Overview

I don't think I ever really decided I was an artist. I went to college to learn how to think and look at art. In the end, I developed a more sophisticated misunderstanding of art.

Gavin Turk's installations and sculptures playfully recontextualize everyday objects, addressing issues of authorship, authenticity, and identity.

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Biography

"When I was in college I thought of making up a fictive artist and giving him a name and a body of work. Eventually I came around to the idea of using my own name, which had this strange distancing effect, similar to using a found object. Being a Turk was quite interesting because in a sense it was like being a foreigner."

Gavin Turk is a pioneer in contemporary British sculpture known for his painted bronze, waxworks, the recycled art-historical icon, and the use of rubbish in art.

Turk’s installations and sculptures deal with issues of authorship, authenticity and identity. Concerned with the ‘myth’ of the artist and the ‘authorship’ of a work, Turk’s engagement with this modernist, avant-garde debate stretches back to the readymades of Marcel Duchamp.

In 1991, the Royal College of Art refused Turk a degree on the basis that his final show, ‘Cave’, consisted of a whitewashed studio space containing only a blue heritage plaque commemorating his presence...



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