Image de Pierre SoulagesBitmap 10
©Image de Pierre Soulages
The Master of Ultrablack's work.

The contemporary art of Pierre Soulages

Pierre Soulages is a major figure in abstract art and one of the greatest French painters famous for his work celebrating black in all its forms.

Plaque du musée Soulages en acier CortenPlaque du musée Soulages en acier Corten
©Plaque du musée Soulages en acier Corten|P.THEBAULT - CRT Occitanie

Pierre Soulages and his devotion to Aveyron

Pierre Soulages, the world-famous contemporary artist, was born in Rodez in 1919. He grew up in an area full of artisans, from printers to blacksmiths: he has learnt patience, expertise, incredible materials and to seize opportunities from this bustling environment.

His artistic career has been affected by the people he met as a child. He loves to talk about the Aveyron landscapes, bare trees on the causses, his fascination with the statue menhirs at the Fenaille Museum in Rodez and Conques abbey church.

« When I come back to Rodez, I feel like one of the locals, these supposedly rough farmers who are actually very sophisticated. »

Pierre Soulages

His art

Soulages soon exhibited his work in New York galleries and American museums in the 1950s. And his retrospective at the Centre Pompidou attracted over 500,000 visitors. He is his peers’ favourite contemporary painter.

The donated pieces reflect the myriad techniques and materials the artist uses:

  • paper
  • canvas
  • glass
  • bronze or brass
  • printed work (etchings, lithographs, screen prints)
  • preparation work for the Conques stained-glass windows
  • paintings on canvas and paper (a unique collection including gouaches, inks and walnut stains).

Documents, books, photographs, films and letters have also been gifted to the council.