Therese Mulgrew

Therese Mulgrew

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My work is an attempt to explore vulnerability through portraiture, specifically how this idea is impacted by desire. I am drawn to shadow and light as a means of portraying how we present ourselves to the world, what we choose to hide and reveal. I believe portraiture, making it and consuming it, to be an extremely intimate experience during a time when we are rarely seen clearly — which can expose both our greatest strengths and our deepest wounds. Though I tend to paint mostly friends and family, both the still lifes and portraits feel like autobiographical extensions of myself and my relationships. The still lifes are a contemporary nod to classical arrangements as well as nostalgic items which relate to my upbringing.

Liz and Luke
oil on canvas, 60 x 48 inches
Emani and Tangina
oil on canvas, 60 x 48 inches
oil on canvas, 60 x 48 inches
oil on canvas, 48 x 60 inches
Leah and Sean
oil on canvas, 60 x 48 inches

Thérèse Mulgrew (b. 1991) grew up on a farm outside of Dubuque, Iowa. Influenced by her mother's surreal oil paintings and her grandmother's impressionist still lifes, she began to cultivate her own style which focuses mainly on depicting large-scale portraits and nostalgic still life in oil paint. 

Thérèse took a variety of studio art classes at the University of Iowa, where she graduated with an English literature major. Immediately afterwards, she moved to NYC where she studied at The Art Students League and New York Studio School of Painting, Drawing, and Sculpture. She had her first solo show at Freight + Volume Gallery in NYC in February 2020. She was nominated as one of Saatchi Art’s 35 Under 35 Rising Stars of 2020. She currently resides in Chicago, IL.



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