Theresa Poulton is a hard-edged, abstract geometric painter who makes works which fluctuate between the historical tradition of canvas painting and ‘painting in the expanded field’.
Theresa’s boldly coloured canvases, painted objects and installations give a nod to Kazimir Malevich, El Lissitzky, Sophie Taeuber-Arp and Henri Matisse.
Contemporary influences include Biatriz Milhazes, Katharina Grosse, the designer Emilio Pucci and architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
The importance of colour is evident within Theresa’s paintings. The science of colour, including the research of colour theorists Johannes Itten and Josef Albers is acknowledged however her work is not rigid it is intuitive, she responds as the work evolves.
I am not trying to represent any sort of reality, the colours are not meant to represent anything, the colours are fantastical and the painting is a fantastical journey.
Big Orange is a large scale, open formed, work of differing abstract layers. Collectively creating a sense of depth and illusion, brightly coloured hard-edged abstract geometric forms float on the surface of a contrasting vibrant expressionistic colour field.
Coloured pencil lines cut across and connect the geometric and the expressionistic elements.
Originally shown as part of a site specific painting installation, the work expanded from the canvas onto the gallery wall in response to her other works, the light, shade and architecture of the space.
Theresa creates illusory environments of contrasting colour, distorting perspective with line, shape and form, exaggerating the implied sense of depth and space.
Big Orange is a resolution of past and present forms of abstraction within my practice an intuitive balanced work where the expressionist elements are off set against the hard edged abstraction of the opaquely painted geometric forms.
Paint applied flatly in opaque colours from her custom palette contrast in appearance and form with experimental colour often mixed directly onto the painted surface.
There is a preliminary with these works, there was a drawing, then I distorted it and altered the colour digitally, imagining how it would work on the canvas. The distortion of the image is me looking at it and seeing how I can resolve it, no, there is a moment when I know it’s right, the search for that moment is the excitement for me.
The painting process is laborious, quite controlled, I like that, but it’s a puzzle to me also. The work, while I am making, seems quite chaotic, in my mind I feel very uncontrolled, it feels like the ‘idea of the painting’ is out of control…
Theresa makes no apologies for making controlled, precise works, she refutes the fact that they are about perfection,
..they hang on a wall, they become part of the wall and they occupy the space in which they stand.
Geometric abstraction can appear deceptively simple, Theresa has many tools in her armoury to engage those who look a little beyond first glance.
I tease the perception with non-existent forms, depth created through contrast of colour, suggestive perspective and illusory canvas edges.
As her process has developed the works are becoming sometimes, busier, constantly appraising her methods and materials means the works are always fresh though the Theresa thread is evident. Working with changing media brings differing challenges and experimentation.
The decision to stop painting is so ambivalent; I am often in danger of overworking it because I am so lost in it at times. Not knowing exactly how it’s going to come out is a big part of it for me.
Some of Theresa’s latest works are objects and assembled multi-media miniatures, allowing the works to be viewed from all sides, a development of her edge painted canvasses and a desire to make the illusory depths real.
Theresa also creates painting installations, carrying into them recognizable assets of her canvas paintings, these works she describes as immersive environments, distorting the perspective of the space which they occupy instead of the illusory environments within her canvas works.
In the same way that I compose my paintings, I construct the mixed media assemblages and site specific installations, space, line, shape, colour and form are all considered.