Dr Luke Smythe

Dr Luke Smythe

Dr Luke Smythe

Lecturer, Art History, Theory & Curating

Department of Fine Art

Monash University Research Portal

Graduate research supervisor

Dr Luke Smythe is a senior lecturer in art history and theory.

Prior to commencing at Monash, I taught art history in New Zealand and the United States. From 2012–2014, I worked as a Curatorial Fellow in Postwar Art at the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich.

I write primarily about modern and contemporary German art, abstraction across media and regions, the transition of analogue media to the digital era, and public art.  My articles and essays addressing these and related topics have appeared in many journals and catalogues, including October, Modernism/modernity, the Art Journal (U.S.), and Oxford Art Journal.  I am also the author of two monographs: Gerhard Richter, Individualism, and Belonging in West Germany (Routledge, 2022), and Gretchen Albrecht: Between Gesture and Geometry (Massey University Press, 2019; revised and expanded edition forthcoming in 2024).

As a curator, I have worked on exhibitions at a number of museums and galleries, including the Chinati Foundation, Yale University Art Gallery and the Pinakothek der Moderne.

To date, my research has been funded by the DAAD, the Fulbright Foundation, the Yale Centre for British Art, the Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst, the Australian Academy of the Humanities, the Anna Polke-Stiftung, Toi Aotearoa Creative New Zealand, and the Jennifer Gibbs Trust.

News & events

Recent news

Upcoming events

Recognising Success: 2022 Dean's Research Awards

Monash Art, Design and Architecture (MADA) researchers work together to undertake vibrant, innovative, creative research that addresses the social, economic and human issues facing Australia and the world.


Gretchen Albrecht: Between Gesture and Geometry

A comprehensive survey of the work of a leading New Zealand painter.

Gerhard Richter, Individualism, and Belonging in West Germany

This book reevaluates the art of Gerhard Richter (b. 1932) in relation to his efforts to achieve belonging in the face of West Germany’s increasing individualism between the 1960s and the 1990s.

Graduate research opportunities

Art in public space

Monash Art Projects (MAP) is seeking PhD and MFA proposals that critically engage art in public space. The research proposals should explore engagement with various forms of public media, communication, and information in the contemporary world that animate how urban spaces are created, experienced, valued and understood. MAP welcomes applications in fields of Fine Art, Curatorial Practice, Art History and Theory, Architecture and Design.

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