the story of a great success, a gift from the master of the beyond

the story of a great success, a gift from the master of the beyond
the story of a great success, a gift from the master of the beyond

This Thursday, May 30, the Soulages museum in Rodez in Aveyron will celebrate its 10th anniversary. Born during the artist’s lifetime, it has become a cultural place of reference, renowned throughout the world, for the works it contains and for its architecture. It has already welcomed nearly a million and a half visitors.

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Soulages museum in Aveyron, a look back at this fabulous adventure, which propelled the town of Rodez to the forefront thanks to the native of the country, Pierre Soulages, the master of the beyond.

October 20, 2010, a historic date for Rodez. That day, Pierre and Colette Soulages laid the first stone of the museum. The painter is 90 years old and it is the culmination of a long-standing project, carried out by one man Marc Censi. The former regional president managed to convince the artist to give him a few pieces.

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The Soulages museum in Rodez is celebrating its 10th anniversary on May 30, 2024.

© FTV

“He was committed to building a museum in Sète”remembers Marc Censi, the former mayor of Rodez. “And then, there was a problem with the municipality, which must have encountered the same opposition as me, but it gave in. I learned one fine day that the break with Sète had been confirmed and that consequently the door was closed. open for Rodez”.

The museum was inaugurated on May 30, 2014. It houses more than 500 works by Pierre Soulages: oils on canvas, ultrablack, walnut husk, bronze etchings. Early works, but also all the preparatory work for the Conques abbey church.

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The Soulages museum in Rodez.

© PASCAL PAVANI / AFP

“It actually contains the entire work of Pierre Soulages, from 1934 until the painting produced on May 15, 2022”rejoices Benoît Decron, director of the Soulages museum. “So I don’t think that in the world there is a museum more representative of Pierre Soulages than the Rodez museum.”

At Over the years, three new donations have enriched the collections. To his hometown, Pierre Soulages gave a real gift, highlightedier by the Catalan architects RCR Arquitectes, who make it today shine throughout the world. “When the paintings are hung, as they are here, we can move around the paintings”said Pierre Soulages at the inauguration. “We can see the light, which appears and disappears. And the paintings appear as they are at the moment of viewing.”

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Pierre Soulages had the gift of bringing out light better than anyone else in a dark work.

© FTV – R.Avanissian

“When natural light is not sufficient, artificial lights take over”explains Gilles Trégouët, of RCF Arquitectes. “But they never disrupt the desired interpretation of spaces and ambiances with natural light.”

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Paris – ceremony in the square courtyard of the Louvre in tribute to Pierre Soulages who died at the age of 102 – November 2, 2022.

© CHRISTIAN HARTMANN / POOL

Forgotten the controversies of the early days. In 10 years of existence, the museum has largely achieved its objectives: welcoming nearly 1.5 million visitors. The artist has gone. Pierre Soulages bowed out at the age of 102 on the night of October 25 to 26, 2022, leaving behind a monumental work.

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