Soulages, Pierre

Soulages, Pierre, 1919–, French abstract painter. Largely self-taught, he has been influenced by the carved prehistoric standing stones, Romanesque sculptures, and other art found where he was raised. He began painting seriously in 1946, mainly using walnut stain and oil, with with some color and increasing black paint into 1970s. Since 1979, his canvases have been painted exclusively in heavily textured, gestural black—paintings he calls “outrenoir” [beyond black]. Though his paintings strongly resemble the works of abstract expressionism, he denies a connection, seeing those works as expressing the artists' emotions and his as seeking to make viewers experience their own emotions through them. Soulages is also a printmaker, and has created many technically inventive lithographs and etchings.

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