Pierre Soulages at the Centre Pompidou, Paris
Galery 1 – Level 6
14 October 2009 > 8 March 2010,
With this major retrospective, the Centre Pompidou celebrates the work of Pierre Soulages, indisputably the greatest living French painter.
Peinture 260 x 202 cm, 19 juin 1963
Huile sur toile
Collection Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne,
© Adagp, Paris 2009
The Centre Pompidou staged its first major exhibition of Soulages’s work in 1979, which followed another held at the Musée National d’Art Moderne in 1967, before the Centre opened. Looking back over more than 60 years of activity, this autumn’s exhibition will offer a new reading of the artist’s work, with an emphasis on recent developments in his painting.
The exhibition will bring together more than a hundred major pieces produced between 1946 and the present, from the tremendous walnut-stain works of 1947-1949 to the paintings of the recent years – many of the latter here exhibited for the first time – testimony to the dynamism and diversity of a body of work characterised by ceaseless development.
The opening section of the exhibition will focus on the first, foundational period of Soulages’s work, with a substantial group of works on paper and tar on glass works, followed by a representative selection of paintings from 1950 to 1970, the best-known period of the artist’s career.
In 1979, Pierre Soulages, who had already been painting for three decades, embarked on a new phase with works he called Outrenoir [Ultra-Black], based on the light reflected from a surface entirely covered in black. Using only the latter and working on the relation between black and light, Soulages constructed a pictorial space that – despite his reliance on one single colour – stands opposed to the monochrome in the development of modern art. The exhibition will thoroughly explore this “other painting” in all its diversity.
Peinture 222 x 314 cm, 24 février 2008
Diptyque (2 éléments de 222 x 157 cm, superposés)
Archives Pierre Soulages, Paris
(photo Georges Poncet)
© Adagp, Paris 2009
In the concluding section, the recent large multi-panelled paintings will be displayed hanging freely within the exhibition space.
To accompany this major retrospective a substantial catalogue is to be published by Éditions du Centre Pompidou, who in January 2010 will also organise (in collaboration with the Université François-Rabelais, Tours, and the INHA) a colloquium under the direction of Éric de Chassey.
Images © ADAGP, Paris 2009. All rights reserved.