A Centenary Celebration for Post-War Abstraction Master Pierre Soulages
Why We Recommend it
This is a unique opportunity to see six masterworks by “the painter of black” and sculptor Pierre Soulages, one of France’s most important artists whose career spans over seven decades.
“My instrument is not black but the light reflected from the black.”
French artist Pierre Soulages (b. 1919) is known as a master of post-war abstraction and leader of Tachisme (the French counterpart to Action painting in the United States), and renowned for his ‘endlessly black’ paintings.
Presented by Alisan Fine Arts as part of The French May Arts Festival, Beyond Black is the gallery’s first ever solo exhibition for Pierre Soulages in Hong Kong. On show will be six works from Soulages’ iconic Outrenoir series, which he has been working on since 1979.
Outrenoir, a term Soulages also uses to define his practice as a whole, does not have a direct translation into English, but its closest meaning is ‘beyond black.’ This series is known for its monochrome paintings and their effect of bottomless depth created by the interplay of texture and light. In order to create these works, Soulages starts by applying various layers of paint, then manipulating the tarry surface into furrows and planes through the use of self-made tools, including brushes, rollers and spatulas, and objects such as spoons and bits of rubber. In recent years he has shifted his focus on the interplay between regions of glossy and matte, exploring the densities and hardness of pigments within the spectrum of black.