Thérèse Mulgrew (b. 1991 in Dubuque, Iowa) is an American painter who lives and works in Chicago. She graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Iowa in 2013, and found a passion for painting after attending classes at The Art Students League and the New York Studio School of Painting, Drawing, and Sculpture. Her large scale, photorealistic oil paintings are her explorations of vulnerability and intimacy through still life imageries and scenes that are reminiscent of film stills.
Mulgrew found inspiration at a young age, influenced by her mother’s surreal oil paintings and impressionist still lifes created by her grandmother. The meticulous use of chiaroscuro and hyper-realistic brushwork are attributed from cinematic lighting and the artist’s own photographs, where she utilises classic compositions and colour palettes to create scenes that project an intimate reality. Her paintings are semi-autobiographical: Mulgrew tends to paint friends and family, as well as the everyday objects present in her vicinity.
She has had solo exhibitions including ‘In the Company of Solitude’ at Mey Gallery (Los Angeles, 2023), ‘In a Moment’ at Better Go South (Berlin, 2023) ‘Room 126’ (2023) and ‘Unfolding’ (2021) at Freight + Volume Gallery (New York), ‘Intimate Exchange’ at Dubuque Museum of Art (Dubuque, 2022), ‘Skin Contact’ at Simchowitz Gallery (Los Angeles, 2022), and ‘Bold Move’ at Studio Oh! Gallery (Chicago, 2021).
Her work has been included in group exhibitions including ‘Regards Croisés’ at Cohle Gallery (Paris, 2023), ‘Bye Bye Cowboy’ at Arusha Gallery (London, 2023), ‘Head Games’ at Piermarq (Sydney, 2023), ‘Tronies’ at Christine Konïg Galerie (Vienna, 2022), ‘Endless Summer’ at Better Go South’ (Stuttgart, 2022), ‘Hospitality Suite’ at Mindy Soloman Gallery (Miami, 2022), ‘Selfish, Too’ at ChaShaMa (New York, 2021), ‘One in a Year’ at The Painting Center (New York, 2021), and ‘Solitude’ at ARC Gallery (Chicago, 2021).
Mulgrew was selected as one of Saatchi Art’s 10 Up and Coming American Artists and Under 35 Rising Stars of 2020.