Personal profile


Luke studied art history, aesthetics and art theory at Middlesex University for his MA and PhD (History of Art and Design/Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy) and before that read English Literature at King’s College, Cambridge. 

His research and teaching focus on the history and theory of late 20th and early 21st century art in the UK, Europe, the USA and Brazil, specialising in Conceptual and Postconceptual art. His other research interests include: the history and theory of photography and the technical image (with a focus on photoconceptualism and its legacies), art theory and philosophical aesthetics, critical theory.

He is author (with John Jacob) of Trevor Paglen: Sites Unseen (Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2018), co-editor of Aesthetics and Contemporary Art (Sternberg Press, 2011) and is completing a book entitled Conceptual Art against Technocracy: Radical Art, Aesthetics and Politics after 1968. His articles have appeared in journals including Amodern, Art History, Art Margins, Grey Room, Manifesta Journal, Tate Papers and Third Text. Luke wrote catalogue essays for the Tate’s Conceptual Art in Britain: 1964-79 (2016) and the Generali Foundation’s Amazing! Clever! Linguistic! An Adventure in Conceptual Art (2013) and co-curated the exhibitions “Plastic Words” (2014-15) at Raven Row and “Counter-Production” (2012) at the Generali Foundation. His art criticism has appeared in Artforum, Art Monthly,  and Burlington Contemporary. He sits on the editorial board of the MIT journal Art Margins

His current research explores two, related areas: the exhaustion of Institutional Critique; the computational and ecological turn (beyond nature) by contemporary artists.

Prior to joining the faculty at Manchester Luke held a fixed-term University Lectureship at the University of Cambridge where he was also a Fellow of Churchill College.



I welcome applications for doctoral and postdoctoral work on late modern and contemporary art relating to my broad areas of specialisation. Please contact me directly in the first instance with a developed research proposal as far in advance of the relevant application deadline as you are able to. I have supervised PhDs to completion on radical British art of the 1970s, Contemporary Video art, and the work of Martin Kippenberger. Current doctoral candidates are working on the art of Rasheed Araeen and the legacies of Surrealism.
See guidance here on preparing a suitable PhD proposal.
See information here on the PhD application timeline.

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Digital Futures
  • Creative Manchester


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