Dramatic, Monolithic Paintings by Pierre Soulages

A large horizontal painting in textured blackPeinture 130 x 390cm, 6 Aout 2012, acrylic on wood board

Pierre Soulages lives and works in Sète and Paris, France. Throughout his career, Soulages has been known for painting, engraving, and sculpture – his recent works seem to combine all three disciplines in dramatic, monolithic paintings.

A painting made with heavy black acrylic paintPeinture, 202 x 159 cm, 19 Octobre 2013, acrylic on canvas


I adore Soulages’ recent series of heavy, black gallery-sized paintings. These hard abstractions call to mind Angelika Merkul’s wax works, or the rubberized sculptures of Monica Bovicini. The paintings give themselves to interpretations both dark and geological – covered in glossy black material, the deep cuts and scrapes made by the artist take on the appearance of deep canyons and gorges in an aerial view.


It’s also really interesting seeing all these works installed next to each other in a gallery space. The similarities in color and dimensions seem to reinforce the importance of the subtle marks left on each work, turning them into a visual code that the viewer must work to understand.  

A painting in black acrylic with textural elementsPeinture 128 x 181 cm, 14 Fevrier 2012, acrylic on canvas

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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