Pierre Soulages

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© Vincent Cunillère
Pierre Soulages, Peinture 157 x 222 cm, 6 avril 2013
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© Vincent Cunillère
Pierre Soulages, Peinture 181 x 162 cm, 26 janvier 2014
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© Vincent Cunillère
Pierre Soulages, Peinture 202 x 202 cm, 13 septembre 2013
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© Vincent Cunillère
Pierre Soulages, Peinture 293 x 165 cm, 23 decembre 2013
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© Vincent Cunillère
Pierre Soulages, Peinture 296 x 165 cm, 4 janvier 2014
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© Vincent Cunillère
Pierre Soulages, Peinture 309 x 181 cm, 12 décembre 2013
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© Vincent Cunillère
Pierre Soulages, Peinture 99 x 159 cm, 11 octobre 2013
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© Vincent Cunillère
Pierre Soulages, Peinture 102 x 165 cm, 17 juillet 2013
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© Vincent Cunillère
Pierre Soulages, Peinture 128 x 181 cm, 14 février 2012
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© Vincent Cunillère
Pierre Soulages, Peinture 165 x 74 cm, 30 août 2013
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© Vincent Cunillère
Pierre Soulages, Peinture 175 x 222 cm, 23 mai 2013
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© Vincent Cunillère
Pierre Soulages, Peinture 181 x 162 cm, 11 janvier 2014
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Private Collection
Pierre Soulages, Peinture 130 x 89 cm, 8 juin 1959
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Private Collection
Pierre Soulages, Peinture 195 x 130 cm, 2 juin 1953
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National Gallery of Art
Pierre Soulages, Peinture 195 x 130 cm, 1955
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Private Collection
Pierre Soulages, Peinture 46 x 33 cm, 16 juin 1953
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Private Collection
Pierre Soulages, Peinture 92 x 65 cm, 16 decembre 1955
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Private Collection
Pierre Soulages, Peinture 202 x 159 cm, 18 octobre 1967
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Private Collection
Pierre Soulages, Peinture 202 x 143 cm, 25 mai 1967
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The name Pierre Soulages may not be familiar to current art aficionados, but a half century ago, the French painter exhibited regularly in New York at such places as the Betty Parsons Gallery, the Guggenheim and MoMA. His career, current and past, is being revisited in this engaging two-gallery survey uptown that’s certainly worth a look if you’re interested in rediscovering a piece of postwar art history.

Now 94, Soulages was part of a generation of European artists largely overshadowed by the Abstract Expressionists across the Atlantic. Soulages’s broad, painterly strokes appear far more restrained alongside Franz Kline’s, for instance, but then Soulages was more interested in methodological rigor than in psychological Sturm und Drang.

Indeed, the word that best sums up Soulages’s engagement with gestural abstraction is precision, a quality evidenced in his early work by cleanly delineated, zigzagging strokes—applied, it would seem, by something like a spackling knife. As his work evolved toward all-black compositions, brush marks gave way to gouges made in thick, plasterlike layers of acrylic.

This idea of the painting surface as a form in its own right arguably differentiated the Continental abstractionists from their AbEx counterparts. And while Soulages’s approach may seem more tempered than, say, the slashed canvases of Lucio Fontana, the results are surprisingly fresh. They’re arguably part of a important historical moment that created a bridge between painting and Conceptual Art.—Howard Halle

Event phone: 212-772-2004
Event website: http://dominique-levy.com
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