Research output per year

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Personal profile


Dr Luke Smythe is a Lecturer in Art History and Theory in the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture.  Prior to commencing at Monash, he taught art history at Otago University and Wesleyan University.  From 2013-2014, he worked as a Curatorial Fellow in Postwar Art at the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich.

His historical specialty is modern art from the postwar period until today with at present a particular focus on three subjects: the global evolution of modernism since the Second World War, identity art and its constraints, and the passage of analog media into the digital era.  His articles and essays, addressing these and other topics, have appeared in many journals and catalogues, among which are OctoberModernism/modernity, the Art Journal (U.S.), and Oxford Art Journal.  He is currently completing two book manuscripts: the first on the New Zealand artist Gretchen Albrecht (forthcoming with Massey University Press in 2019) and the second on the German painter Gerhard Richter.

In addition to his research and writing, he has worked on exhibitions at a number of museums and galleries, including the Chinati Foundation, Yale University Art Gallery and the Pinakothek der Moderne.

His work has been supported by the DAAD, the Fulbright Foundation, the Yale Centre for British Art, the Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst, and Creative New Zealand.

Education/Academic qualification

Art History, PhD, Yale University

Award Date: 12 Jun 2012

Curatorial Studies, MA, Columbia University

Award Date: 8 Feb 2006

Research area keywords

  • Modern and contemporary art

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Research Output

Colin McCahon: Letters and Numbers

Smythe, L., 21 Dec 2019, Memo Review.

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationShort ReviewResearch

Open Access

Gretchen Albrecht: Between Gesture and Geometry

Smythe, L., 2019, Auckland, New Zealand: Massey University Press. 304 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBookResearchpeer-review

Gordon Walters

Smythe, L., 2018, Dunedin Public Art Gallery Society Newsletter, 53 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationShort ReviewResearch

Employing Reason Wisely: Gordon Walters and European Modernism

Smythe, L., 2017, Auckland and Dunedin, New Zealand: Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki and Dunedin Public Art Gallery. 14 p.

Research output: Book/ReportCatalogueResearchpeer-review

'Live' Motion, Pure Movement and Liberation: Len Lye's Kinetic Imaginary

Smythe, L., 2017, The Long Dream of Waking: New Perspectives on Len Lye. Brobbel, P., Curnow, W. & Horrocks, R. (eds.). New Zealand: Canterbury University Press, p. 59-70 12 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


Colin McCahon Centenary Symposium

Luke Smythe (Organiser)

15 Feb 2020

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesContribution to workshop, seminar, course

External review of PhD thesis - UQ School of Architecture

Luke Smythe (Examiner)

15 Aug 2019

Activity: Examination typesThesis Examination

Painting Politics Symposium

Luke Smythe (Invited speaker)

26 Jul 201927 Jul 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesContribution to conference

Gordon Walters: Employing Reason Wisely

Luke Smythe (Contributor)

12 Nov 2017

Activity: Community Talks, Presentations, Exhibitions and EventsPublic lecture/debate/seminar

Gerhard Richter: The Life of Images, opening weekend symposium

Luke Smythe (Invited speaker)

15 Oct 2017

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesContribution to conference

Press / Media

Digitisation is putting the world's greatest works within reach

Luke Smythe


1 Media contribution

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Best Art Books of 2019

Luke Smythe


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Review

100 Best Books of 2019

Luke Smythe


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Review

Impure First

Luke Smythe


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Review

Her True Colours

Luke Smythe


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Article/Feature