Working primarily with painting and sculpture, Pierre Soulages was recognised for his experimental applications of black paint in a pursuit of producing light in darkness.
Soulages' preoccupation with light and black culminated in 'Outrenoir' ('Beyond Black'), a series of black paintings begun in 1979. The first Outrenoir painting was born by accident, when the artist realised that he had achieved something new in an unsuccessful painting: by covering the entire canvas in black, Soulages had created a surface that reflected light.
Soulages continued to experiment in a similar spirit, employing his homemade brushes and tools to layer black pigment onto the canvas and sculpt rough or smooth surfaces that bounce off light in different ways when the paint dries. In Peinture 296 x 165 cm (2014), the hardened acrylic paint forms diagonal ridges, while the short strokes created by gouging paint off the canvas recall water drops in Peinture 18 novembre 2014 (also 2014).