Therese Oulton

Marlborough | London

“But what could replace the object?” Nonfigurative painters continue to be plagued by Kandinsky’s anxiety about the object, as well as his worry about decorative decline. Thérèse Oulton’s recent works offer ample confirmation of the continuity of these primary concerns. Nonfigurative art is now an old tradition, and Oulton’s pictures reflect this simultaneous accumulation of years and withering of horizons. For a young painter, she seems remarkably care-laden, just as her paintings are laden with incrustations and webs that connote airless colors from the Jacobean stage or the memories locked inside Miss Havisham’s wedding-feast chamber in Dickens’ Great Expectations. Two extreme alternatives offered escape from Kandinsky’s anxieties: abolish tactile individuation along with the object, or abolish space. Early, “heroic” Modernism tended to the former; Oulton has adopted the latter.


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