Professor Michael Newman

Michael is Professor of art writing and has curated exhibitions in Toronto, New York, Edinburgh and London.

Staff details

Professor Michael Newman


Professor of Art Writing




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Academic qualifications

  • 1996: PhD (with greatest distinction) in Philosophy. University of Leuven, Belgium. Thesis title: 'Traces of Memory and Forgetting: Heidegger, Levinas, Derrida.' Supervised by Prof. Rudolf Bernet, Husserl Archive, Institute of Philosophy.
  • 1992: DEA (Diplôme d'études approfondies). Awarded 'mention très bien' (= distinction), in History of Philosophy. University of Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne. Dissertation on 'La question de la mémoire et le primat de l'oubli chez Heidegger.' Supervised by Prof. Françoise Dastur.
  • 1988: MA (with distinction) in Continental Philosophy, University of Essex. Dissertation: 'Reading, Temporality and the Problem of Culture in Nietzsche's On the Genealogy of Morals and Related Writings.' Supervised by Prof. J.M.Bernstein.
  • 1979: MA History of Art (Modern Period), University of London, Courtauld Institute of Art. Distinction for report on 'The Influence of Orozco and Native American Art on the Early Work of Jackson Pollock.' Supervised by Dr John Golding.
  • 1976: BA English Language and Literature, University of Oxford, Magdalen College.


Michael began working at Goldsmiths in 2008 as Professor of Art Writing while simultaneously serving as a visiting tutor for Lesley University's MFA programme and a tenured associate professor at the School of Art Institute of Chicago.

He served as head of Art History and Theoretical Studies at the Slade School of Fine Art for four years (1994-1998). He has lectured for art programmes at Central St. Martins College of Art and Design, UCL's Slade School of Fine Art, the University of Warwick's Art History department, and Canterbury School of Architecture. 

Outside of art, he has worked as a course tutor for the University of Essex's Philosophy Department, teaching the second and third-year course 'Philosophy and Psychopathology' on Freud and Lacan and 'Art, Reason and Modernity: Benjamin, Adorno and Marcuse'.

Areas of supervision

Michael has supervised the following Fine Art PhDs to completion:

  • Phoebe von Held, "Alienation and Theatricality in Diderot and Brecht," Fine Art by dissertation with supporting practice in theatre direction (University College London/Slade School of Art, 2001).
  • Uriel Orlow, "Time + Again: Critical Contradictions in Chris Marker's La Jetée," Fine Art by dissertation with supporting practice in visual art (The London Institute/Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, 2002)
  • Maria Mencia, “From Visual Poetry to Digital Art: Image-Sound-Text, Convergent Media and the Development of New Media Languages (practice-based with supporting thesis, University of the Arts, London/Chelsea College of Art and Design, 2004)
  • Verina Gfader, "Doubling in a Practice of Animation" (practice-based with supporting thesis, University of the Arts, London/Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, 2005)
  • Andrea Zimmerman, "Cliché as (embodied) memory: a social critique through cinema" (practice-based with supporting thesis, University of the Arts, London/Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, 2006)
  • Mo Throp, "Trauma, Performativity, and Subjectivity in Art Practice" (practice-based with supporting thesis, University of the Arts, London/Chelsea College of Art and Design, 2007)
  • Susan Morris, "Technology, Mimicry, Automatism: An analysis of the effects of new technologies of communication, surveillance and image manipulation on recent art practice, considered in relation to theories of subjectivity and the Look" (practice-based with supporting thesis, University of the Arts, London/Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, 2007)
  • David Campany, “Photography and Reproduction” (by thesis, University of the Arts, London/Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, 2009)
  • Livia Marin, “Rules of Engagement: Trope of Estrangement. A relation between art and the consumer object” (practice-based with supporting thesis, Goldsmiths College, Department of Art, 2012)

He has additionally served as a PhD examiner for the University of Sussex's Media Studies programme, the University of Central England's Institute for Art and Design, Goldsmiths College, Royal College of Art, Straffordshire University, and Warwick University, among others. Thesis included fine art, social studies, philosophy and fine art and humanities.

Professional projects

Michael has curated exhibitions at the Art Gallery of York University in Toronto, Independent Curators Inc. in New York, the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh and ICA London, among others. 

He has organised conferences and symposia on topics that recently include 'Obsolescence and New Media'  to 'Re-Take: A Panel on Art and Appropriation’  for institutions like Tate Modern, ICA London, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the SAOC/DePaul Symposium in art and philosophy. His work co-organising the University of Essex's major international conference on Nietzsche led to the foundation of the Friedrich Nietzsche Society of Great Britain.

Michael has delivered Keynote lectures at the conference 'Making in Two Modes' at University College Cork and the Matrix 4 Conference at Central St. Martins. He has been invited to speak at conferences at Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Architectural Association, Serpentine Gallery and Whitechapel Gallery in London, and internationally at Universitat de Girona, Global Vernunft Foundation, Moderna Museet and Hôtel des Arts.

Publications and research outputs


Newman, Michael. 2019. Michael Newman - Selected Writings Vol. 1: Artists of the Still and Moving Image. London: Ridinghouse. ISBN 9781905464647

Newman, Michael. 2014. 'I know very well…but all the same': Essays on Artists of the Still and Moving Image. London: Ridinghouse. ISBN 978 1 905464 64 7

Newman, Michael and Price, Seth. 2010. Price, Seth. JRP Ringier. ISBN 978-3-03764-028-9

Book Section

Newman, Michael. 2020. Decapitations: the portrait, the anti-portrait … and what comes after? In: Fiona Johnstone and Kirstie Imber, eds. Anti-Portraiture: Challenging the Limits of the Portrait. London: Bloomsbury Visual Arts, pp. 25-68. ISBN 9781784534127

Newman, Michael. 2019. Sensation and the Measure of Timbre: Florian Hecker’s Resynthese FAVN Revisiting Mallarmé’s Scene. In: Vanessa Joan Müller, ed. Halluzination, Perspektive, Synthese. Berlin: Sternberg Press, pp. 22-44. ISBN 978-3-95679-471-1

Newman, Michael. 2017. The Ball-Joint and the Anagram: Perversion and Jouissance in Hans Bellmer. In: Diana Caine and Colin Wright, eds. Perversion Now! London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 157-168. ISBN 978-3-319-47270-6


Newman, Michael. 2013. 'Drawing Time Tacita Dean's Narratives of Inscription'. Enclave Review, 7, pp. 5-9.

Newman, Michael. 2011. 'Dead Mirrors: relics and photographs in Georges Rodenbach’s Bruges-la-Morte'. Photographies, 4(1), pp. 27-43. ISSN 1754-0763

Newman, Michael. 2010. The Image Beside the Image and the Image Within the Image: Prolegomena to an Approach to the Collages of John Stezaker. Parallax, 16(2), pp. 79-86. ISSN 1353-4645

Exhibition Catalogue

Newman, Michael. 2012. 'Models and Fragments: Ian Kiaer's Studio'.

Newman, Michael and Comay, Rebecca. 2012. Ghostly Medium: James Coleman’s Charon (MIT Project).

Newman, Michael. 2011. 'Ingrid Calame: Body, Trace, Event'.


Newman, Michael. 1983. 'Josef Beuys.'.

Conference or Workshop Item

Newman, Michael. 2017. 'Odradek and the rethinking of political method in the work of art'. In: 4th Biennial Conference of the International Walter Benjamin Society. Worcester College, University of Oxford, United Kingdom 24-27 Sept 2017.

Edited Book

Macfarlane, Kate; Newman, Michael; Kivland, Sharon and Mason, Louis, eds. 2021. On Figure/s: Drawing after Bellmer. London: Ma Bibliothèque. ISBN 9781910055779

Newman, Michael and Elkins, James, eds. 2008. The State of Art Criticism. London and New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0415977876

Newman, Michael and Bird, Jon, eds. 1999. Rewriting Conceptual Art. London: Reaktion Books.


Newman, Michael. 2015. Stuart Brisley: Performing the Political Body and Eating Shit. The MAC, Belfast.

Newman, Michael. 2009. 'Marysia Lewandowska: Tender Museum.'.

Newman, Michael. 1981. 'Jack Goldstein.'. ZG Magazine, London.