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Pierre Soulages is considered a major figure of post-war European abstraction, alongside Hans Hartung, Georges Mathieu, Serge Poliakoff, and Jean-Paul Riopelle. He’s particularly renowned for his “outrenoir” (“beyond black”) series of paintings, which feature matte and glossy black fields interrupted by ridges, scores, and gashes; the artist is interested in how black paint absorbs and reflects light. Since making his gallery debut in 1947, Soulages has exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, the Louvre, and the State Hermitage Museum (he was the first living artist to show at the institution), and his work has been acquired for the collections of the Centre Pompidou, the Guggenheim, Tate Modern, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Pierre Soulages