The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Man in black: Soulages gets Louvre tribute for 100th birthday
Installation view. 2019, Salon carré. © Musée du Louvre / Antoine Mongodin © ADAGP, Paris 2019

PARIS (AFP).- They call him art's man in black. Artist Pierre Soulages has painted primarily in black for eight decades -- foreswearing all other colours since 1979.

Now the Louvre museum in Paris is marking his 100th birthday with a rare tribute to a living artist.

Twenty works -- out of more than 1,700 canvasses he has produced over his long career -- will be shown in a special three-month show, which opens Wednesday.

The French master, still working despite turning 100 on Christmas Eve, may yet make the opening in the face of a national strike which has paralysed France's rail network.

The Pompidou Centre in Paris, which staged a huge Soulages retrospective in 2009, is also getting in on the celebrations by showing 14 of its collection of 25 paintings.

Having worked mostly in black since 1946, Soulages began his voyage to the dark heart of the colour in 1979 with a series of paintings called "outrenoir", or beyond black.

Since then, no other colour has appeared on his canvasses.

Naturally, he also dresses in black.

"Black is never the same because the light is always changing it," Soulages told AFP in his studio earlier this year.

Dark obsession
He described black as "a very active colour" that "lights up when you put it next to a dark colour".

"Black isn't the colour of mourning, white is," he said in his spotless atelier in the Mediterranean town of Sete.

Soulages is France's most celebrated and expensive artist, with one of his black canvasses selling for 9.6 million euros ($10.5 million) at auction in Paris last month.

He is also the first living painter ever to be exhibited at the Hermitage museum in Saint Petersburg.

Hailed as "the world's greatest living artist" by former French president Francois Hollande, Soulages admits to being a fierce perfectionist.

If a painting is not 100 percent satisfactory, it will never see the light of day. "I burn the canvas outside. If it is mediocre, it goes," he told AFP.

The Louvre exhibition will trace the development of Soulages's work from the end of World War II to the present day.

His principal technique involves scraping, digging and etching thick layers of paint with rubber spoons or tiny rakes to create different textures that absorb or reject light, subtly changing the monotonous black.

Born in 1919 in Rodez, southern France -- where a museum is now dedicated to his work -- even as a child he was obsessed with black.

Soulages was fascinated by the dark sheen of ink, making his mother laugh at his black "snow".

With all his "black marks on paper", his mother would tease him that he "was already mourning her death", he said.

He showed his first works in 1947 and seven years later, at the age of 33, he exhibited at the Venice Biennale.

His first solo New York exhibition followed two years later.

Today he has around 230 pieces in museums around the world, including the Guggenheim in New York and London's Tate Modern.

© Agence France-Presse

Today's News

December 11, 2019

Man in black: Soulages gets Louvre tribute for 100th birthday

Banana-eating performance artist was 'hungry'

Vero Beach Museum of Art appoints new Museum Art School Manager

'It must have been love' Roxette singer dies aged 61

Collection gift expands Saint Louis Art Museum's holdings of American modernism

Princess Diana's 'Travolta' dress brushed off at auction

The Holy Family, separated and caged, in church protest

Revered by Aztecs, Mexican hairless dog in style again in hipster era

Exhibition of new works by Richard Tuttle on view at Pace Gallery

Chris Newth named Associate Director for Collections and Exhibitions at the Princeton University Art Museum

Ansel Adams and The American West Photographs from the Center for Creative Photograohy total: $1,098,250

Rare whiskey collection expected to fetch $10 million at auction

Jacqueline de Jong's first solo exhibition in the UK on view at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery

Dozens of world records toppled in $9.4M Heritage Sports Card Auction

Gibbes Museum of Art announces winner of 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art

The New Orleans Museum of Art exhibits its Latter-Schlesinger Collection of Portrait Miniatures

Christie's Handbags x HYPE totals $2.1 million with bidding from 22 countries

Great day for losers: Wimpy Kid author gets French medal

Panned 'Joan of Arc' film wins top French prize

Christmas in Iceland means a 'flood' of books under the tree

Turkey court keeps renowned philanthropist in jail

Eritrean artists profit from peace to make their mark on Ethiopia

Paris Opera ballet dancers hang up shoes in pension-reform protest

Interior Design Trends to Watch for in 2020

Want to Know How Art Collectors Take Care of their Priceless Collections? Read This!

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

sa gaming free credit

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful