Lee Wagstaff


My name is Lee Wagstaff I was born in 1969 in London, I am an English artist living in Berlin.

I studied at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and the Royal College of Art in London and Kyoto City University of Arts, Kyoto, Japan. I have exhibited my body, large format photographic self-portraits and graphite works at art and performance venues worldwide. One performance was featured in the Ornament Und Abstraction show at the Beyeler Foundation, Basel, Switzerland and I was the first Western artist to be featured in the Art Annual, Kobe, Japan.

In 2007 I co-founded the artists project space RISE berlin and acted as its director and curator until 2013.

"Shroud", a self-portrait screen printed in my own blood, was included in the Victoria & Albert Museum exhibition Impressions of the Century — 100 Years of the Fine Art Print.

“The emergence of Lee’s image on the Shroud elevates him to the status of a surrogate divine seemingly without the intervention of God. It comes off as both disquietingly heroic and at the same time spiritually arrogant” - David Bowie.


My works could be seen as a series of proposals which invite further qualification and refinement. I am interested in how art can be used as a tool to reorder the world around me and how this aesthetic order could have a consoling or agitating effect, or even both. A recurring theme in my work is pattern, I am drawn to patterns that predict and perhaps defy cosmic order. When I make art I think about whether it is still possible to make images and objects that embody ideas of faith, beauty and truth in a contemporary world.

“ LEE WAGSTAFF's works ideate a symbolic mythology built around darkness and light; good and evil ”. ARTITIOUS Website



Solo Exhibitions

  • Information Overlord - London UK (Oct 2019)
  • Apophenia - Berlin Germany (April 2019)
  • A Sows Ear Never Intended for Purse-hood - Berlin Germany (Mar 2019)
  • Operation Dog - Berlin Germany (Nov 2018)
  • Sharp Attack Gentle Decay - Berlin Germany (July 2018)
  • Humble Like an Earthworm - Berlin Germany (March 2018)
  • A World Without God - Berlin Germany (Nov 2017)
  • I Remember Sea + Sky - Berlin. Germany (June 2016)
  • Turn the Heater On - Berlin. Germany (Nov 2014)
  • Bodyscanner -  Berlin, Germany (May 2013)
  • Baptism - The Others -  Turin, Italy (November 2011)
  • I am the Weapon - Rise Berlin, Berlin, Germany (June 2011)
  • Apostles - Rise Berlin - Berlin, Germany (April 2009)
  • Baptism - Rise Berlin - Berlin, Germany (November 2007)
  • Apostles - Space 44 -  London, England (April 2005)
  • Baptism - ACAD - Calgary, Canada (November 2004)
  • Baptism - The Proposition - New York, USA (September 2002)
  • Baptism - Javogue and Ingalls Fine Art - Miami, Florida, USA (February 2002)
  • Baptism - Belgrave Square - London, England (January 2002)
  • Baptism - Gallery Edward Mitterrand - Geneva, Switzerland (September 2001)
  • Baptism - Gallery Valerie Cueto -  Paris, France (May 2001)
  • Baptism - Gallery Engelhorn -  Vienna, Austria (March 2001)
  • Baptism - Gallery Seine 51 -  Paris, France (March 2001)

Group Exhibitions

  • "Ornament als Versprechen" Ludwig Forum Aachen (Sept 2018)
  • "Instinct # 6" Village Berlin (Sept 2018)
  • "Jealous Needs You" Jealous Gallery London (July 2018)
  • "Summer Exhibition" The Royal Academy of Arts, London (June 2018)
  • "Summer Exhibition" The Royal Academy of Arts, London (June 2017)
  • "Bowie Collector" Sothebys, London (November 2016)
  • "Derwent Art Prize" 2nd Prize Winner, London (September 2016)
  • "Summer Exhibition" The Royal Academy of Arts, London (June 2016)
  • "The body and the human form" Victoria & Albert Museum (March 2016)
  • "Herencia del Arte" San Jose, Costa Rica (April 2014)
  • "In the Flesh" Tonbridge (January 2014)
  • "Derwent Art Prize" London (September 2013)
  • "Tape Modern No.25" Tape, Berlin (January 2012)
  • "The Face of Jesus in My Soup" RISE berlin, Berlin (December 2011)
  • "Happiness Machines" RISE berlin, Berlin (March 2010)
  • "Summer Exhibition" The Royal Academy of Arts, London (June 2010)
  • "Lingering Whispers" The Crypt, St.Pancras, London (May 2010)
  • "Celestial Contrakt" Schwartz Gallery, London (November 2009)
  • "Summer Exhibition" The Royal Academy of Arts, London (June 2009)
  • "Poetic Madness and the Romantic Imagination" RISE Berlin, Berlin (December 2008)
  • "Leben Lieben" RISE Berlin, Berlin (September 2007)
  • "Board of Tattoos" London (October 2006)
  • "Everyday Shockers" Escape, London (September 2004)
  • "Summer Exhibition" The Royal Academy of Arts, London (June 2003)
  • "Naked Before God" Museum of New Art, Parnu, Estonia (June 2003)
  • "Express - A Journey Through the RCA Print Archive" Study Gallery Poole, England (March 2003)
  • "The Fourth Sex-Adolescent Extremes" Stazione Leoplado, Florence, Italy (January 2003)
  • "Sacred Century" Victoria & Albert Museum, London, England (February 2002)
  • "Impressions of the 20th Century" Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England (September 2001)
  • "Ornament Und Abstraction" Fondation Beyeler, Basel Switzerland (June 2001)
  • "What’s Next From London" Orion Gallery, Ostend, Belgium (May 2001)
  • "Typical Men" Touring Exhibition (2001) including; Museum of Modern Art Glasgow, Scotland, Djanogoly Gallery, Nottingham, England and First Sight at The Minories, Chelmsford, England
  • "Life’s What You Make it" Design Museum, London (November 2000)
  • "Circle" Henry Peacock Gallery, London (2000)
  • "Ra to Hi" Kobe Art Village, Kobe, Japan (October 2000)
  • "Swastika" Show Gallery, Kyoto, Japan (December 1999)

Awards, Fellowships and Residencies

  • Frans Masereel Print Centre - Research Residency (June 2013)
  • Royal College of Art Printmaking Research Fellow (2000-2001)
  • Waterstone - RCA Award (2000)
  • Kyoto City University of Art - Travel Award (1999)


  • Victoria & Albert Museum
  • David Bowie Collection
  • RCA print archive
  • Various private collections in Turkey, Japan, India, USA and throughout Europe

Commissions / Collaborations

  • ‘Flesh and God’ A Dialogue Between Contemporary Artists and The Catholic Church of France (2003)
  • Karlheinz Weinberger- new publication (2003)
  • BowieArt Print Project (2001)
  • Mercedes Benz/Esquire C-Class Commission (2000)

Lecturing / Teaching

  • University of East London
  • Winchester School of Art
  • Royal Academy of Arts School
  • The Royal College of Art
  • Alberta College of Art & Design
  • Surrey Institute of Art & Design
  • The Minories Colchester
  • Kobe Art Village
  • The Victoria & Albert Museum


  • Le Christ au miroir de la photographie contemporaine Nathalie Dietschy Publisher: Editions Alphil 2016 (ISBN:978-2-88930-088-4)
  • Skull Sourcebook, A. Nozedar (2015) Publisher: Race Point (ISBN-978-1631061585)
  • Forever: The New Tattoo, R. Klanten (2012) Publisher: Gestalten (ISBN-10: 3899554426)
  • Lingering Whispers, Predrag Pajdic (2010), Publisher: The Pandorian (ISBN: 978-0-9553309-1-9)
  • 100,000 Years of Beauty, Elizabeth Azouley (2009), Publisher: Gallimard (ISBN-10: 207012844X)
  • Prints Now: Direction and Definition, Gill Saunders & Rosie Miles (2006), Publisher: Victoria & Albert Museum (ISBN-13: 978-1851774807)
  • L'autoportrait au XXe siècle: Moi Je, par soi-même (2004), Pascal Bonafoux Editeur: Diane De Selliers (ISBN: 2903656290)
  • Hidden Histories, Michael Petry (2004) Publisher: Art Media (ISBN: 190288910X)
  • A Guide to Ecstacity, Nigel Coates (2003) Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press (ISBN-10: 1568984243)
  • L‘ Eglise ET l’art d’avant-garde, De la provocation au dialogue (2003), by Monsignor Albert Rouet/Gilbert Brownstone (ISBN: 2 226 1135529)
  • ARS Erotica (2003 re-print), by Edward Lucie Smith (ISBN: 084720602)
  • The Fourth Sex: Adolescent Extremes (2003), Ed. Francesco Bonami/Raf Simmons
    (ISBN: 8881 584042
  • Art Tomorrow (2002), by Edward Lucie Smith (ISBN: 0847820602)
  • Ornament and Abstraction: the Dialogue Between non-Western, Modern & Contemporary Art (2001), Ed. Marcus Bruderlin (ISBN: 0300092261)
  • Impressions of the 20th Century, Fine Art Prints form the Victoria & Albert Museum Collection (2001), Ed. Margaret Timmers (ISBN: 1851773398)
  • Typical Men-The Male Body in Photographs by Men (2001), by Michael Watson
  • Ambit 162 (2000), Ed. Martin Bax/Eduardo Paolozzi (ISSN: 0002-6772)