GAVIN TURK

Overview
 "If objects gain symbolic powers, can the object be represented and put back in front of the audience in such a way that the process of acquiring value and meaning may be exposed? This is not to nullify meaning or symbolic power but to try to wrestle it free from the cliché of ‘established thought'." Gavin Turk

In the Presence of the Artist

 

Jablonka Maruani Mercier Gallery is proud to present a selection of Gavin Turk's body of work at its Knokke gallery.

 

Gavin Turk (b.1967) is a British born, international artist. He has pioneered many forms of contemporary British sculpture now taken for granted, including the painted bronze, the waxwork, 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 ready-mades of Marcel Duchamp.

 

In the continued search for artistic identity the Exhibition GT spotlights a new series of Holy Egg paintings based on Lucio Fontana’s La Fine di Dio from the early 60’s. The exhibition includes various Warholesque works including a live 16mm projected ‘Screen Test’ film.  Also on show are several painted bronze ‘found objects’ most notably American Bag a filled American sized garbage sack. Parked outside the gallery are two bikes ‘de Bois Rond’. The audience will be able to ride the bikes in return for a signed certificate from the artist, declaring the rider a work of art.  
 
To compliment the exhibition Turk has enlisted esteemed writer and critic Matthew Collings to re-enact with him the 1963 Fontana and Jef Verheyen performance in the house of Louis Bogaerts in Knokke, where it was originally performed.

 

"If objects gain symbolic powers, can the object be represented and put back in front of the audience in such a way that the process of acquiring value and meaning may be exposed? This is not to nullify meaning or symbolic power but to try to wrestle it free from the cliché of ‘established thought'." Gavin Turk

 

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: ‘Gavin Turk worked here 1989-91’. Instantly gaining notoriety through this installation, Turk was spotted by Charles Saatchi and has since been exhibited by many major galleries and museums throughout the world.

 

Turk has recently been commissioned to make several public sculptures including Nail, a 12- meter sculpture at One New Change, next to St Paul’s cathedral, London, England. In 2013 Prestel published Turk’s first major monograph, showcasing more than two decades of his work and in 2014 Trolley Books published ‘This Is Not A Book About Gavin Turk’ which playfully explores themes associated with the artist’s work via thirty notable contributors. 

 
Installation Views
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