Gavin Murphy is a lecturer in Art History and Critical Theory at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology. He has previously lectured at the University of Ulster and been an Associate Lecturer for the Open University.
His academic specialism is in Irish and European art from c18th to the present with particular reference to historical relations between aesthetics and politics. He completed his doctorate in 1998 with a thesis examining the work of three English artists dealing with the political conflict in Northern Ireland: Terry Atkinson, Richard Hamilton and John Keane. His current interest is in the lure of pastoral ideals, utopian spaces and imaginative retreats of past and present before a crude instrumental politics now dominating the field of contemporary art practice.
He publishes regularly in the area of contemporary visual arts and photographic practice. Journal publications include Irish Studies, Irish Studies Review, Third Text, Circa, Source Photographic Review, VAN and Printed Project. He has contributed the essay ‘New Media Art in Ireland’ to The Art and Architecture of Ireland, Volume V: Twentieth Century (Royal Irish Academy and Yale University Press, 2014). Two entries for the Modern Ireland in 100 Artworks series were published recently in the Irish Times and appear in the book of the same title, edited by Fintan O’Toole and published by the Royal Irish Academy in association with the Irish Times (2016).
Forthcoming publications include, ‘Same Difference: Surrealism and Irish Art’, in eds. Fintan Cullen, Roisin Kennedy, Sources in Irish Art 2: A Reader, Cork University Press, and, ‘Conceptualism: ‘The Last Partisans of the Avant-Garde’?, in, eds. Catherine Marshall and Yvonne Scott, Brightening Glances: Irish Art since 1900, Royal Irish Academy.