Pierre Soulages

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Pierre Soulages is a French painter, engraver, and sculptor. In 2014 French President Francois Hollande described him as "the world's greatest living artist."


"PARIS — Pierre Soulages, 94, [in 2014] still paints every day on the floor of his atelier in the Latin Quarter here, raking heavy black pigment across large canvases in search of a particular onyx gleam that he has termed “outrenoir,” or beyond black. This color is his abstract art signature, similar to what blue was for Yves Klein or white for Robert Ryman.

“Black has been fundamental for me since childhood,” said Mr. Soulages, who, in an interview at his studio, shared a story from when he was a boy of 6 and his older sister found him drawing thick black lines in ink with a brush.

“What are you making, my little Pierre?” she asked. His reply: Snow.

Today Mr. Soulages is, at least in financial terms, the most successful living artist in France. His average auction price has increased by more than 500 percent since 2003, and the paintings he made in the 1950s and ’60s routinely fetch between $1 million and $4 million, according to artprice.com. His 2009 retrospective at the Pompidou Center, which attracted over 500,000 visitors, was the largest show the museum has ever devoted to a living artist.
(Continued at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/21/arts/international/pierre-soulages-master-of-black-still-going-strong.html?_r=0)
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Andrea Mancarella

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