Daniel Sturgis












Daniel Sturgis





an exhibition of paintings and other works by david troostwyk

“For me, the act of painting was never considered, never possible unless only painting could

provide the means of sustaining legitimate calls of the mind.”

David Troostwyk


David Troostwyk was a leading British conceptual artist who worked with painting and text. His work is in the Tate Gallery Collection, Arts Council Collection, Southampton City Art Gallery and private collections.


This exhibition introduces the work of David Troostwyk (1929-2009) to a new audience, underlining its originality and vitality. David Troostwyk’s work with text, objects and painting displays a reduced elegance and focus on the way art can communicate ideas. Although pared-back, his work can be seen as moral. His succinct pictorial and linguistic vocabulary was in part indebted to his youthful employment in advertising for the London Display Company, and as a coach-painter. Having grown up in London during the Blitz, and coming from a family who had been forced to flee war-torn Europe, his work drew on the deep, and sometimes troubling, responses he had to 20th Century history and his inner emotional life.


Troostwyk studied at St Albans Art School (1950-53) and the Royal College of Art (1953-56). He became Head of Painting at Winchester Art School (1964-67) and later taught at various London art schools, most notably at Camberwell College of Art (1965-1989).


The exhibition included art works from throughout Troostwyk career. Such as examples of his early clear polythene wall hangings which were awarded a prize in the John Moores Painting Exhibition Liverpool (1969) and were shown at Kasmin Gallery London (1970) and later the ICA (1974). Examples of Troostwyk’s text based lithographic posters, prints and books were also displayed. These works originally shown at Felicity Sammuel Gallery (1977) use clear bold type and explore the slippages and gaps between words. The exhibition also incorporated and restaged Troostwyk’s radio and audio works including the seminal Advertisement of an Idea (1976) a 15 second commercial advertisement that was originally broadcast over 3 hours across London on Capital Radio. One of Troostwyk’s major sculptures a huge toothbrush will be included in the exhibition, as well as his extraordinary emotionally charged monochromatic paintings which he turned to at the end of his career. Examples include Cardboard Dossbox, Savoy Place, London (1998), the series Letters from a British Soldier (1997). These paintings through their titles and their extreme reduced emblematic language explore the artists’ deep reflection on absence, grief and loss.


An ESSAY BY Daniel Sturgis was published to accompany this exhibition.

installation Item 1969, Cardboard dossbox, Savoy Place, London 1998


installation Etcetera Standing on the Floor 1981, Labels for a Wall 1975-1976


installation Letters from a British soldier 1997, Six Stones 1999


installation Six Stones 1999, Toothbrush 1980, Logo Relic Logo Trace Logo Site Logo Mark 1975


Documentation relating to David Troostwyk, Euan Uglow and Sol LeWitt, David Troostwyk Sketchbooks, 1972, 1977, c.1980s


Stones of Passchendaele 2006, 16 actual Stones from Culloden 2000

All images reproduced courtesy © Matt’s Gallery, London and the Trustees of the Estate of David Troostwyk