France's Louvre planning Pierre Soulages retrospective next year

Paris (AFP) –


France's master of black Pierre Soulages announced Monday that he will be the subject of a vast retrospective at the Louvre museum in Paris next year, and possibly an ambitious show in New York as well.

"They're borrowing works from the National Gallery in Washington, the MoMa in New York, the Tate in London. All the great museums are making loans," Soulages said in an interview to mark his 99th birthday.

"They're going to take down everything in the Salon Carre to install my works," he told the Depeche du Midi newspaper, referring to the Louvre's vaunted gallery of Italian masterpieces.

The show will open in December and run through March.

In another interview with Le Figaro, Soulages said his dealer Emmanuel Perrotin was planning "a crazy project for my 100th birthday."

"He wants to bring all my works at the Fabre Museum in Montpellier to his new gallery, which is magnificent, in New York," he said.

"Financially it's madness. I don't know how he'll manage," he added.

Considered one of France's greatest painters, Soulages said he continues working every day at his home in Sete, on the Mediterranean coast, on his trademark "Outrenoir" (Beyond Black) works.

"It was the colour I chose for my clothes as soon as I was able to. My mother was scandalised, she'd tell me: 'You're already mourning me'," he told the Depeche.

"As I often say, the painting that interests me the most is the one I'm going to do," he said.