Théo de Luca

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Second Year
19th-Century European Art

Théo de Luca studies French painting from the seventeenth century through the early twentieth century, and focuses on Paul Cézanne as a nodal point in the history of painting. His research also encompasses sixteenth-century Venetian painting, Spanish Golden Age painting, postwar European and American painting and sculpture, the bonds between pre-Modern and Modern art, the history of collecting, as well as the concepts of space and time.

He received a B.A. in History of Art and Archaeology with a minor in Aesthetics from the Université Paris I – Panthéon-Sorbonne, after completing his years of Lettres Supérieures and Première Supérieure at the Lycée Montaigne in Bordeaux. He also holds a Maîtrise in History of Art from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris, and an M.A. in History of Art with Distinction from University College London (UCL), where his research was supervised by Professor Briony Fer.

Prior to his joining Yale’s doctoral program in History of Art, the Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König in Cologne published in January 2020 Théo de Luca’s debut book on the seminal 1981 exhibition ‘A New Spirit in Painting,’ which he presented at London’s Royal Academy of Arts (RA). A New Spirit in Painting, 1981: On Being an Antimodern features an essay he authored, as well as interviews he conducted with Georg Baselitz, Rainer Fetting, Anthony d’Offay, Thaddaeus Ropac, Jean-Louis Froment, Tim Marlow, Sir Norman Rosenthal, and Sir Nicholas Serota.

Théo de Luca also worked with the Director of Bordeaux’s CAPC Musée d’Art Contemporain on the preparation of major international exhibitions in collaboration with institutions such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Berlin’s KW Institute for Contemporary Art, and Madrid’s Museo Reina Sofía. He later was a Member of the Sales & Curatorial Team at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac (London, Paris, Salzburg), where he specialized in the work of German artist Joseph Beuys.

In 2021, he has collaborated with Almine Rech Gallery in Paris, Aspen, and New York, writing essays for monographic and group exhibitions. These included focuses on painters such as Günther Förg, Alejandro Cardenas, and Nathaniel Mary Quinn, as well as a Salon de Peinture, which brought together artists based in France, the United States, Ireland, Britain, Germany, and China. Most recently, he has collaborated with Michael Werner Gallery, for which he wrote the catalogue published on the occasion of German painter Florian Krewer’s second London solo show.