David Mabb

Staff details

Position Reader in Art and Programme Leader MFA Fine Art (Studio Practice)
Department Art
Email d.mabb (@gold.ac.uk)
Phone +44 (0)20 7919 7671
David Mabb

David Mabb is an artist who works with appropriated imagery to rethink the political implications of different aesthetic forms in modern art and design history. Recent work has focussed on the designs of 19th Century English interior designer, writer and socialist William Morris. Mabb’s interest in Morris stems from the social and political connotations of Morris’ work, the continued relevancy of Morris’ politics and the continuing market for Morris’ designs. Mabb’s interpretations or reconfigurations of Morris’ designs consider the relationship between Morris’ own thinking and other forms of cultural production.

Academic qualifications

  • BA Fine Art Goldsmiths College 1980
  • MA Fine Art Chelsea School of Art 1981

Teaching and Supervision

Publications and research outputs


Mabb, David. 2023. 'Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful'. In: "Sieh einmal die schönen Blumen", Jägerschere gallery for contemporary art, Niederer-Fläming Germany, Germany, 7 May - 11 June 2023.

Mabb, David. 2023. ‘Lietuva’ and ‘The Benetton Shop' from 'Art into Everyday Life’. In: "Outsiders Look at Vilnius", National Gallery of Art, Vilnius, Lithuania, 7 April - 11 June 2023.

Mabb, David. 2022. Variant 7, William Morris Colouring Book with Untitled Textile Design by Varvara Stepanova.. In: "Patternicity", ASC Gallery, London, United Kingdom, 2022.

Mabb, David. 2020. Three placards: Chernobyl, Ukraine; Ignalina, Lithuania; Astravets, Belarus.. In: "Splitting the Atom", CAC/SMK Centre for Contemporary Art and The Energy & Technology Museum, Lithuania, 18 September – 25 October 2020.

Mabb, David. 2020. Construct 69, Morris, Daisy / Stepanova, Optical and Construct 70, Morris & Co. (Dearle) Iris / Stepanova, Optical. In: "Beyond Other Horizons", Iași Palace of Culture, Romania, 1st - 31st March 2020.

Mabb, David. 2020. In Search of Chairman Mao: 12 Days in Beijing. In: "The Red Mansion Anniversary Art Prize Exhibition.", Royal Academy of Art, United Kingdom, 18—25 Mar 2020 (Canceled the day it opened due to pandemic)..

Mabb, David. 2019. Provisional Memorial to Nuclear Disarmament and Placards for Mutinous Submariners. In: "Parade", Former Tourist Information Centre/Broadway Gallery, Letchworth Garden City, United Kingdom, 13 December 2019 - 16 February 2020.

Mabb, David. 2019. Unrealised Project. In: "LLAWN (Llandudno Arts Weekend), Murals", Llandudno, United Kingdom, 13-15 September 2019.

Mabb, David. 2019. Four Historical Materialism Posters. In: "Songs the Plants Taught Us", Anytime Dept., United States, 30 March - 28 April 2019.

Mabb, David. 2017. Rise Up!. In: "Rise UP!", Nunns Yard, United Kingdom, 30/05/17 - 06/06/17.

Mabb, David; Elshamy, Mosa’ab and Collective, Justseeds. 2017. #WorldsUpsideDown. In: "#WorldsUpsideDown", Firstsite, United Kingdom, 11 March 2017 - 2 April 2017.

Mabb, David. 2017. Self Portrait as the Angel of History. In: "Public View", Bluecoat Gallery, United Kingdom, 4 February - 23 April 2017.

Carpenter, Ele; Mabb, David; Crowe, Nick; Craighead, Alison; Schuppli, Susan and Weir, Andy. 2016. Perpetual Uncertainty, exhibition. In: "Perpetual Uncertainty", Bildmuseet, Sweden, 2 October 2016 - 16 April 2017.

Carpenter, Ele; Mabb, David; Craighead, Alison; Crowe, Nick; Schuppli, Susan; Takeuchi, Kota and Kobayashi, Erika. 2016. Material Nuclear Culture, Exhibition. In: "Material Nuclear Culture", KARST Gallery, United Kingdom, 17 June - 13 August 2016.

Mabb, David. 2016. About Two Worlds. In: "About Two Worlds", Handel Street Projects, United Kingdom, 16 January – 20 February 2016.

Mabb, David. 2016. Construct 1, Morris, Trellis / Stepanova, Optical. 2003. In: "The Gardener Digs in Another Time", Whitworth Art Gallery, United Kingdom, 23 June - 9 October 2016.

Mabb, David. 2015. Announcer. In: "Announcer", William Morris Gallery, United Kingdom, 27-June - 27 Sept 2015.

Mabb, David. 2015. Rhythmus. In: "‘Graphics Interchange Format: 25 Years of Focal Point Gallery", FocalPoint Gallery, United Kingdom, 21 July - 19 September 2015.

Mabb, David. 2015. 'When class-robbery is abolished every man will reap the fruits of his labour'. In: "2nd International Bodrum Biennial “Tolerance - Forbearance”", Bodrum, Turkey, 12 September - 12 November 2015.

Mabb, David; Bilton, Joshua; Harvey-Regan, Darren; Moore, Jenny; Ounanian, Steven; Pickering, Kate and Warne Thomas, Charlotte. 2014. Who Thinks the Future?. Lewisham Art House, United Kingdom 26th September - 5th October 2014.

Mabb, David. 2014. Announcer. Focal Point Gallery, Southend on Sea, United Kingdom 12th April 2014 -12th July 2014.

Mabb, David. 2014. In England's Green and Pleasant Land. In: "Mr and Mrs Andrews", Transition Gallery, 29 November - 21 December 2014.

Mabb, David; Syjuco, Stephanie; Slavick, Susanne and Lynn Waddell, Stacy. 2013. Highlights from The Morris Kitsch Archive. In: "Ornament and Crime", Ortega y Gasset Projects, United States, November 2nd – December 15th, 2013.

Mabb, David. 2013. Regime Change Begins at Home. In: "Regime Change Begins at Home", William Morrris Gallery, United Kingdom, 1st May - 28th July 2013.

Mabb, David and Schrat, Henrik. 2013. David Mabb & Henrik Schrat. In: "LoBe", Berlin, Germany.

Mabb, David. 2012. Bed Peace. In: "Dreamers of Dreams part of Late at Tate", Tate Britain, United Kingdom.

Mabb, David. 2011. David Mabb. In: "Artist of the Day", Flowers, United Kingdom, 29/6/11.

Mabb, David and Walsh, Mary Ruth. 2011. Utopia Ltd. In: "Utopia Ltd", Highlanes Gallery Drogheda, Ireland, 30/04/2011-03/08/2011.

Mabb, David. 2010. The Morris Kitsch Archive. In: "The Morris Kitsch Archive", Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, Wilmington, Delaware, United States, 13/08/10 – 05/12/10.

Mabb, David. 2009. "Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”. In: ""Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful"", Leo Kamen Gallery, Toronto, Canada, Feb 21 - Mar 21, 2009.

Mabb, David. 2008. Rhythm 69 and A Miniature Retrospective. In: "Rhythm 69 and A Miniature Retrospective", Jugendstilsenteret & KUBE, Alesund, Norway, 31 May - 18 August 2008.

Mabb, David and et al.. 2007. Dialogues, Biennale of Contemporary Art. In: "Dialogues, Biennale of Contemporary Art, Menage", St Petersburg, Russian Federation.

Mabb, David. 2006. Art into Everyday Life. In: "Art into Everyday Life", Contemporary Art Centre, 1/20/2006 - 3/19/2006.

Mabb, David. 2006. Self-Portrait as Rodchenko (Based on a Photograph by Mikhail Kaufman, David Mabb in William Morris ‘Fruit’ Production Suit, photographed by Robin Forster and copied in paint by Rajendra Sharma). In: "John Moores 24", National Museums Liverpool, United Kingdom, 16 September - 26 November 2006.

Mabb, David. 2005. Morris in Jaipur: The Work of Art in the Context of Hand-made Reproduction. In: "Morris in Jaipur: The Work of Art in the Context of Hand-made Reproduction", Queens Galley, British Council, 3/18/2005 - 4/9/2005.

Mabb, David. 2004. William Morris, "Ministering to the swinish luxury of the rich". In: "William Morris, "Ministering to the swinish luxury of the rich"", Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester, United Kingdom, 4/10/2004 - 12/23/2004.

Mabb, David. 2004. Arttextiles 3. In: "Arttextiles 3", Bury St Edmunds Art Gallery.

Mabb, David. 2004. Inter. In: "Inter", Harris Museum and Art Gallery, London, United Kingdom.

Mabb, David. 2004. Wish You Were Here. In: "Wish You Were Here", Waygood Gallery, Newcastle, United Kingdom.

Mabb, David. 2003. A Factory As It Might Be or The Hall Of Flowers. In: "A Factory As It Might Be or The Hall Of Flowers", Art Gallery of Windsor, Canada, 8/9/2003 - 10/5/2003.

Mabb, David. 2003. Science Fiction Double Feature. In: "Science Fiction Double Feature", Aas, Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Mabb, David. 2003. Further Up In The Air. In: "Further A Field", Liverpool, United Kingdom.

Mabb, David. 2003. The Hall of the Modern. In: "The Hall of the Modern", The Economist Plaza, London, United Kingdom, 1 October -23 November 2003.

Mabb, David. 2002. Pattern Crazy. In: "Pattern Crazy", Crafts Council Gallery, London, United Kingdom.

Mabb, David. 2000. The Decorating Business. In: "The Decorating Business", Oakville Gallery, Canada, 7 October – 26 November 2000.

Exhibition Catalogue

Mabb, David. 2014. Announcer (broadsheet).

Drake, Colin and Mabb, David. 2008. Commodity Form.

Mabb, David; Jablonskiene, Lolita and Rees, Simon. 2006. Mabb: Art into Everday Life.

Mabb, David. 2006. The Sneeze.

Mabb, David; Edwards, Steve and Arscott, Caroline. 2004. David Mabb, William Morris. Ministering to the Swinish Luxuary of the Rich.

Mabb, David; Buxey, K.R.; Harris, Mark; Ishige, Yasu; Lai, Adrienne; Lewis, Peter Lloyd; Macrae, Sheena; Maier, Johannes; Wyatt, Angus and Kollectiv, Pil and Galia. 2002. Critical Home Video (Peterborough).

Mabb, David. 2002. Critical Home Video.

Mabb, David; Edwards, Steve; Higgs, Matthew; Périnet, Francine and Fleming, Marnie. 2001. David Mabb: The Decorating Business.

Artist's Book

Mabb, David. 2004. Furthermore … ‘a book of proposals’: Proposal for The Linosa Close Transitional Monument.

Conference or Workshop Item

Mabb, David. 2016. 'William Morris Goes Atomic: A Provisional Memorial to Nuclear Disarmament'. In: William Morris Goes Atomic: A Provisional Memorial to Nuclear Disarmament. William Morris Society, United Kingdom 3 December 2016.

Mabb, David. 2014. 'Legacies of Malevich Symposium: Abstraction then and Now'. In: Legacies of Malevich Abstraction then and Now. Camberwell College of Art, London, United Kingdom 23rd October 2014.

Mabb, David. 2014. 'But what does it mean to paint politically?'. In: Painting as Commitment. Firstsite, Colchester, United Kingdom 21 June 2014.

Mabb, David. 2014. 'Peer Session 45. David Mabb.'. In: David Mabb. Announcer. Focal Point Gallery, United Kingdom 14 June 2014.

Mabb, David and Quaintance, Morgan. 2014. 'David Mabb in conversation with Morgan Quaintance'. In: Announcer. Focal Point Gallery, United Kingdom 28 May 2014.

Mabb, David. 2014. 'David Mabb’s on his 'co-creation' with William Morris'. In: Art Talk 2014. University of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom 2014.

Mabb, David. 2009. 'David Mabb discussing William Morris and the Constructivists. What went wrong?'. In: Constructivism and the Art of Everyday Life. Tate Modern, United Kingdom 28 March 2009.

Art Object

Mabb, David. 2019. A pattern of life.

Mabb, David. 2016. A Provisional Memorial to Nuclear Disarmament.

Mabb, David. 2016. Maid with Two Squares.

Mabb, David. 2014. beaT bouT.

Mabb, David. 2010. Luibov Popova Untitled Textile Design on William Morris Wallpaper for Historical Materialism.

Mabb, David. 2008. Rhythm 69.

Mabb, David. 2004. Transitional Monument.


Mabb, David. 2021. Annotations on Historical Materialism Conference Posters. Folded Life, Talking Textile Politics,

Mabb, David. 2021. News from SOMEWHERE. The Journal of William Morris Studies, XXIV(1-2), pp. 88-94. ISSN 1756-1353

Mabb, David. 2020. Kehinde Wiley, The Yellow Wallpaper. Journal of William Morris Studies, XXIII(4), pp. 35-40. ISSN 1756-1353

Mabb, David. 2019. Life and Art at the David Parr House. Journal of William Morris Studies, XXIII(2), pp. 66-73. ISSN 1756-1353

Mabb, David. 2018. May Morris: Art & Life. William Morris Society Magazine,

Mabb, David. 2017. Long Live the New! Morris & Co. Hand Printed Wallpapers and K. Malevich’s Suprematism, Thirty Four Drawings, including covers, addendum and afterword. Red Wedge(4),

Mabb, David. 2017. How I came to Morris. Wiliam Morris Society Magazine(Summer), ISSN 2398-1911

Mabb, David. 2017. William Morris and the atomic. Journal of Contemporary Painting, 3(1-2), pp. 22-53. ISSN 2052-6695

Mabb, David. 2016. About Two Worlds. Salvage, 3, pp. 177-190. ISSN 2058-6361

Mabb, David. 2016. A Provisional Memorial to Nuclear Disarmament. The Journal of William Morris Studies, XXII(1), pp. 42-53. ISSN 1756-1353

Mabb, David. 2013. Commodity as comrade. Ephemera Journal, 13(2), pp. 445-448. ISSN 2052-1499

Mabb, David; Edwards, Steve and Day, Gail. 2010. ‘What Keeps Mankind Alive?’: the Eleventh International Istanbul Biennial. Once More on Aesthetics and Politics. Historical Materialism, 18(4), pp. 135-171.

Mabb, David. 2009. Notes on the Morris Kitsch Archive. Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture, 7(3),

Mabb, David. 2003. Spring, Fine Arts. Spring, Fine Arts, The British School at Rome,

Mabb, David. 2002. Some Introductory Notes On My Morris Works. The Journal of William Morris Studies, 15(1),


Mabb, David. 2021. David Mabb selects The Internationale in 95 languages compiled by MandalorTeSiit.

Mabb, David and Carey, Brainard. 2015. David Mabb: Interview with Brainard Carey.

Book Section

Mabb, David. 2020. William Morris and the Culture Industry: Appropriation, Art, Critique. In: Florence S. Boos, ed. The Routledge Companion to William Morris. New York and Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 227-258. ISBN 9780415347433

Mabb, David and Malik, Suhail. 2017. Art Teaching: Dialectics of Practice and Theory. In: Peter Sonderen and Marijn de Langen, eds. Theory - Arts - Practices. Arnhem: ArtEZ Press, pp. 69-81. ISBN 978-94-91444-39-5

Mabb, David. 2013. Art into Everyday Life. In: Marta Rabikowska, ed. The Everyday of Memory; Between Communism and Post-Communism. Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien.: Peter Lang, pp. 137-146. ISBN ISBN 978-3-0343-0847-2

Mabb, David. 2010. Hijack: Morris Dialectically. In: Phillipa Bennett and Rosie Miles, eds. William Morris in the Twenty-First Century. (20) Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien: Peter Lang, pp. 153-166. ISBN 978-3-0343-0106-0

Mabb, David. 2010. Morris/Fruit, Rodchenko/Triple Peaks. In: Gill Saunders, ed. Walls Are Talking: Wallpaper, Art and Culture. Chicago and London: The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester and KWS Publishers.

Mabb, David. 2005. Interview. In: , ed. Pilot: 2. London: Pilot.

Mabb, David. 2005. Two series of paintings: Elegies to the Third International and Unrealised Projects Series. In: Dave Beech and Mark Hutchinson, eds. There is Always an Alternative. London: Arts Council.

Mabb, David. 2004. Artist Contribution in Transmission: Speaking and Listening Volume 3 Ornament and Utility. In: Emma Cocker; Lesley Sanderson and Sharon Kivlan, eds. Transmission: Speaking and Listening Volume 3 Ornament and Utility. Site Gallery. ISBN 9781899926510

Mabb, David and et al.. 2004. Interview. In: , ed. Pilot:1 Q&A by Doriane Laithier. London: Pilot.

Mabb, David. 2003. Art of the Stitch and Sample. In: Polly Leonard, ed. Art of the Stitch and Sample. London: Embroiderers Guild.

Mabb, David. 2002. David Mabb. In: , ed. Sidewinder. Calcutta: CIMA Gallery. ISBN 8187977019


Mabb, David. 2023. Historical Materialism London Conference Poster 2023.

Mabb, David. 2023. Les Mondes du Travail cover.

Mabb, David. 2022. Historical Materialism Conference Poster 2022.

Mabb, David. 2021. Historical Materialism Conference Posters, London 2012-2022.

Mabb, David. 2021. Haymarket Books, Historical Materialism book series, cover designs..

Mabb, David. 2021. Historical Materialism Conference Poster 2021.

Mabb, David. 2020. Historical Materialism Conference Posters 2020.

Mabb, David. 2019. Historical Materialism Book Series Poster.

Mabb, David. 2019. Historical Materialism Conference Poster 2019.

Mabb, David. 2018. Historical Materialism Conference Poster 2018.

Mabb, David. 2017. Historical Materialism Conference Poster 2017.

Mabb, David. 2016. Historical Materialism Conference Poster 2016.

Mabb, David. 2015. Historical Materialism Conference Poster 2015.

Mabb, David. 2014. Historical Materialism Conference Poster 2014.

Mabb, David. 2013. Historical Materialism Conference Poster 2013.

Mabb, David. 2012. Historical Materialism Conference Poster 2012..

Mabb, David. 2012. Fruit Twigs Card.


Mabb, David. 2018. Historical Materialism (logo and graphics).

Mabb, David. 2018. Image from Rhythm 69 for Journal of Socialist Studies/Études socialistes.

Mabb, David. 2016. Announcer.

Mabb, David. 2011. Elegies to the Third International.

Mabb, David. 2007. A Miniature Retrospective.

Mabb, David and Kreivytė, Laima. 2006. Menas kasdienybei: dizaino politika Pokalbis su britų menininku Davidu Mabbu.


Mabb, David. 2014. IDEA13 TV: Interview with artist DAVID MABB Focal Point Gallery 11 April 2014.

Lubna, Arielle Gem and Mabb, David. 2011. Art and Appropriation – when does artistic freedom become copyright infringement?.

Printed Ephemera

Mabb, David. 2019. Construct 63 (Graveside Oration for Rosa Luxemburg: Morris, Golden Lily / Malevich, Suprematist Composition), 2006.

Mabb, David. 2017. William Morris's Utopianism cover image David Mabb.

Mabb, David. 2014. Left Helicon Cover.

Mabb, David. 2011. Current (Green Engineering Object).

Mabb, David and Gibson, Catherine. 2000. Problems of Everyday Life.

Further profile content

Professional projects

David Mabb’s work has been exhibited in solo shows at Handel Street Projects, London (2016); William Morris Gallery, London (2015); Focal Point Gallery, Southend on Sea (2014); Delaware Centre for the Contemporary Arts, Wilmington (2010); The Bluecoat, Liverpool (with Colin Darke (2009); Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius (2006); Art Gallery of Windsor, Ontario (2003) and Oakville Galleries, Ontario (2000). He curated Utopia Ltd. (with Mary-Ruth Walsh) at Wexford Art Centre and the Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda, Ireland (2011) and William Morris “Ministering to the Swinish Luxury of the Rich” at the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester (2004)