O ur Paris Art Contemporain Evening Sale will be an pre-eminent auction anchored in a museum-quality selection of Post-War and Contemporary Art.
Featuring examples by the greatest masters of the second half of the 20th century, such as Zao Wou-Ki, Pierre Soulages, Günther Uecker, Sam Szafran and Kazuo Shiraga, the auction offers a rare opportunity to acquire historical works from prestigious international private collections.
This June’s edition also includes a spectacular group of Spanish Post-War artist’s such as Antoni Tàpies, Antonio Saura and Manolo Millares and will be preceded by the remarkable ensemble Absolument moderne, Collection Rambaud.
Tour the Exhibition
Zao Wou-Ki’s Magnificent Moroccan Mirage
‘If I had known what I was letting myself in for, I probably would never have bought my first box of pastels. I found myself, in 1958, fresh from abstract art, in front of these little multicoloured sticks like a poverty-stricken child in a Belgian or Swiss delicatessen amidst an abundance of candy and cakes, and I seized them without even thinking. For twenty years I threw myself into this technique, because I was incapable of mastering it.’
1919Birth of Pierre Soulages on December 24th in Rodez. (Image: Pierre Soulages as a child in Aveyron © All Rights Reserved)
1932Discovery of the Roman abbey church Sainte-Foy de Conques during a class visit. "It was she who gave me the decisive shock" he would later say.
1941Montpellier where he frequently visits the Fabre Museum and enrolls at the School of Fine Arts where he meets Colette Llaurens, whom he will marry that same year.
1946Settles in a workshop in Courbevoie, near Paris. The works he sends to the Salon d'Automne are refused.
1947Beginning of his long friendship with Roberta Gonzales and Hans Hartung, whom he meets at the Salon des Surindépendants, a salon without jury or prizes where his works are exhibited. Mocked by the critics, Francis Picabia notices him, however, convinced that one of his works is the "best painting in the Salon". Settles in a new studio rue Schoelcher, in the 14th arrondissement of Paris.
1948Meets Jean-Michel Atlan, Fred Klein and his son Yves. The famous curator of the Museum of Modern Art James Johnson Sweeney visits his studio and buys a painting from him.
1950Soulages paintings are juxtaposed with those of Franz Kline in the acclaimed exhibition Young Painters in the US and France, curated by Leo Castelli at Sidney Janis in New York.
1951The French state acquires the work Peinture 146 x 114 cm, 1950. Louis Carré becomes his agent abroad.
1952Soulages presents 4 small paintings at the 26th Venice Biennale, with the French group shown in the French Pavilion.
First etchings at the Lacourière workshop.
Peinture 65 x 92 cm, 10 novembre 1952
1953Participation in the Younger American Painters exhibition organized by Pat Sweeney at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.
1954First solo exhibition in New York at the gallery of Samuel Kootz, who will soon become his agent in the United-States, devoting 8 exhibitions to him until 1966. Nelson Rockefeller and Alfred H. Barr visit his studio.
1955Participation in the first Documenta in Kassel and in the exhibition The New Decade at MoMA. The Gimpel Fils gallery devotes him in London his first solo show in London. This is the beginning of a collaboration that will last more than 20 years.
1967First retrospective dedicated to Soulages in France at the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris.
1975After the retrospective in Dakar, the exhibition travels to the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisboa, in Madrid, in the Musée Fabre in Montpellier and Mexico's Museu de Arte Moderno
Peinture 73 x 60 cm, 28 août 1975
1979First Outrenoirs. Exhibition "Soulages, Peintures récentes" at the Centre Pompidou.
1987Creation of the stained glass windows of the Abbey of Sainte-Foy de Conques.
1989Retrospective exhibition "Soulages 40 years of painting" in Kassel, Valence and Nantes.
1993-1995Retrospectives in Seoul, Beijing and Taipei. Pierre Encrevé publishes the first volume of the Catalogue Raisonné de l'œuvre peint de Pierre Soulages. A second volume follows in 1996, a third in 1998, a fourth in 2007 and a fifth in 2015.
2001Soulages is the first living artist to exhibit at the State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg.
2005-2007Pierre and Colette Soulages donate 500 paintings to the Communauté d'Agglomération du Grand Rodez for the creation of the Soulages Museum. At the same time, 19 paintings are donated to the Fabre Museum in Montpellier, which builds a new wing to house them.
2008Peinture, 21 July 1958 is exchanged for more than 1.5 million euros at Sotheby's Paris, an absolute record for a work by a French artist during his lifetime.
2009Retrospective at the Centre Pompidou on the occasion of its 90th anniversary.
2014The Soulages Museum in Rodez is inaugurated in the presence of the President of the French Republic.
2017For the first time, a painting by Soulages sells for more than 5 million euros at auction, Peinture 162 x 130 cm, April 14, 1962, trading at 6,120,000 euros against an estimate of between 2,000,000 and 3,000,000.
2019On the occasion of its centenary, the Louvre Museum pays tribute to Soulages by devoting a retrospective to him during his lifetime. Only Chagall and Picasso had had this privilege before him.
“I like the authority of black. It’s an uncompromising color. A violent color, but one that encourages internalization. Both a color and a non-color. When light is reflected on black, it transforms and transmutes it. It opens up a mental field all of its own.”