David Tremlett

Installation artist, Photographer, Sculptor – British


david tremlett

Born 1945 in Dartford, Kent, United Kingdom

David Tremlett is an English sculptor, installation artist and photographer. He currently lives and works in Bovingdon, Hertfordshire, England. He is married to Laure Genillard who runs an art space in London.

Tremlett was born in Dartford, Kent and came to Sticker, near St Austell, Cornwall at the age of 6 months where he grew up on his parent's farm. He attended Falmouth College of Art from 1962 to 1963 (was introduced to the college by Lionel Miskin and taught by Francis Hewlett (painting) and Ray Exworth (sculpture) - Exworth told him he was 'useless' - before studying sculpture at Birmingham School of Art from 1963 until 1966 and then at the Royal College of Art in London. He travelled from the early 1970s in North America and Australia and from 1978 to 1987 in the Middle East and Africa.

His first solo exhibition was with Nigel Greenwood Gallery in London in the early seventies, where he rose to prominence alongside artists such as Richard Long and Gilbert and George. Tremlett was already making wall drawings at that time - his first was in 1969. Since the 1980s, his primary media has been pastel, of which he says: "It is a fragile, delicate powder, so light that you can blow it away, but at the same time you can make something strong, demanding, and structurally tough." Despite the time and attention required by all of his site-specific works, Tremlett does not limit himself to locations that will ensure permanence. Indeed, many of his wall drawings exist for only a short period of time before they are weathered by natural elements or painted over in preparation for the next gallery show. Tremlett's palette has also been influenced over the years by his travel to execute site-specific works in places such as Malawi, India, Italy and Texas.

In 1992 he was shortlisted for the Turner Prize "for his many wall drawings displayed around the world, most notably at the Kestnergesellschaft in Hanover."
Since the late 1970s, he has been creating wall drawings notably at the British Embassy in Berlin (his largest to date 16x46 meters), the British Council Building in Nairobi, Kenya (designed by Squire and Partners in 2004)  and the Capella Delle Brunate at La Morra, Barolo with his friend Sol LeWitt. His stained glass windows for the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul in Villenauxe-la-Grande in France were completed in 2006.

Tremlett has exhibited internationally in private galleries and major museums with 10 catalogues and several artist books to his credit. His extensive exhibition history includes solo exhibitions at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris; the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam; Musee des Beaux Arts, Grenoble; Pecci Museum, Prato, Italy; and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 2011 he was asked to create a work for the entrance of the Manton Hall at Tate Britain titled 'Drawing for Free Thinking' it spans 450 sq. metres.