Pierre Soulages: Outrenoir
Lévy Gorvy, Hong Kong
July 7 - September 10, 2020
The exhibition Pierre Soulages: Outrenoir (2020) in Hong Kong continued the global celebration of the artist’s 100th birthday, following solo survey exhibitions in New York at Lévy Gorvy and in Paris at the Musée du Louvre—only the third time in the museum’s history that the Salon Carré has been devoted entirely to the presentation of work by a single living artist after Pablo Picasso and Marc Chagall. Pierre Soulages: Outrenoir was the first exhibition in Hong Kong organized with Soulages.
Applying dense layers of pigment to his Outrenoir works, Soulages treats black as a material—a conductor of light and dark—rather than as a color to be used in the service of representation. As the artist declared: “I love the authority of black, its gravity, its obviousness, its radicalism. Its potent power of contrast gives an intense presence to all colors, and when it lights up the darkest of them, it endows them with a dark grandeur. Black has unsuspected possibilities and, attentive to what I do not know, I set out to find them.”
Pierre Soulages: Outrenoir featured works created as recently as 2020, a testament to Soulages continuous experimentation. Each canvas differed radically in form and texture, creating dramatic optical interplays through their reflection and absorption of light. Exhibited for the first time, Peinture 102 x 165 cm, 15 janvier 2020, was the artist’s first use of a blue hue together with black pigment in over a decade, marking both an innovation as well as a revisitation of his past practice.