About Thérèse Oulton

This website is an archive of images, texts and information on artist Thérèse Oulton. You can view exhibitions, browse works by type, and read essays and other texts by and about the artist. Researchers can also view a bibliography and read the full exhibitions list. This is a growing collection and more material will be added over time.


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.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

1984 Peterborough City Museum and Art Gallery
Fools Gold, Gimpel Fils, London
1986 Letters to Rose, Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna
Skin Deep, Galerie Thomas, Munich
Galerie am Moritzplatz, Berlin
1987 Marlborough Graphics, London (also in 1989, 92, 94 and 98)
1987 Marlborough Fine Art, London (also in 1990, 91, 92 and 97)
1989 New Paintings, Hirschl & Adler (Modern), New York
1991 Paintings and Works on Paper, L.A. Louver Gallery, Los Angeles
1994 Marking Time, L.A. Louver Gallery, Los Angeles
Recent Paintings, Marlborough Gallery, New York
1999 Illuminations, Oxford Gallery, Oxford
2000 Slow Motion – Recent Paintings 1997-2000, Marlborough Fine Art, London
2003 Clair Obscur Paintings & Watercolours, Marlborough Fine Art, London
2006 Lines of Flight – Recent Paintings and Prints, Marlborough Fine Art, London
2010 Territory, Marlborough Fine Art, London
2014 Elsewhere, Marlborough Fine Art, London

2016 Thérèse Oulton Nukaga Gallery, Tokyo & Osaka

Selected Books and Catalogues

Alistair Hicks, The School of London, Phaidon Press, London, 1989
Tony Godfrey, The New Image: Painting in the 1980s, Phaidon Press, Oxford, 1986
Wendy Beckett, Contemporary Women Artists , Phaidon Press, 1989
Angela Moorjani, The Aesthetics of Loss and Lessness , MacMillan, 1992
Martin Kemp editor, The Oxford History of Western Art, 2002/2010
Richard Cork, New Spirit, New Sculpture, New Money: Art in the 1980s, Yale University Press 2003
Jacqueline Rose, Women in Dark Times, Bloomsbury, London, 2014

Public Collections

Arts Council of Great Britain; British Council; British Museum; Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Fine Art, Boston; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Tate Britain; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Yale Center for British Art