Pierre Soulages Pierre Soulages


India ink on card on canvas 87 x…

Pierre Soulages

Pierre Soulages Untitled 1961 India ink on card on canvas 87 x 66 cm. Framed. Signed 'Soulages'. - With studio and slight traces of age. The present work is registered in the artist's archive. We would like to thank Colette Soulages, Sète, for helpful information. Provenance Galerie de France, Paris; Private collection, North Rhine-Westphalia Exhibitions Paris 1963 (Galerie de France), Soulages, peintures sur papier 1946-1963, exhib. cat. no p. with pl. 10 Copenhagen 1963 (Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek), Soulages, malerier og raderinger Literature Editions Ides et Calendes (ed.), Soulages, Neuchâtel 1972, cat. no. 83, p. 131 with illus. Pierre Soulages' abstract art is indebted to the desire for the deepest possible painterly and spiritual intensity. He starts from what he has experienced and seen and brings it to the picture surface with powerful conciseness. His painting is the expression of an inner confrontation that the artist himself only becomes aware of after the painting process has been completed. "What I do teaches me about what I am looking for. Painting is always preceded by reflection." (quoted from: Pierre Soulages, exhib. cat. Kestner-Gesellschaft Hanover 1960/61, p.9). An early starting point was the reduced depiction of bare trees in winter, which prepared the way for the linear contrasts of light and dark in his later work. Around 1946, the artist turned away from figurative depictions altogether. Over the years, the solid graphic networks of lines that now emerge become freer and increasingly play with the contrast between density and permeability. From the end of the 1950s, black color bars covered the picture ground in flowing gestural sweeps, sometimes overlapping and repeatedly allowing the light background to shine through in transparent and semi-transparent sections. The dynamics that determine the painting process become a perfect expression of meditative calm in the finished work. The work presented here is dedicated to the greatest possible contrast between the deepest black and the lightest, unpainted areas, creating a balanced interplay of drama and lightness.


Pierre Soulages

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