascinated by his black wineskins exhibited at Beaubourg.
He had invented this word to designate, as he put it, “another country, another mental field than that of the simple black.”
Unheard of were his ability to catch the light, and his art of taming it to illuminate the darkest color with incredible power to make it come alive.
Anne Paillard
« Soulages is one of the painters who touches me the most with Tapiès and He looked at notement.
Soulages for me, it is the infinite, the sublime.
I don't just look at his painting, I pass through it, I dive into the immensity of his black celestial spaces. Her painting engulfs me.
And Soulages it is vibrations, light, force and vital energy.”
Catherine Cazau -
“It’s a bit like Yves Klein’s Blue, it’s still exceptional to discover a color by naming it, while everyone sees it. The artist who knew how to bring light into the dark knew how to express his art like no other”.
Isabelle HERVÉ -
During his lifetime, a magnificent exhibition dedicated to him at the Louvre on the occasion of his centenary.
The child who still knew nothing about the 102 years of his existence visited the Romanesque abbey one day, on a school trip: the shock of Conques!
“It was there, I can say it, that I decided at a very young age that art would be the most important thing in my life”,
he said in an interview at the Bibliothèque nationale de Francein 2001.
With master glassmaker Jean-Dominique Fleury, years later he created the 104 world-famous stained glass windows (1986-1994).
It distributes opacity and transparency to vary light intensities depending on the time of day.
Soulages is not all black. Beyond Conques, he was impressed by the cave art, from which he draws his colors. Muted colors, from ocher to black, including red or more or less strong browns.
From the outset, his works are abstract.
In his paintings from the 1950s and 1970s, he contrasts black shapes with colored backgrounds, then he makes the colors of the background appear by scraping off the black. He practices engraving, printmaking, lithography, screen printing with more vibrant colors: vermilion red, bright yellow, and intense and luminous blues.
It was in 1979 that Pierre Soulages approached the new phase of his work and played with the material of black paint. He works it in relief, shiny or matte. Reflected light produces color changes. By focusing on this unique pigment and on the relationship of black to light, he designs a pictorial space which, despite the use of a single color, is the opposite of monochrome between calm and vibrations.
"Some mornings, it is silver gray. At other times, capturing the reflections of the sea, it is blue. At other times, it takes on tones of coppery brown... One day, I even saw it green : there had been a storm and a sunburn on the trees..."
Pierre Soulages
ARTIST, located in southern Burgundy, concludes this article dedicated to this giant of the contemporary scene.
(1919 – 2022) in the words of the writer and poet native of Creusot in Saône-et-Loire:
                                        “Soulages is more than a painter”
                           Christian Bobin " Peter, " Oct. 2019 Ed. Gallimard


Publié par Viviane VGM, Rédactrice du Magazine Artist La marque.

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