Cookie Consent by Cookie Consent by TermsFeed
 
Bradshaw Foundation Cave Art Paintings News
Bradshaw Foundation Cave Art Paintings News
Bradshaw Foundation Cave Art Paintings News
Bradshaw Foundation - Latest News
Louvre exhibition with roots in cave art
Tuesday 03 December 2019

An article by Nina Siegal on nytimes.com - Black Is Still the Only Color for Pierre Soulages - reports on the forthcoming exhibition at the Louvre to celebrate the French painter who gained inspiration from, inter alia, prehistoric cave art and ancient artifacts.

Pierre Soulages artist exhibition Louvre France French painter prehistoric cave art ancient artifacts
'Brou de noix' (1946). Image: Archives Soulages/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris. Mr. Soulages at home in Sete, France. Image: Sandra Mehl for The New York Times

Almost at 100 years of age, the French artist Pierre Soulages lives and works overlooking the Mediterranean. As an artist, he favors simplicity in his lifelong quest to create a profound body of work using as little color as possible. For more than 70 years, he has painted primarily in black. Since 1979, he has worked exclusively in black, creating a series of works he calls “outrenoir,” or “beyond black.”

Article continues below
Article continues

For those unfamiliar with his work, it might be hard to imagine hundreds of variations of paintings in a single color, but for Mr. Soulages, there is no other color. “Black is never the same because light changes it,” he said, in French, through an interpreter. “There are nuances between the blacks. I paint with black but I’m working with light. I’m really working with the light more than with the paint.”

Pierre Soulages artist exhibition Louvre France French painter prehistoric cave art ancient artifacts
Rock art in the Salon Noir of the Cave of Niaux, south-western France. The black-outlined style is typical of the Magdalenian period, between 17,000 and 11,000 years ago

This December, the Louvre will celebrate Mr. Soulages’s centennial birthday with the exhibition “Soulages at the Louvre,” featuring about 20 works from 1946 to 2019. Alfred Pacquement, a co-curator of the exhibition, explains that Mr. Soulages is only the third contemporary artist in history to receive a solo exhibition at the Louvre. The other two were Pablo Picasso and Marc Chagall.

As a young man, he was fascinated with archaeology, regularly visiting the local natural history museum, the Musée Fenaille, and its collection of nearly 5,000-year-old stone monoliths. Prehistoric artifacts Mr. Soulages found at age 16 or 17 during an archaeological excavation of a burial chamber from the Neolithic period are part of the museum’s permanent collection. On a visit in October, the museum was hosting the exhibition “Pierre Soulages: an Imaginary Museum,” featuring 50 artworks of prehistoric, cave art and ancient artifacts from French collections that were influential to Mr. Soulages, including his own finds.

Historically, it’s logical to connect Mr. Soulages to American Abstract Expressionists such as Franz Kline and Rothko, or to monochromatic artists like Yves Klein (who invented his own blue and painted in just that color) or Robert Ryman (who painted only in white) or to harken back to Kazimir Malevich’s revolutionary 1915 “Black Square,” which marked the birth of pure abstraction.

But Mr. Soulages explains that the origins of his own paintings lay in more primal forms of art, like cave painting, because when he stands before them, they “overwhelm” him. That is the experience he wants his own art to have on the viewer.

Soulages at the Louvre: Dec 11 through March 9 at the Musée du Louvre, Paris.

click here to read more about contemporary artists inspired by prehistoric rock art

click here to read more about the cave art of Niaux

Comment
Cave Painting
Protecting Utyetye rock art
by Bradshaw Foundation
Monday 12 July 2021
A lockdown obsession with cave paintings
by Bradshaw Foundation
Monday 24 May 2021
What Sulawesi cave art reveals
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 20 April 2021
Cosquer cave replica underway
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 01 April 2021
Oldest date for Aboriginal rock art
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 23 February 2021
Oldest cave painting found in Indonesia
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 14 January 2021
Chauvet discovered 26 years ago today
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 18 December 2020
Response to 'discovery' claims in Colombia
by Bradshaw Foundation
Sunday 06 December 2020
Drug use and human creativity
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 26 November 2020
Cave art discovered in Thailand
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 07 October 2020
The decorated sea caves of Norway
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 24 September 2020
Cave art found in Thailand
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 13 August 2020
Testing the DNA of cave art
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 19 June 2020
Museo de Altamira opens today
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 09 June 2020
The Final Passage film FAQs 7
by Bradshaw Foundation
Saturday 06 June 2020
The Final Passage film FAQs 6
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 03 June 2020
Follow the Bradshaw Foundation on social media for news & updates
Follow the Bradshaw Foundation
on social media for news & updates
Follow the Bradshaw Foundation on social media for news & updates
Follow the Bradshaw Foundation
on social media for news & updates
If you have enjoyed visiting this website
please consider adding a link © Bradshaw Foundation
 
 
ROCK ART NETWORK
Rock Art Network Bradshaw Foundation Getty Conservation Institute
CAVE PAINTINGS
Protecting Utyetye rock art
by Bradshaw Foundation
Monday 12 July 2021
A lockdown obsession with cave paintings
by Bradshaw Foundation
Monday 24 May 2021
What Sulawesi cave art reveals
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 20 April 2021
Cosquer cave replica underway
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 01 April 2021
Oldest date for Aboriginal rock art
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 23 February 2021
Oldest cave painting found in Indonesia
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 14 January 2021
Chauvet discovered 26 years ago today
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 18 December 2020
Response to 'discovery' claims in Colombia
by Bradshaw Foundation
Sunday 06 December 2020
Drug use and human creativity
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 26 November 2020
Cave art discovered in Thailand
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 07 October 2020
The decorated sea caves of Norway
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 24 September 2020
Cave art found in Thailand
by Bradshaw Foundation
Thursday 13 August 2020
Testing the DNA of cave art
by Bradshaw Foundation
Friday 19 June 2020
Museo de Altamira opens today
by Bradshaw Foundation
Tuesday 09 June 2020
The Final Passage film FAQs 7
by Bradshaw Foundation
Saturday 06 June 2020
The Final Passage film FAQs 6
by Bradshaw Foundation
Wednesday 03 June 2020
Bradshaw Foundation Donate Friends
Support our work & become a
Friend of the Foundation
 
 
Bradshaw Foundation Facebook
 
Bradshaw Foundation YouTube
Bradshaw Foundation iShop Shop Store
Bradshaw Foundation iShop Shop Store
Bradshaw Foundation iShop Shop Store