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David Osbaldeston

Reader in Art

David Osbaldeston divides his time between London and Manchester. His work takes the form of installation, objects, drawing, & print media that all aim to disrupt the perception of an existing order by exploring properties of language that make it the principle framework upon which reality is understood.

Covertly humorous in tone and intention, regular subjects of interest are concerned with the material reorganisation of image and textual relationships under the prevailing conditions and atomization of contemporary life. 

His most recent solo work 'The Top and Bottom of It', Matt’s Gallery, London (2015) involved a 'time-machine' fabricated from the contents of office furniture. This required the making of a utilitarian/optical device to view items from a previously held exhibition of etchings and screen-prints embedded in the space. In 2014 he was awarded the Chancellors’ Fellow Art/Writing residency at Edinburgh College of Art and made a major installation 'The Measure of All Things' at The City Dome, Collective Gallery, Edinburgh (2014). For his first solo commission 'Your Answer Is Mine' (2006) he produced a unique hand produced intaglio etching for a 5.5 x 3m billboard structure made specifically for the space at Matt's Gallery, London.

Inspired by LeWitt’s assertion that 'every artist should have a cheap line’ as the Editor, from 2002-7 he self-published the quarterly publication 'Stellar' ; as a highly mimetic parody on the art world, Stellar’s meticulously produced and idiosyncratic narrative was realized through free access to a university photocopier.

In recent years David has been selected to take part in a number of established national and international residency programmes such Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, post-academic research institute, Amsterdam (2010) Acme Firestation programme, London (2010-15) & Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge (2013)

Prior to his current post at MMU, David worked as Lecturer in Painting & Printmaking at Glasgow School of Art from 2006-8 and from 2003-5 he was Education Officer for Visual Arts at Cornerhouse, Manchester (now Home) where he worked as part of the curatorial team on the development and interpretation of a number of solo shows, group exhibitions and events. Amongst others, he helped to establish and realise commissions for new work by artists at significant moments in their careers including Charles Sandison, Ryan Gander, IRWIN, and The Otolith Group. During this time he also secured funding to produce two events, each with three writers which aimed to address the position of writing in relation to artistic production. These events were later transcribed into a publication.

His works are in a number of private and public collections including the Tate Collection, The British Council, Contemporary Art Society, and Whitworth Art Gallery.

David is represented by Matt's Gallery, London.


David Osbaldeston is a member of the Art Research Group.

A selection of recent research outputs.


Osbaldeston, D., 2017. Drawing Biennial 2017, The Drawing Room, 02.03.17-26.04.17.

Osbaldeston, D., 2017. Public View, Bluecoat Gallery, 28.01.17-09.04.17.

Osbaldeston, D., 2016. Paint Her to Your Own Mind, Shandy Hall, Laurence Sterne Trust, Coxwold, Yorkshire.

Incomplete Scenarios for an Unwritten FutureIncomplete Scenarios for an Unwritten Future

Osbaldeston, D., 2016. The Practice of Theories, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge.

Osbaldeston, D., 2015. Drawing Biennial, The Drawing Room, London.

Osbaldeston, D., 2015. Graphics Interchange Format, Focal Point Gallery, Southend on Sea.

Osbaldeston, D., 2015. Modern History Volume 1, curated by Lynda Morris, Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool.

Osbaldeston, D., 2015. Modern History Volume 2, curated by Lynda Morris, The Atkinson Gallery, Southport.

Osbaldeston, D., 2015. Modern History Volume 3, curated by Lynda Morris, Bury Art Gallery.

Osbaldeston, D., 2015. Plague of Diagrams, ICA, London.

The Top & Bottom of It, Mechanism For a Future ReferenceThe Top & Bottom of It, Mechanism For a Future ReferenceThe Top & Bottom of It, Mechanism For a Future ReferenceThe Top & Bottom of It, Mechanism For a Future ReferenceThe Top & Bottom of It, Mechanism For a Future ReferenceThe Top & Bottom of It, Mechanism For a Future Reference

Osbaldeston, D., 2015. The Top & Bottom of It, Mechanism For a Future Reference, Matt's Gallery, London.

Moloney, D., Quaife, M., O' Reilly, O., Benson, S., Brown, K., Hartshorne, I., Jurack, B., Lansley, J., Lewis, C., Osbaldeston, D., 2015. Under the Shadow of Natural Things, Benzie Building, Manchester School of Art, 2/2/2015.

Osbaldeston, D., 2014. Annals of the Twenty Ninth Century, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge.

Osbaldeston, D., 2014. Double Purpose, Window Space, The CASS, London Met University.

The Measure of All ThingsThe Measure of All Things

Osbaldeston, D., 2014. The Measure Of All Things, Collective Gallery, Edinburgh.

Osbaldeston, D., 2013. Life Is An Illusion, Love Is a Dream, The Royal Standard, Liverpool.

Inflection SandwichInflection SandwichLiving Matter

Osbaldeston, D., 2013. Living Matter - Inflection Sandwich, Piper Keys, London.

Living MatterLiving Matter

Osbaldeston, D., 2013. Living Matter - What's Been Before Remains To Be Seen, Onomatopee, Eindhoven.

Two Way Mirror..............(after DG)

Osbaldeston, D., 2013. On-Site Work, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge.

Combativeness (Ode to BLAST)

Osbaldeston, D., 2012. Marbled Reams, The Modern Institute, Glasgow.

Osbaldeston, D., 2012. Publish & Be Damned, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London.

Osbaldeston, D., 2010. A Model of the Serving Library (Diagram For A Search Engine), Amsterdam Kunstverein, Artists Space, New York 2011-12, Banff Centre, Canada 2011, Tate, Liverpool 2014.

Osbaldeston, D., 2010. Open Ateliers, Rijksakademie Van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam.

Out of Time (The Light of Day, The Action of the Play)Out of Time (The Light of Day, The Action of the Play)

Osbaldeston, D., 2010. Out of Time, The Light of Day/The Action of The Play, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester.

Osbaldeston, D., 2009. Abstract Cabinet, Eastside Projects, Birmingham.

Osbaldeston, D., 2009. Your Answer Is Mine (4 X 4), Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool.

Osbaldeston, D., 2008. Another Shadow Fight, International Project Space, University of Central England, Bourneville.

Osbaldeston, D., 2008. Nought To Sixty, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London.

Osbaldeston, D., 2006. Non Despatch 124 and a quarter, EastWork Commission, East International, Norwich Gallery, Norwich School of Art.

Your Answer is Mine (detail)

Osbaldeston, D., 2006. Your Answer Is Mine, Matt's Gallery, London.


Osbaldeston, D., Holder, W., 2015. 'David Osbaldeston: Inflection Sandwich'.

A Trade Double, lithographic print of woodcut

Osbaldeston, D, 2007. 'E3 4RR', A2 Folded Lithographic Ltd Edition Artwork. Made alongside 12 other national & international artists, designed by Phil Baines Professor in Typographic Design Central St Martins School of Art. Commissioned and produced by Matt's Gallery, London., Contemporary Art Society, Tate Gallery, British Council Collection, Leeds College of Art & Design, 2007-10.


Osbaldeston, D. Will Holder. Dr John Russell. Jonathan P Watts, 2015. 'Inflection Sandwich', Onomatopee, Eindhoven.

Hunt, A & Osbaldeston, D, 2008. 'Another Shadow Fight', International Project Space, University of Central England, Birmingham.

Fusco, M & Osbaldeston, D, 2006. 'The Tender Tale of the De Trop Provo, in Your Answer is Mine', Matt's Gallery, London.

Osbaldeston, D., 2004. 'On communication', Cornerhouse, Manchester.

Book Chapters

Osbaldeston, D, 2009. 'Out of Time'. In Josephine Berry Slater, Simon Worthington (eds.) MUTE Vol2 No13, Cover Image & Chapter 6, Mute Publishing, London.

Osbaldeston, D, 2008. 'Another Shadow Fight, David Osbaldeston in Conversation with Andrew Hunt'. In Stuart Bailey, David Reinfurt (eds.) Dot Dot Dot, Issue 16, Princeton Architectural Press. New York.

Osbaldeston, D, 2008. 'The Pleasure of Your Company, David Osbaldeston, text by Matt Williams'. In Mark Sladen, Richard Birkett and Isla Leaver-Yap (eds.) Nought to Sixty, 60 Projects, 6 Months, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London.

Osbaldeston, D., 2004. 'The Pen'. In Put about A Critical Anthology on Independent Publishing, Book Works.

Journal Articles

Manifesto For a PhotocopierManifesto For a PhotocopierManifesto For a Photocopier

Osbaldeston, D., 2015. 'Manifesto For a Photocopier', ARTPAPERS, may/June 2015, 6.

Osbaldeston, D., 2013. 'The Language Barrier', Kunstwordtterugkunst, Number 5, 16-21.

Osbaldeston, D., 2012. 'The Necessity of Art, Ernst Fischer, Book Review', Mute (

Osbaldeston, D., 2008. 'MANIFESTO: Dusk NOTICE', Art Review, July/August 2008, Centre page fold-out artwork..


Osbaldeston, D., 2012. 'Subject to Change; 'If an artist's purpose is to lie, then why the hell am i drawing a diagram to explain it?' Beginning with a work by Beckett, a consideration into aspects of miscommunication, cognition & recognition', Diagrammatic Research Use & Generation Group (1st Symposium), Slade School of Fine Art, UCL., 14,15 July 2012.

Other Outputs

Left is Not Left, Right is Not Right, Radical Obsolesence Print Portfolio.

Osbaldeston, D., 2009. ''The Impact of Industrial Production upon Artistic Practice', limited edition print portfolio distributed by Ceri Hand Gallery.'.

Osbaldeston, D., 2006. 'Non Despatch 124 1/4', Eastwork Commission, East International, 2006.