After many years of academic studies concerning education, history and art history at LYON II University, in 1986 Thierry Ollat was appointed Director of the Farideh Cadot Gallery specialising in Contemporary Art. In 1988 he became Curator of the Centre d'Art Contemporain in Geneva, before being appointed Assistant Exhibition Coordinator of the PUNTI DELL'ARTE at the Venice Biennale in 1993. He returned to the Biennale in 2003 as Exhibition Coordinator for EUROPARTE at the Bevilacqua Foundation, and in 2011 for The Mediterranean Approach at the Palazzo Zenobio. In parallel, he was Exhibition Coordinator at the Centre National d'Art Contemporain in Grenoble from 1989 to 1995.
In 1995, Thierry Ollat decided to settle in Marseilles where he became Director of the Town's Artists Workshops (Ateliers d'Artistes de la Ville). In 2006 he became Director of the [mac] the Marseilles Museum of Contemporary Art, a partner location of the OpenMyMed Festival which presently hosts the « Maison » & « Archives » exhibitions of Simon Porte Jacquemus until January 2018.