School of Arts and Cultures

Staff Profiles

Dr Stephen Moonie

Lecturer in Art History


Stephen Moonie is an art historian. He specialises in the art and theory of the postwar United States, with a particular interest in the discourse of Modernist painting in the 1950s and 1960s. More broadly, he is interested in art writing, aesthetics and contemporary painting.

Previously, Stephen taught at the Department of History of Art at the University of Warwick. He completed his MA (Hons) at the University of St Andrews, and completed his MA (2005) and Ph.D. (2009) at the University of Essex.

Stephen is module leader for Art Histories II (FIN1014). He is module leader for 'Art Since 45' (FIN2017/3027). He also supervises undergraduate dissertations at Stage 3 level. Since 2015-16, Stephen has been Chair of the Board of Examiners.



Stephen’s research interests focus upon postwar art and theory, especially Modernist painting and its criticism. He contributed to the catalogue for the exhibition at Tate St Ives and Warwick Arts Centre, The Indiscipline of Painting (2011). He chaired a session at the Art Historians’ Annual Conference in March 2012 which explored strategies of naivety in contemporary painting. His recent article on Luc Tuymans examines the legacy of Postmodernism in the reception of the artist's work.

Stephen is interested in art criticism and the problem of value judgments, and has written articles on the writing of British art critic Lawrence Alloway and the late critic/historian Leo Steinberg. He took part in the archival project ‘Critics and Curators’ at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles in 2011, and was part of the Tate research project, 'Artwriting in Britain.' His recent article on Harold Rosenberg's rivalry with Artforum forms part of his continued interest in the contested relationship between art criticism and art history.

Recent talks and papers:

'Painting and Exile,' DAVAR Bristol, April 2018.

'Painting and Exile,' Laing Art Gallery, February 2017.

'Dan Flavin: Illumination,' Cafe des Artistes, Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, January 2016.

'David Lynch Naming' [review] BBC Arts online, (Dec. 2014).

'Reflections on "Artwriting Under the Sign of Conceptualism,"' Tate research website, June 2013.

'Charles Harrison: Criticism, Complexity, Disinterest,' 'Charles Harrison: Writing on Art, 1966-2009,' workshop, Tate Britain, October 2013.

'October and the ends of Painting,' Conference: 'Hidden Forces: Painting in the 1960s and 1970s,' conference, Museum fur Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, June 2013.

'Ed Ruscha,' Artists Rooms, Hatton Gallery, April 2013.

'Where is Art Criticism?' Tate Britain Round-table, June 2013.

'Correspondences: Lawrence Alloway and Ray Johnson,' Critics and Curators Workshop, Getty Research Institute, November 2012.

‘Rembrandt’s Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulp,’ BAPRAS Summer Scientific Meeting, The Sage Gateshead, July 2012.

38th Association of Art Historians Annual Conference, The Open University, Milton Keynes. Session convener: '"Bad" Painting', March 2012.

‘Leo Steinberg on Jasper Johns,’ University of Warwick research seminar, March 2011.

35th Association of Art Historians Annual Conference, Manchester Metropolitan University: Intersections. Session co-convener (with Matthew Bowman): ‘Art History and Art Criticism: Intersections, Disconnections, Non-Communications,’ April 2009.



Stephen is module leader for the  Stage One modules ‘Art Histories I’ and ‘Art Histories II.’ He is module leader for ‘Art Since 1945,’ which is available to students in Stage 2 and 3 during the Autumn term.