Donato Loia

PhD Candidate

Art History

Modern and Contemporary Art

Research Interests

  • Modern and contemporary art
  • Theory and methods in art history
  • Visual studies
  • Aesthetics
  • Continental philosophy
  • Intellectual history
  • History of the self
  • Theories of the secular and the sacred


BA, Art History, University of Rome “La Sapienza”

MA, Modern and Contemporary Art, University of Rome “La Sapienza”


Donato Loia is a PhD Candidate in Modern and Contemporary Art at The University of Texas at Austin, and the 2020-2021 Curatorial Fellow at the Visual Arts Center.

He was the 2019-2020 Vivian L. Smith Fellow at the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas. During summer 2019, he received a Short Term Research Grant sponsored by the German Academy Exchange Service (DAAD) and was a visiting scholar at the Kunsthochschule für Medien in Cologne, Germany.

His articles have appeared in Studies in Philosophy and Education, Visual Studies, Mise-en-Scène, The Journal of Film & Visual Narration, among other places.

Before moving to the United States, in 2009 he received a Bachelor’s degree in Art History and in 2012 a Master’s degree in Modern and Contemporary Art from the University of Rome “La Sapienza.” During his Master’s degree, thanks to an Erasmus Scholarship he studied Cultural Studies and Contemporary Art at Copenhagen University.

After the completion of his Master’s degree, he worked for three years with museums and art organizations in various positions to hone his object-based scholarly approach. He was granted the Leonardo Fellowship 2013-2014 by the European Union and worked for one year with the curatorial department of the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (mima) in the United Kingdom.

Parallel to his academic and curatorial work, in 2010 he founded Agave Film, an organization focusing on contemporary art documentaries. From 2006-2015, he has been a musician and composer with several bands and toured extensively in Europe.

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