Viewing artworks on mobile devices and in high definition can incur high data consumption. Opt for standard definition to keep data usage low.
We detect you have a large screen, enable the very high resolution for a better experience.
Your device might not support the viewer. Try reloading the application or selecting a lower definition.
However you can view the application running on our Youtube channel.
Painting 72.5 x 81 cm, 3 May, 1985, is characteristic of Pierre Soulages’ research in the mid-1980s which focused on the juxtaposition of different treatments of the pictorial layer. The streaks interact with the light to reveal the gloss of the material while the solid areas express its mattness. This play of contrasts is typical of the Outrenoirs, hence the term “black light” coined by Soulages to describe what he began exploring in 1979. The Outrenoirs demonstrate the pictorial layer’s capacity to produce reflections and are an exploration of using light as a material.
This painting was done on a linen canvas, mounted on a frame and primed with a thin coating of black gesso to strengthen the mono-pigmented character of the paint layer. The latter is made with ivory black, oil, resins and a siccative made of lead that makes it possible for the thickly applied oil to dry.
Pierre Soulages first covered the entire canvas using this dark paste and then streaked diagonally from top to bottom with a coarse bristle brush. These streaks, which are deep at the top of the canvas, fade in the lower part where the painter applied less force. They were then smoothed using metal or rubber blades. In this way, Soulages made three parallel horizontal stripes, from one edge to the other, defined by the small reliefs created by the angles of the instrument. The force he applied to the blade created varying depths to the streaks. The upper band, which differs from the other two by the almost complete erasure of the streaks, creates a large solid black matte with a few horizontal grooves, presumably due to some irregularities in the painting material.
In the oeuvre of Pierre Soulages, the context for the creation of the painting corresponds to his realisation of monumental polyptychs, in particular a series of nine nearly-square polyptychs he painted between 1985 and 1987. This particular tableau is part of a set of six small paintings made by the artist between April 21 and May 5, 1985. All have streaks angled towards the left, overlaid horizontally as wide flat strips. These bands assume the form of various horizontal elements that compose polyptychs, while not requiring the assembly of independent frames.
We are invited here to experience an ongoing renewal of our perception of an Outrenoir according to variations in ambient light and our position in relation to the tableau.
Artmyn guided tours may contain audio content, turn up the volume in case the tour is commented by an expert.
Play a guided tour below:
Use two fingers to zoom in
Drag vertically with one finger to tilt the artwork
Drag horizontally with one finger to rotate the artwork
Drag with two fingers to translate the artwork
Change the direction of the light with one finger
Scroll with the mouse or trackpad to zoom in/out
Click and drag vertically to tilt the artwork
Click and drag horizontally to rotate the artwork
Right-click and drag to translate the artwork
Click and drag to change the direction of the light
Select the light tool.
Click on the bulb to select the light tool
Select the view tool to return to the normal controls.
Click on the bulb again to reactivate normal controls
First time user?