Thérèse Oulton, born 1953, has been painting since her years at St Martins (1976-79) then the Royal College of Art (1980-83). Her first groundbreaking and controversial exhibition of large scale oil paintings, Fool’s Gold (1984) took a critical position towards both abstraction and figuration, challenging the prevailing orthodoxies of both, the resulting explosive reception of which didn’t deter the work from its hermetic explorations for the consequent twenty-five years.
The works were shown internationally throughout this period in solo exhibitions at Gimpel Fils, LA Louver (Los Angeles), Galerie Krinzinger (Vienna), Museum of Modern Art (Oxford), Hirschl & Adler Modern, (NY), and Marlborough Fine Art (London), which has been her representative since 1987.
In 2010 an exhibition entitled Territory presented a radical shift. The catalogue was accompanied by an introduction by the artist attempting to explicate such a move. Elsewhere (2014) shows the development of this turn in Oulton’s work. The exhibition coincides with the launch of Women in Dark Times by Jacqueline Rose. The book is an analysis of some of the most creative women of the 20th and 21st centuries, the final chapter of which is entitled ‘Damage Limitation: Thérèse Oulton’, exploring Oulton’s oeuvre.
Early on nominated for the Turner Prize, her work is to be found in major museums and collections including the Tate and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.