Therese Bolliger headshot

Therese Bolliger

Sculpture, Drawing

Outline of Research

As artists we seek an authentic interpretation of out time and wish to contribute new ways of adding to the understanding of the reality within which we live. Often we are engaged in an ongoing process of retelling and remembering represented in works which incite lingering reflection and persistent questioning.

Most of my works on paper and three-dimensional pieces are densely layered networks, drawing from art history, theory, philosophy, literature, the everyday, provoking multiple associations. Memory, history, ephemerality, the passage of time and constructs of identity are invoked.

A large body of text-based, wall dependent work focuses on issues surrounding the difficulty and complexity of critical reception of artworks. These concerns are expressed through a reflection on individual artists whose history exemplifies an unusually difficult acknowledgement of their oeuvre (Meret Oppenheim, Robert Walser, Bas Jan Ader) These pieces draw attention to cultural and artistic forms of withdrawal and issues of illegibility and disappearance.


Therese Bolliger was born in Switzerland where she studied at the Schools of Visual Art in Berne and Basel before moving to Canada. She currently resides in Toronto. She has taught  in the Visual Art Department of the University of Guelph and at OCAD University. Between 1989 and 2008 she was a faculty member in the Art and Art History Program, a collaborative program between the Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning and the University of Toronto at Mississauga where she taught senior level drawing and sculpture courses.

Bolliger has participated on Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council juries. She is a former member of Cold City Gallery and Mercer Union’s board of directors. She has also served as a Board Member of the Toronto Sculpture Garden, Glendon Gallery, York University, the acquisitions committee of Oakville Galleries and the steering committee on public art for the city of Mississauga.

Bolliger’s work has been shown in exhibitions throughout Canada and internationally. Recent exhibitions include: Four Echoes, Oakville Galleries; The Cold City Years, The Power Plant Toronto ; Diagnosis, The Gallery/ Stratford ; Mask and Metamorphosis, Art Gallery of Hamilton ; ellipsis,The Koffler Gallery and Hartnett Gallery, University of Rochester ; The Word in Contemporary Canadian Art, Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto ; Cutting Edge, ARCO Madrid ;  Volatile Body/Volatile Language, Cold City Gallery, Toronto .

Bolliger’s work is included in the collections of the Government of Ontario; Hart House, University of Toronto; Kamloops Art Gallery; University of Lethbridge;  St.Michael’s College, University of Toronto and Oakville Galleries.

Bolliger is the recipient of Canada Council and Ontario Arts Council grants.

Approach to Teaching

At the core of my teaching stands the belief that theory and practice should inform each other, that each of them should carry an equal weight. It is in the areas where the two meet that ideas are generated that friction occurs, that discourses take place. I see the classroom as a safe place where a context can be created within which different ideas are articulated, tested, honed, revoked and re-articulated in the form of an ongoing process.