© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019

Peinture 3 avril 1955, 1955

Pierre Soulages (*1919, FRA)

Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 130 x 162 cm

about the work

The deep black paint, the large picture format and the maximum abstraction of the visual are characteristic of the French painter Pierre Soulages. The black tracks of paint, which cover almost the entire canvas and allow only a few bright sections of the background to break through follow his concerted composition. Different arrangements and superimpositions of black bars are combined to create a spatial structure. Despite this, the painter repeatedly emphasises his main focus is on the act of painting and the intellectual discussion of what has been created only follows afterwards. Accordingly, the special feature of Soulages‘ painting is how he deals with the paint itself, which he applies impasto and works on the canvas using various painting tools. In addition to his painting, his extensive graphic print work also exemplifies the artist’s approach. He works mainly with black paint and experiments with various acids in order to extract the individual nuances of the paint. In 1947, Soulages achieved national recognition by participating in the exhibition of the Salon des Surindépendants in France. He also appeared increasingly as an artist on the international stage. In 1949, he exhibited together with the artists of the Zen 49 group, established contact with the New York School during a trip to the United States in 1957 and took part in the documenta exhibition in 1955, 1959 and 1964. His work from the Reinhard Ernst collection was part of the artist’s first gallery exhibition in New York in May 1955. At this exhibition, all the exhibits were sold on the very first day, which demonstrates how highly appreciated this artist is in other countries. Despite his great age, Pierre Soulages continues to work in Paris and Sète in the south of France.

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