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Original deep-bitten etching printed with relief, in two colours. 1957. Signed in pencil. Numbered in pencil from the edition of 100. Etched and printed at the studio of Lacourière, Paris 1957. Edition issued by Galerie Berggruen, Paris.
Note: Soulages made the first of his outstanding relief etchings in 1952. No 10 (here) is widely recognised as one of the very greatest of this first 1950’s period.
Pierre Soulages is one of the most important painters of the Post-War ‘Ecole de Paris’. In 2014 he was described by the French President as ‘France’s greatest living painter’. The essence of his art is the creation and modelling of visual space through contrasts of deep black and over or underworked colour. He has written: My instrument is not black but the light reflected from black’. He has called this ‘Beyond Black’ or ‘The Other-side of Black’– Outrenoir’.
In his paintings the pigments are applied to the surface in broad sweeps, the strokes often textured by using a fork-like instrumen6t scraped over the surface. When he became interested in prints in the 1950’s he discovered that by using thick copperplates very heavily etched he could create a deep and dramatic surface-relief which, especially combined with a second plate for colour, made an imagery which was a unique extension of his ideas in painting. His greatest relief etchings, as No 10 here, have become some of his most famous paperworks.