The two poles of Pierre Soulage's work are darkness and light. Like the Yin and the Yan, they are indivisible parts of a unified whole. He is known as a painter of black. "I love the authority of black", he states. "It's a colour that doesn't compromise. A violent colour but one that nonetheless stimulates internalisation. At once a colour and a non-colour. When light is reflected in it, it transforms it, transmutes it. It opens up a mental field all of its own." In the current example, broad black brushstrokes, on a bright white and red ground, extend right across the picture plane. The structured interplay of light and dark creates a harmonious tension. The solidity of the black is contrasted with the light, insubstantial ground, adding to the later a greater luminosity. His canvases of this period are often placed within the context of Abstract Expressionism. However, although bold and gestural in appearance, his working method eschews improvisation in favour of a balanced and calculated approach to composition. In order to further control the application of paint, in addition to the brush, Soulages made his own tool, the 'lame', a piece of rubber stretched between two thin boards with a long handle. With this in hand the artist creates an image of majestic and arresting beauty.