Pierre Soulages

1919
Born 24 December in Rodez, France.

1938
Begins training as a drawing teacher in Paris.

1939
Admitted to the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, but quickly leaves. Sees exhibitions of Cézanne and Picasso before returning to Rodez.

1940
Drafted.

1941
Demobilised and admitted to the École des Beaux-Arts in Montpellier. 

1942
Marries Colette Llaurens. Conscripted for STO, forced labour, (‘Service de travail obligatoire’) in Germany but goes underground and works as a winegrower with false papers for the remainder of the Occupation. Neither draws nor paints but becomes friends with French poet, Joseph Delteil through whom he meets Sonia Delauney who tells him about abstract art.

1946
Settles with Colette in Courbevoie. Unsuccessfully submits paintings to the Salon d’Automne.

1947
Rents his own wall space at the Salon des Surindépendants, where his paintings attract much attention.

1948
Moves to Montparnasse. Participates in Salon des réalités nouvelles and O. Domnick’s travelling exhibition in Germany, Grosse Ausstellung französischer abstracter Malerei, for which one of his works is the poster. Visited by James Sweeney, late director of the Guggenheim Museum who proceeds to write often about Soulages as well as recommending and including him in important exhibitions.

1949
First one-man show at Galerie Lydia Conti. First sale to a museum, Museé de Grenoble. First stage design commission for Roger Vaillant at the Théâtre des Mathurins, Paris.

1950
Sells a painting to FNAC, which from 1952 is on permanent loan to the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris.

1952
Creates his first etchings after a visit from Mme Lacourière and Atelier Lacourière.

1954
First one-man show in the USA at the Samuel Kootz Gallery.

1958
Designs and builds a house and studio, with Colette, in Sète, the South of France.

1960
First retrospective travelling exhibition shown around Germany.

1963
Draws cartoons for large tapestries for the Maison de la Radio in Paris, the Hochschule St. Gallen, Switzerland and the Ministry of Finance in Paris.

1966
Designs a glass mosaic window for the Suermond-Ludwig-Museum in Aachen, Germany. 

1968
Designs a large ceramic decoration for a skyscraper in Pittsburgh. 

1974
Buys a studio close to the apartment in the Rue de Saint-Victor. 

1975
Created the first of three bronze reliefs, his only sculptural works, based on earlier etchings.

1979
Soulages presents a new type of painting at the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris.

1982
A work is suspended with cables in the foyer of the new concert hall in Aarhus, Denmark.

1987
Begins work on the French state’s commission of 104 new windows for the Romanesque abbey church in Conques.

1994
Soulages’ work appears in three volumes of Pierre Encrevé’s catalogue raisonné. 

2005
First living artist to be exhibited in Zaha Hadid’s new extension to the museum Ordrupgaard, Copenhagen.

2006
Awarded the Austrian Decoration of Honour for Science and Art.

2007
Inauguration of a permanent hanging of many of Soulages's works at the Musée Fabre, Montpellier.

2009
Retrospective exhibition at Centre Pompidou in Paris, seen by over 500,000 people, it was the fourth most visited exhibition in the history of the Pompidou (after Dali, Matisse and Kandinsky).

Present
Lives and works in Paris and Sète, France.
 

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

1949
Galerie Lydia Conti

1954
Samuel Kootz Gallery, New York
'Mathieu - Soulages', Arts Club, Chicago

1956
La Galerie de France, Paris

1961
Museums of Hanover, Essen and The Haag

1966
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

1967
Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris

1968
Musée du Québec, Québec
Musée d’Art Contemporain, Montréal
Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
'Pierre Soulages. Paintings since 1963', Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo

1974–1976
'Pierre Soulages' Travelling retrospective exhibition: Musée dynamique, Dakar; Fundaçao Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon; Salas del Patrimonio Artístico y Cultural, Madrid; Musée Fabre, Montpellier; Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico; Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas; Museo Maracaibo, Fundaçao Cultural, Brasilia; Museu da Universidade, São Paulo; Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro; Musée d’Art et d’Industrie, Saint-Etienne

1979
'Pierre Soulages', Centre Pompidou, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris

1984
'Pierre Soulages', Seibu Museum of Art, Tokyo

1987
'Pierre Soulages', Musée Saint Pierre-Art Contemporain, Lyon,
'Pierre Soulages', Hans-Thoma Gesellschaft, Reutlingen

1989
'Pierre Soulages' Travelling retrospective; Museum Fridericianum, Kassel; IVAM-Centro Julio González, Valencia; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes

1991
'Pierre Soulages', Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna

1992
'Pierre Soulages. Polyptyques 1979-1991', Maison des Arts Georges Pompidou, Cajarc

1993
Musée National d’Art Contemporain, Seoul

1994
'Pierre Soulages', China Fine Arts Palace (Meschuguan), Peking
'Pierre Soulages', Fine Arts Museum, Taipei
'Pierre Soulages. Peintures et cartons des vitraux de Conques', Westfälisches Landesmuseum, Münster

1996
'Pierre Soulages. Noir - Lumiere', Musée d’Art Moderne Ville de Paris, Paris travelling to Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal; Museu de Arte, São Paulo

1999
'Pierre Soulages. Célébration de la lumiere/Lob des Lichts', Kunstmuseum, Berne
'Pierre Soulages. oeuvres récentes 1994-1999', Musée Fabre, Montpellier

2000
'Soulages. 82 Peintures', Les Abattoirs, FRAC Midi-Pyrenees, Toulouse

2001
'Pierre Soulages. Black Light', The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
'Pierre Soulages', Nouvelle Galerie Trariakov, Moskau

2003
'Soulages. L'oeuvre imprimé', Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris

2005
'Pierre Soulages. Outrenoir. Recent Paintings.', Robert Miller Gallery, New York
'Pierre Soulages. Works on paper', Haim Chanin Fine Arts, New York

2006
Ordugaard Museum, Copenhagen
'Pierre Soulages. Die Farbe Schwarz, das Licht, die Malerei', Westfalisches Landesmuseum, Muster
'Pierre Soulages. Painting the Light', Sammlung Essl, Klosterneuburg, Austria

2007
'Pierre Soulages', Institut Valencia d’Art Modern, Valencia
'Pierre Soulages', Musée Fabre, Montpellier

2009
'Pierre Soulages', Centre Pompidou, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris
'Pierre Soulages. Drawings and selected prints', Galerie Boisserée, Cologne
'Soulages. Le temps du papier', Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain, Strasbourg

2010
'Soulages. Verre cartons des vitraux de Conques', Musée Fabre, Montpellier
'Pierre Soulages. New Paintings', Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London
'Pierre Soulages', Berliner Festspiele, Martin Gropius Building, Berlin

2011
'Pierre Soulages. Chefs-d'oeuvre modernes et contemporains', Les Abattoirs de Toulouse, Toulouse
'Pierre Soulages. Schwarz - Weiss', Kunstkabinett, Regensburg
'Pierre Soulages. New Art - Formerly Known As: New Art', Circleculture Gallery, Berlin

2012
'Pierre Soulages. XXIe siècle', Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon

2013
'Soulages XXIe siècle', Villa Medici, Rome

2014
'Pierre Soulages', Dominique Levy Gallery, London
'Pierre Soulages' Outrenoir paintings, European Museums and Foundations', Musee Soulages, Rodez

2015
'Soulages. Peintures 2013-2015', Galerie Karsten Greve, Paris

2016
'Pierre Soulages: Le Noir', Museum Folkwang, Essen
'Pierre Soulages: Papiers', Musée Picasso d’Antibes, France

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

1954
'Tendamces actuelles de l'Ecole de Paris', Kunsthalle Bern, Bern

1955
'documenta 1', Kassel, Germany
'The New Decade. 22 European Painters and Sculptors', Museum of Modern Art, New York

1959
'documenta 2', Kassel, Germany

1964
'documenta 3', Kassel, Germany

1967
'Hommage à l'Art Francais. Fra Courbet til Soulages', Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen
'Vom Bauhaus bis zur Gegenwart', Hamburger Kunstverein, Hamburg

1968
'Painting in France 1900-1967', The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. 

1985
'Les vingt ans du Musée a travers sa collection', Musée d'art contemporain de Montreal, Montreal

1993
'Entre la sérénité et l'inquiétude', Musée d'Art moderne de Saint-Etienne, France

2000
'Art at Work. Forty Years of the Chase Manhattan Collection', Queens Museum of Art, New York

2003
'Abstract Expressionism. Art Movement in the 20th Century', Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art

2004
'Monocromos. De Malevich al presente', Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid

2005
'Informalismo y Expresionismo abstracto en las colecciones Guggenheim', Museo Guggenheim de Arte Moderno y Contemporáneo, Bilbao

2008
'De Miró à Warhol La Collection Berardo à Paris', Musée du Luxembourg, Paris

2009
'The Sweeney Decade. Acquisitions at the 1959 Inaugural', Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

2012
'L'art en Guerre. France 1938-1947, De Picasso a Dubuffet', Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris
'Extra Large. Œuvres Monumentales De La Collection Du Centre Pompidou à Monaco', Grimaldi Forum, Monaco

2016
Group Show, Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London
'Vibration of space', Waddington Custot, London
 

SELECTED COLLECTIONS

Australian National Gallery, Canberra
Brooklyn Art Museum
Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio
F.R.A.C Provence-Côte d’Azur, Marseille
Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Paris
Fundaçao Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon
Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo
Honolulu Academy of Arts, Hawaii
Institutio Valenciano de Arte Moderno, Valencia
Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California
Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Brazil
Mobilier National, Paris
Musée d’Art Contemporain, Montréal
Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris
Musée de Beaux-Arts, Caen
Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris
Musée National d’Histoire et d’Art, Luxembourg
Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro
Museum fort Kunst, Copenhagen
Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna
Museum of Contemporary Art, Skopje
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Museum of Modern Art, Toyama
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Nationalgalerie, Berlin
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
Sprengel Museum, Hannover
Staatsgalerie Moderner Kunst, Munich
Tate Gallery, London
Teheran Museum of Contemporary Art, Teheran
The Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

 

AWARDS

Rembrandt Award, 1976
Great National Award for Painting, Paris, 1987
Praemium Imperiale for painting, Japan, 1994
VII Julio Gonzales Award, 2006