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Senior Lecturer in Visual Art, University of Johannesburg

David Paton is currently a Senior Lecture in the Department of Visual Art at the University of Johannesburg where he teaches Drawing and Studio Practice at all undergraduate levels. He also supervises Postgraduate students' studies: four of his recent graduates have received the Chancellor's Medal for Meritorious Acievement in Postgraduate Studies. He received his MAFA at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2001 with a dissertation titled South African Artists' Books and Book-objects since 1960 and is currently reading towards a PhD at the University of Sunderland, UK. David has curated exhibitions, authored catalogues and published a number of articles on the book arts in local and international journals. His most recent project, Booknesses, comprising two exhibitions and their catalogues, an international colloquium and associated workshops devoted to the book arts in South Africa, was held at the University of Johannesburg from March - May 2017. David hosts the website Artists Books in South Africa which won the National Institute for Humaities and Social Science (NIHSS) 2018 award for Digital Humanities and is the recipient of the Ampersand Foundation Fellowship to New York in 1999 and 2017. During this latter residency, he presented a lecture on the Booknesses project at the Center for Book Arts, New York, NY. David is the father of two sons who are both completing Postgraduate studies.

Selected Recent Exhibitions:

2018. Boundless Objects. An exhibition of artists' books curated by Heléne van Aswegen. Toffee Gallery, Darling. 4 -13 August. Available:

2017. Prescriptions: Artists' books. Curators: Stella Bolaki, Egidija Čiricaitė, Elspeth Millar, Helen Blomfield. Templeman Library, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK. 1 August – 17 November. Available: and:

2017. Booknesses: Contemporary South African Artists' Books. FADA Gallery, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg.24 March – 5 May.

2016. Prescriptions: Artists' books on wellbeing and medicine. Curated by Stella Bolaki and Egidija Čiricaitė Beaney House of Art and Knowledge, Canterbury, UK. 22 August – 25 September. Catalogue at:
and: and the project's website:

2012. Coming of Age – 21 years of Artist Proof Studio. Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg. 8 May - 6 June.

2011 / 12. Altered Pieces: The Art of Leonard Cohen. Thompson Gallery, JHB; Pan Dora Art House, Pretoria; Aardklop Arts Festival. Potchefstroom; various locations in the Western Cape.

2011 / 12. JHB Art Fair Fringe: Department of Visual Art Staff & Student Show. Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

2010. The Fourth Biennale for the Artist's Book. Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria, Egypt. 22 April – 14 May.

2010.Transgressions and Boundaries of the Page : Oor die Einders van die Bladsy. At: Woordfees: JS Gericke Library, University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch; The Gallery of the North-West University, Potchefstroom; FADA Gallery, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg. 1 - 6 March; 15 April - 13 May; 12 – 30 July.

2009 /10. DADA South? Iziko, South African National Gallery, Cape Town. 12 December 2009 - 28 February.


  • –present
    Senior Lecturer in Visual Art, University of Johannesburg