École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) (CH)    5 November 2016 - 23 April 2017

Noir, c'est noir ? Les Outrenoirs de Pierre Soulages

Organized jointly by the Fondation Gandur pour l'Art  and the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), the exhibition Noir, c’est noir? Les Outrenoirs de Pierre Soulages presents new avenues for the understanding, presentation and conservation of artworks

Artistic Curator: Eveline Notter
Scientific Co-Curators : Joël Chevrier, Nicolas Henchoz, Mark Pauly and Pierre Vandergheynst

The curatorial project here does not fall within the confines of a traditional exhibition, but rather integrates the specificities of a new building on a university campus, creating the conditions for an innovative convergence of art and science. Five laboratories and several start-ups from EPFL have dedicated their research and technologies to exploring a novel approach to the work of Pierre Soulages, a major figure in abstract painting.

While the French painter has ventured into Outrenoir, that is to say ‘beyond black’, he seeks above all, the light that is revealed through it, thereby, considering light as a material.

With this new confrontation, the exhibition provides an innovative perceptual experience, on the edge of art and science.

The experiment conducted by the EPFL+ECAL Lab aims to reveal the "chromatic versatility of Pierre Soulages' monopigmented canvases1". Undertaken with the support of the LTS5 Signal Processing Laboratory and the Gamaya start-up, it uses a so-called hyperspectral camera - a camera usually used in agriculture during aerial photography to examine the condition of fields and crops - capable of capturing separately the different colours making up the light spectrum.
As an introduction to Noir, c'est noir?, the EPFL+ECAL Lab invites the public to experience the content of the exhibition in an immersive and interactive way. It uses virtual reality devices that are increasingly common, but whose technical performance is still in search of appropriate content - with the exception of developments in the video game industry in particular. The installation explores how interactive visual immersion using 3D computer graphics can broaden the understanding of an exhibition. The design of the device is also central: the virtual reality glasses, mounted on a fixed base, remind us of binoculars for tourists, an object with familiar handling. As part of a global research on the uses of virtual reality, Into the Black offers a new and sensory understanding of curatorial content.


Exhibition views

Pierre Soulages © Photographe : Grergory Maillot

Work on loan

Peinture 202 x 255 cm, 18 octobre 1984
18 octobre 1984