World record for a Pierre Soulages’ painting

« Peinture 200 x 162 cm, 14 mars 1960 », an exceptional work by Pierre Soulages has set a new world record during the Post-War and Contemporary Art Auction at Tajan on Wednesday evening, November 27. Sold for 9.6 million Euros under the hammer of the auctioneer Jessica Remy, this masterpiece of the painter’s “Outrenoirs”, was sold well beyond the original estimate of 4 – 6 million Euros, beating the previous record of 9.2 million, for a painting from 1959, sold just a year ago in New York.




The work was contested by eight bidders from around the world in a full house, but according to Julie Ralli, Director of the Department, the painting “will finally join a European collection”.

This outstanding work has been widely exhibited institutionally multiple times since its creation. First in 1960, at the Galerie de France followed in the retrospective tour organized by Werner Schmalenbach, which played  a determining  role in the diffusion of Pierre Soulages’ work in Europe. More recently, it was presented during Soulages’ major retrospective in 2009-2010 at the National Museum of Modern Art Center Pompidou.

Presented for the very first time on the market, « Peinture 200 x 162 cm, 14 mars 1960 », also benefits from a prestigious provenance. Acquired by James Johnson Sweeney, former Director of Painting and Sculpture at the NY MoMA and then Director of the Guggenheim in New York, it remained in his family. Since their first encounter in Paris in 1948, the two men have forged strong friendship and Sweeney has largely contributed to the recognition of Pierre Soulages in America and the rest of the world.

This record sale precedes the Louvre Museum exhibition that will open at celebrating the centenary of the artist which will open on December 24, 2019.

During the same auction Tajan obtained another notable result, for a 1963-1966 work by the American artist Wayne Thiébaud, who will also turn centenary soon. The mysterious oil on canvas “Woman & Cosmetics” was sold for € 3,347,000.




The commented video on the work of Pierre Soulages: