Emil Lukas


Focused on process and perception, Emil Lukas has developed several distinctive approaches to abstraction, often incorporating everyday, industrial, or otherwise unconventional materials into his paintings, sculptures, and prints. His practice ranges from “thread paintings” consisting solely of taut string wrapped around nails on a wooden frame, to enlisting fly larva to aid in the creation of otherworldly lines across surfaces. Uniting these explorations is a fascination with the acts of looking and questioning how we fundamentally see the world.  


Lukas began collaborating with Durham Press in the early 2000s. Utilizing screenprint, intaglio, and relief, he and Jean-Paul Russell developed new processes to put a twist on his signature languages and give them new life in the form of etchings, screenprints, monotypes and more. 


Lukas is represented by Sperone Westwater, New York; Studio la Città, Verona, Italy; and Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco. In addition to numerous solo shows at these venues, as well as other commercial galleries—including —his work has been the focus of individual presentations at institutions such as the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, North Carolina (2005); Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut (2005); Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh; and Morris Gallery at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia (2016).


Lukas’s work is represented in prominent public and private collections, including those of the Baltimore Museum of Art; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas; Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; Dakis Joannou Collection, Greece; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Panza Collection, Italy; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the UBS Art Collection.