“I think I make paintings so that those who look at them, myself like everybody else,
can find themselves in front of them, alone with themselves,” Pierre Soulages
In 1979 after three decades as an internationally successful artist, Soulages embarked upon a new type of painting. Having always been interested in light he began to make paintings which were totally black. These new works he described as Outre Noir (beyond black). With contrasting areas of matt and gloss paint and ridges and gashes across their surface, these paintings draw focus on light’s reflection – changing with the light conditions and with the position of the viewer in front of the painting.
Now 90 years old, Pierre Soulages has been recently honoured by having a painting exhibited in the Louvre and a major retrospective of his work at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, currently on tour in Mexico, before heading to Berlin in the autumn. In Paris the retrospective was seen by over 500,000 people, making it the 4th most visited exhibition in the history of the Pompidou (after Dali, Matisse and Kandinsky), an astounding feat for an abstract minimalist painter. [Extract : Bernard Jacobson Gallery]