Thérèse Oulton



Not on display

Thérèse Oulton born 1953
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 1956 × 1778 mm
Purchased 1990

Display caption

Thérèse Oulton studied at St Martin's School of Art and the Royal College of Art between 1975 and 1983 and has held solo exhibitions every year since then. She evolved techniques of brushwork from a critical study of Old Master painting but she controls her application of paint by a discipline related to recent conceptual art. The resulting images suggest a multiplicity of possible interpretations and often evoke, intentionally, the great art of the past, in particular the sublime landscape tradition. This is the first painting by Oulton to enter the collection of the Tate.

Gallery label, August 2004

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Technique and condition

The cotton duck canvas was attached to the stretcher with staples and primed by the artist using two or more layers of thin rabbit-skin glue sizing and artists' alkyd white primer.

An imprimatura of thinned oil paint was applied to provide a translucent warm mid-tone on which to paint. The paint for the main painting was mixed with varying quantities of medium as she worked. The medium consisted of mixtures of refined oil, beeswax and turpentine which allowed her to form the paint consistency needed to achieve the distinctive fine impastoed surface. Using small brushes the artist worked steadily across the surface, always working wet-into-wet and blurring some areas by smoothing them out with Chinese calligraphy brushes, wetted with medium. The colours were often not mixed on the palette, but by charging the brush with two different colours she allowed an 'optical' mix to occur on the painting. The variety of surface opacity and gloss as well as texture, contribute to the complexity of the surface which is not varnished.

The dark, polished frame was chosen by the artist.

Roy Perry


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