This work stands out for its monumental scale and its solid, sweeping strokes, in the form of broad black bands on the canvas. Here, the line asserts its architectural power and establishes a subtle dialogue with the white of the canvas behind. Far from any simplistic symbolism, the painter explores the visual qualities of black, its texture, contrasts and capacity to bring out the light. This dialogue of light with opaque, monolithic forms is a concrete reference to the register of architecture, which we know was of decisive importance in Pierre Soulages’ career.
Pierre Soulages (1919)
The French painter and engraver Pierre Soulages is best known for his radically abstract use of black paint, which he terms noir-lumière (“black light”) or outrenoir (“ultrablack”). Soulages is one of the last remaining major figures of modern art.