Sunday, October 18, 2009

Soulages: "Black is the Color of Painting's Origin"

The Pompidou Centre in Paris is mounting the largest show (October 14- March 8, 2010) it has ever done for a living French artist: Pierre Soulages, who turns 90 in December.

Soulages said this to Tobias Grey in the Financial Times last week (October 10/11):

" 'A cousin of mine, who is 100 years old, told ...the curator of this exhibition, that when I was a boy I dipped my paintbrush in the ink-well and began to paint swathes of black on a white sheet of paper. When my family asked me what I was doing, apparently I replied, "Painting snow." Of course that made everyone laugh. But I was a shy child and not trying to show off. Looking back now, I think I was trying to make the white paper appear whiter by laying down the black.'


'It astounded me that for 340 centuries men have been painting in black in some of the most obscure places on earth, caves pitched in absolute darkness...I wrote once that black is the colour of painting's origin. I don't think it's possible to refute this.' "

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