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The Vibrant Artistic Journey of Pierre Salvan: An Exploration of Black & White Abstract Art

Updated: Feb 11

black and white abstract art

Pierre Salvan's artistry fosters an exhilarating visual journey in which his unique fusion of graphic design and painting captures the fluidity of nature and life’s serene beauty in their simultaneously pure yet complex forms. His now illustrious career took a pivotal turn in 1998 during a residency in Tunisia, sparking his exploration of minimalistic, non-figurative art centered on lines. Salvan's career is a thrilling pursuit of simplicity, inviting you to explore the interplay of transparency, emptiness, and solidity in his captivating artwork.

Q: Can you talk a bit about your background and what led you to pursue art professionally?

A: In 1979, after studying at the School of Fine Arts in Avignon and Nancy in France, I created an advertising creation studio in Avignon. Throughout my twenty years of graphic creations, I continued personal pictorial work, painting this minimalist requirement of line, black and white, emptiness, and fullness. The transition occurred in 1998 when I was inspired by an artist residency in Tunisia that reinforced my desire to paint. During these three months, my work moved towards abstraction, influenced by the architecture and colors of Tunisia.

Q: What has been your biggest influence throughout your career?

A: While working as an advertising graphic designer, visiting an exhibition of paintings and drawings by the Catalan painter Antoni Tapies shocked me. It is certain that the vision of these works in 1994 subsequently influenced my pictorial career.

Q: Describe your creative process. Do you follow any specific rituals or practices before beginning a new project or creating a collection? If so, please share them,

A: My paintings and drawings translate a fleeting moment, imbued with serenity and calm like the texts of Japanese haiku. I find this peace during my work sessions and invite the viewer into this universe, leaving room for total and free interpretation. My work is generally born after a trip, the vision of a landscape, or an emotion.

black and white abstract art


40 x 30 cm


Q: What does your work aim to say?

A: Close to the “lyrical abstraction” movement, I leave everyone with their own interpretation of my work. Neither representative nor narrative, my painting is that of evocation; it is the direct pictorial language, the one which is capable of telling us, like music, the beyond of words. And I would quote one of the greatest painters of abstract art, Pierre Soulages: "A canvas is this place where the senses come to be made and unmade. It has no other role than to provoke an emotion, which will arouse in us what it deems fit to generate..." while hoping that everyone experiences some emotion and serenity when viewing my works.

black and white abstract art

65 cm x 50 cm

Q: How do you handle creative blocks or moments of self-doubt?

A: Contrary to what one might think, doubt can be positive and allows us to ask the right questions. So, during periods of questioning, I put myself in “observation” mode; I look at my own work, sometimes old, to find a sensation or emotion that will generate a creative impulse in me.

black and white abstract art

Harsh (_black line II_)
65 cm x 50 cm

Q: What advice would you give aspiring artists?

A: Really, I want to tell them to enjoy the pleasure of creation and not create barriers, to be as close as possible to their motivation and desire for expression - observe the outside world, nourish themselves with images, and visit galleries and museums. Test and experiment with various techniques - drawing, painting, engraving, collage, sculpture... and be curious about everything. But above all, don't seduce... and stay themselves throughout.

black and white abstract art

Windswept (oval grey)
120 cm x 120 cm


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