Pierre Soulages – Black as a source of light

“[Black is] both a colour and a non-colour. When light is reflected on black, it transforms and transmutes it. It opens up a mental field all of its own.”


Black color has served an endless inspiration for numerous avant-garde fashion designers with biggest names of Yojhi Yamamoto and Ann Demeulemeester, who have always found this color much deeper and poetic than any other one. The role and never changing popularity of black in fashion is understandable, whilst it’s not that easy to identify a contemporary artist, that would celebrate deep darkness of that color, making it the main subject of their work.
A French artist Pierre Soulages (born 1919) uses black, usually associated with darkness in order to create a flow of light on his canvases. With such an unusual approach, which has been internationally renowned, Soulages has made it to exhibit in the best galleries in the world including MOMA and Tate and also having a museum dedicated to his work in his hometown of Rodez.
Starting his career of a painter at 1940, he has been using that color in his expressive abstractions, usually made using heavy brushstrokes creating nonrepresentational, architectonic forms in order to investigate the relations of light and dark. His expressive works gained a big popularity, representing the genre of postwar abstraction and often being defined as “action painting”.
Often called as “the France greatest living artist”, Soulages in his age of 94 still keeps his art going and making more investigations on new ways of capturing light trough dark.

Text: Tatiana Makrinova

Categories: Art