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Dr Daniel Sturgis

Professor in Research
University of the Arts London
Researcher Research
Daniel  Sturgis


Daniel Sturgis is an artist and curator whose idiosyncratic, painterly language infuses formalism’s rigorous traditions of visual intellect and craftsmanship with contemporary pop references and casual aesthetics.

His work proposes new possibilities for the continued relevance and vitality of painting and his off-beat geometric arrangements reinvest the optimistic and visionary qualities of modernism in contemporary compositions. Humorous, media savvy and hierarchically democratic, Sturgis’ works advance the legacy of 20th-century abstraction for 21st-century values and sensibilities.

Sturgis’ work is regularly exhibited in the UK and internationally, featuring at museums such as The Chinati Foundation (Marfa, Texas), Camden Art Centre (London) and Turner Contemporary (Margate).

His curated projects include The Indiscipline of Painting (Tate), Daniel Buren’s Voile Toile / Toile Voile (Wordsworth Trust) and Jeremy Moon’s A Retrospective (Kettle’s Yard).

Sturgis is an editor of the Journal of Contemporary Painting and a founding member of Paint Club.

He is a writer and selector for Phaidon’s survey of global painting Vitamin P3. He was a Visiting Professor at Nagoya University of Arts, Japan in 2012, and Visiting Professor in Painting Xi' an Academy of Fine Arts, China in 2015

I am interested in how the culture and language of painting is historically framed and how that history impacts on the contemporary practitioner and indeed the practice and culture of painting. Within my own work, my paintings respect and believe in the tenets of modernist abstraction, but also recognise their fallibility. They neither re-stage the arguments and developments of modernist painting, nor revel in post-modern irony. They can be seen to speak with a divided mind.

Grants and awards

(Figures indicate amount awarded to UAL)

  • Bauhaus Dessau Foundation Gropiusallee 38 06846 Dessau-Roßlau Germany, Bauhaus Open Stage, €10,000.00, (2019-2019)
  • Bauhaus Dessau Foundation Gropiusallee 38 06846 Dessau-Roßlau Germany, Bauhaus Open Stage, €10,000.00, (2019-2019)

Research Outputs

Art/Design item


Book Section

Conference, Symposium or Workshop item


Current research students

  • Georgina Amos, Thinking through Enactive Painting. (Lead supervisor)
  • Alison Goodyear, Privileged, unique and temporary: interpreting aesthetic experiences of the painter-painting relationship through an address to and from practice. (Lead supervisor)
  • Emma Gradin, Slow Works – Deceleration as Curatorial Paradigm (Joint supervisor)
  • Donal Maloney, Slippages between the picture plane and the painting surface. An analysis, through my paintings, of specular highlights, proximal spaces and the Lacanian gaze. (Lead supervisor)
  • James Threapleton, The Corroded Surface: Portrait of the Sublime. (Lead supervisor)
  • Anna Vickers, Revealing and concealing in post 1970's painting. (Lead supervisor)