Therese Oulton

Hirschl & Adler Modern

Thérèse Oulton’s paintings never quite relinquish representation. Several works shown here, all from 1988, suggest landscapes, while others feature figurative and nonfigurative passages within the same image. But whatever the references of the images, the essential vehicle of meaning in Oulton’s work remains the syntax of paint. The whipped, lathery surfaces of her pictures suggest the thickly applied paint of such other English painters as Lucian Freud and Frank Auerbach; in Oulton’s work, though, the swirls of color are built up, not from gobs of paint heaped on heavily, but from distinct, quickly applied dabs of colors, which accrete into icinglike peaks. This measured technique seems to reflect a process based on considered emotions rather than bursts of passion, and suggests a controlled and intricate sort of performance before the canvas.

Using this signature microstructural brushstroke,

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