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Pierre Soulages in his studio, Paris 2015. Photo: Vincent Cunillère
Pierre Soulages in his studio, Paris 2015. Photo: Vincent Cunillère

Pierre Soulages, born 1919 in Rodez, France, is recognised as one of the major figures of abstract art and the greatest painter of the contemporary French art scene. Influenced as a youth by Celtic carvings in the local museum and by the Romanesque art and architecture of the surrounding region, he began to take an interest in art. He went to Paris in 1938, where he saw the exhibitions of Picasso and Cézanne, and briefly studied at the École des Beaux-Arts. Returning back to his hometown after his stay in Paris, he met Sonia Delaunay, with whom he discovered abstract art. In 1946, after the war, he moved again to Paris, where he met artists like Domela, Picabia, Hartung und Léger and successfully exhibited in the Salon of the Surindépendants the next year. In 1948 he took part in the pioneering exhibition Französische abstrakte Malerei ("French Abstract Painting"), which was shown in Stuttgart, Hamburg, Duesseldorf and beyond. He was the youngest of a group of masters of abstract art, including such names as Kupka, Domela and Herbin. His participation in documenta 1 (1955), documenta 2 (1959) and documenta 3 (1964) brought him recognition in artistic and critical circles.

In 1979, Soulages, who had already been painting for three decades, embarked on a new phase with works he called Outrenoir, based on the light reflected from a surface entirely covered in black. Using only black and working on the relation between black and light, Pierre Soulages constructed a pictorial space that – despite his reliance on one single colour - stands opposed to the monochrome in the development of modern art. Self-taught and independent of any artistic movement, he explored the painter's means of expression and developed his own non-descriptive and poetic style. Pierre Soulages lives and works in Sète and Paris. In May 2014, the Musée Pierre Soulageswas opened in his home town of Rodez.

Exhibitions

Publications

Exhibitions

Solo exhibitions
2020
Soulage. Malerei 1946-2019

Museum Frieder Burda, Baden Baden, Germany

2019
Pierre Soulages: Beyond Black

Alisan Fine Arts Central, Central, Hong Kong

2019
Pierre Soulages, un musée imaginaire

Musée Fenaille, Rodez, France

2019
Soulages at the Louvre

Retrospective, Musée du Louvre, Pyramide, Paris, France

2019
Pierre Soulages

Centre Pompidou, Paris, France

2018
Pierre Soulages. PEINTURE

Galerie Karsten Greve, Cologne, Germany

2018
Pierre Soulages - Noir / Lumière

Museum Ludwig im Deutschherrenhaus, Koblenz, Germany

2016
Soulages. Papiers

Musée Picasso, Antibes, France

2016
Noir, c'est noir? Les outrenoirs de Pierre Soulages

EPFL, Espace d'expérimentation muséale ArtLab, Lausanne, Switzerland

2016
Pierre Soulages. Le noir

Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany

2015
SOULAGES. Peintures 2013 – 2015

Galerie Karsten Greve, Paris, France

2014
Pierre Soulages New Paintings

Galerie Perrotin & Dominique Lévy Gallery, New York, NY, USA

2014
Pierre Soulages’ Outrenoir Paintings. European Museums and Foundations

Museum Pierre Soulages, Rodez, France (Inauguration exhibition on the occasion of the opening of the Pierre Soulages Museum)

2013
Soulages XXIe siècle

Villa Medici, Rome, Italy

2012
Pierre Soulages. XXIe siècle

Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon, France

2011
Chefs-d'œuvre modernes et contemporains

Les Abattoirs de Toulouse, Toulouse, France

2011
Accrochage

Galerie Boisserée, Cologne, Germany

2011
Schwarz-Weiss

KUNSTKABINETT Regensburg, Germany

Group exhibitions
2020
Identities

Galerie Karsten Greve AG, St. Moritz, Switzerland

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2019
The New World of Charlotte Perriand

Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, France

2017
Spring Show

Galerie Karsten Greve AG, St. Moritz, Switzerland

2017
Leidenschaft. Passion – Im Fokus: Pierre Soulages

Museum Art Plus, Donaueschingen, Germany

2016
Summer Show

Galerie Karsten Greve AG, St. Moritz, Switzerland

2016
Winter Accrochage

Galerie Karsten Greve AG, St. Moritz, Switzerland

2015
Accrochage

Galerie Karsten Greve AG, St. Moritz, Switzerland

2015
Beyond Horizon. Reflection on the horizontal line

Galerie Karsten Greve, Paris, France

2013
Adventures of truth - Painting and philosophy

Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France

2013
Accrochage

Galerie Karsten Greve AG, St. Moritz, Switzerland

2012
Group Show

de Sarthe Gallery, Paradise Valley, AZ, USA

2012
Art of Another Kind: International Abstraction and the Guggenheim, 1949 – 1960

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY, USA

2012
Extra Large - Œuvres Monumentales De La Collection Du Centre Pompidou à Monaco

Grimaldi Forum Monaco, Monaco

2012
L'Art en Guerre, France 1938 - 1947 - De Picasso a Dubuffet

Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France

2011
Peinture non-figurative de la Seconde École de Paris (1946 - 1962)

Musée Rath, Geneva, Switzerland

2011
Focus: Abstraktion. Werke Aus Der Sammlung Essl

Essl Museum – Kunst der Gegenwart, Klosterneuburg, Austria

2011
50 artists, a collection

Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul-Vence, France

2011
Les Sujets de l’Abstraction (1946 – 1962). 101 masterpieces from the Gandur Foundation for Art Geneva

Musée Fabre, Montpellier, France

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