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David Osbaldeston

Reader in Fine Art

Broadly speaking, what I do engages with the transformation of materials, objects and spaces that contend with power relations or hierarchical structures through the associative power of language. The work I make is often realised in the form of unique posters and prints that draw from existing motifs or stylistic codes which are then re-purposed toward new contexts.

Despite a world of labels, what happens in the studio often evolves into a personalised pursuit of reproduction to produce a parallel structure of meaning, one which deliberately aims to re-translate, or destabilize existing conventions. As a result, each time a transformation takes place something different occurs. This feeling is in-itself nothing but a form of sensation which subverts an established logic. It is one that regularly draws upon perceptions of class and identity and has always been the foundational method in what I do.

A number of works are held in various public institutions including the Whitworth Art Gallery, Tate collection and library, and the British Council Collection.

I currently live and work between Manchester & Scotland and my work is represented in the UK by Matt's Gallery, London.

Further information:


External Examiner, MA, Fine Art, & MA Art & Material Histories,
City & Guilds, London, 2022 - 26
External Examiner, BA, MA, Fine Art, UWE, Bristol, 2015-19
External Examiner, BA Fine Art, University of Reading, 2010
Lecturer in Fine Art, Painting & Printmaking,
Glasgow School of Art, 2006-8


Word Props

Through drawing, painting, and collage, a more economic approach to materials has recently generated new work best described as 'word props' where the starting point of each formal outcome is a measured space according to the width of the digits on my right hand. This approach has led to an accidental abstraction; one that pursues poetic equivalence between the interpretive power of the printed word (both its loaded connotation and as an abstract sign) and the power of drawing as an approximate measure of perception. Details…


David Osbaldeston is a member of the Art and Performance Research Hub.


Osbaldeston, D., 2018. Abstract Things, Bonington Gallery, Nottingham Trent University, 1/11/2018.

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

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. Modern History Volume 1, 2, & 3 curated by Lynda Morris, Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool, Atkinson Art Gallery, Southport, Bury Art Gallery, Manchester.

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, 2015.

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

Osbaldeston, D., 2014. The Measure of All Things, Collective Gallery, Edinburgh., 15/3/2014 - 27/4/2014.

The Measure of All ThingsThe Measure of All Things

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

Inflection SandwichInflection SandwichLiving Matter

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

Combativeness (Ode to BLAST)

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

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. Rijksakademie Open Ateliers, Rijksakademie Van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam.

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

Osbaldeston, D., 2008. The Pleasure of Your Company, ICA Galleries, Nought To Sixty, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London.

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. 'A Trade Double, Matt's Gallery Portfolio', 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., 2019. 'Communication', Wiley.

Hunt, A & Osbaldeston, D, 2008. 'Another Shadow Fight: David Osbaldeston in conversation with Andrew Hunt', International Project Space, University of Central England, Birmingham.

Book Chapters

Osbaldeston, D., 2018. 'The Serving Library Annual 2018/19'. In The Serving Library Annual, Roma Publications.

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, Art Papers', ARTPAPERS, may/June 2015, 6.

Conference Papers

Osbaldeston, D., 2019. 'Abstract Now Abstract Then, Gustav Metzger & Contemporary Drawing', Drawing Research Forum, The Drawing Room, London, 1/11/2019 - 1/11/2019.