At the Soulages, XXIe Siècle exhibition. Courtesy of the Musée des Beaux Arts de Lyon.


LYON - On Monday the 19th of November, more than 400 guests gathered in the galleries of the Musée des Beaux Arts de Lyon, among 25 works by Pierre Soulages, whose black and white palette created a ghostly atmosphere.

Co-organised by Sotheby’s Paris and the financial company Edmond de Rothschild, the private event celebrated the recent opening of the Musée de Lyon’s exhibition, Soulages, XXIe Siècle. The show reveals for the first time recent works by the 92-year-old French artist, for whom Sotheby’s Paris holds the worldwide record at auction for a painting – €2.3 million in May 2011.

Painting 181 x 405 cm, 12 April 2012, polyptich (5 elements 181 x 81 cm). Courtesy of ADAGP. Photo by Vincent Cunillère.


The monumental pieces were created from 1999 onwards in his Paris studio. Their simple but strong composition was conceived by the artist himself. Black is a colour that has fascinated the artist since his 1979 ‘Outrenoir’ series for being at once a “colour and a non-colour.” These paintings seem uniform, but are in fact a combination of contrasting texture. In some of these recent paintings, a new radical colour bursts in: white.

More than just an Abstract painter, Pierre Soulages is a conceptual artist exploring the potential of the extremes. He does this with elegance and audacity.

Soulages XXIe Siècle runs at the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon, until 28th January 2013.


Jeanne Calmont is a specialist in the Contemporary Art Department, Sotheby’s Paris

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