contemporary art

Gavin Turk

United Kingdom 1967

Sculpture, Young British Artists

Gavin Turk
Gavin Turk
United Kingdom
December 29, 2014

Gavin Turk is a British artist who questions the conceptual foundations of contemporary art. He is a photographer and sculptor. Since the beginning of his career he wanted to explore the role of art in modern society, so naturally he is prone to have many philosophical inquiries. He belongs to the group of Young British Artist from the 1990s. His main interests are identity and authenticity. Quite often he uses his own character and reflection in his sculptures and installations. What art reveals in the artist is what his subject should be. How we perceive the world and how the world observes us is what interferes with our own reflection of self.

Gavin Turk is an experimental and conceptual artist and he always backs up his work with theory

Releasing Ideas from the Cave

Turk was showing amazing artistic talent since he was a child, and he started experiencing the world around him through colors, shapes and creations. He studied at Chelsea School of Art and continued his education at the Royal College of Art. However, he never graduated and did not receive his MA diploma because he caused a controversy and that escalation was the best career move he could never imagine that could happen. Turk set up an installation called the Cave which consisted of white painted room with blue plaque alike the ones that could be found on historical sites, saying Gavin Turk worked here, 1989-1991. His professors were not pleased with this act of egoism, and although that was not his intention, he was labeled as a narcissist and denied his degree.

The artist chooses sculputure because it gives him space and opportunity to experiment

Gavin Turk - Pop (left), Detail (right), 1993
Gavin Turk – Pop (left), Detail (right), 1993

Pop Culture Icons and the Admiration That They Get

After the unfortunate event, he was recognized in the art world, and with his partner, and now wife, he began to explore and create. For him, art has to deal with philosophical and psychological. He chooses his medium because it gives him space and opportunity to experiment and put himself out there. Ignoring the traditional uptake that art should be pretty, he is more concerned about what his work communicates. Turk believes that true artwork must be questioned and examined, it must always be open to analysis. When he made his Pop installation in 1993, where he made a wax statue of himself, posing as Sid Vicious with the revolver in a manner Andy Warchol portrayed Elvis, he jumped over iconic symbols in order to question the icons and symbols people respect and admire.

Wittgenstein’s Dream exhibition challenged the credibility of Freud’s psychoanalytic theory
work blue college blue college life search life search contact exhibitions royal 1991 work contact exhibitions royal 1991 2013 arts 2013 arts 2013 arts Gavin Turk - Wittgenstein's Dream, 2015, Freud Museum London, photo credits Telegraph UK
Gavin Turk – Wittgenstein’s Dream, 2015, Freud Museum London, photo credits Telegraph UK

Relativism and Arbitrary Theories People call Science

Turk’s idea is that art is about the artist, and that is the reason he is the subject of many of his works. After the concept behind his creations is presented and explained, it is obvious that he is more of the object of his art, and the theme is the idea of the identity. He shares a lot of theories about culture and philosophy and he analyzes every single thing he does. He does that in order to provide an explanation, to give more essence to his substance. Without theoretical knowledge artist’s vision would be hollow and his creations shallow, so Turk tries to give the audience something to think about. In Sigmund Freud Museum in London in 2015, he set up an installation called Wittgenstein’s Dream where a wax statue of philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein is holding an egg, insinuating the fallacies of Freud’s theories about what is real and what is just an impression. Turk contemplates and speculates, and continues to grow as an artist and as a skeptic.

The artist is represented by Hang-Up Gallery London and Cat Street Gallery.

Gavin Turk lives and works in London.

All images used for illustrative purpose only © Gavin Turk

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group 
2015At the Crack of DawnLarm Galleri, CopenhagenGroup
2015Sunday in the park with EdDisplay Gallery, LondonGroup
2014Gavin Turk - We Are OneNew Art Centre, SalisburySolo
2014Gavin Turk: ABen Brown Fine Arts - Hong KongSolo
2014Gavin Turk: Liqueur D´ExpeditionChristian Larsen, StockholmSolo
2014Gavin Turk – Pense BêteLarm Galleri, CopenhagenSolo
2014Post Pop: East Meets West The Saatchi Gallery, London Group
2014The Remarkable Lightness of BeingAEROPLASTICS contemporary, Brussels Group
2014Please EnterFranklin Parrasch Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2014What Marcel Duchamp Taught MeFAS Contemporary, LondonGroup
2014Wish You Were HereThe Atkinson, SouthportGroup
2014Dublin Biennial 2014Dublin Biennial, DublinGroup
2014Building SiteMeadow Arts, Craven Arms, ShropshireGroup
2014PlatformAlmine Rech Gallery, BrusselsGroup
2014ImaginariumLarm Galleri, CopenhagenGroup
2014Home - The Crisis CommissionThe Bermondsey Project, LondonGroup
2014Full House - 15 Years of Inventory and Exhibitions at Aeroplastics ContemporaryAEROPLASTICS contemporary, Brussels Group
2014Paparazzi ! Photographes, stars et artistesCentre Pompidou-Metz, MetzGroup
2014SyriartPhillips, de Pury & Company, LondonGroup
2014Sculpture ShowPatricia Low Contemporary, St. MoritzGroup
2013Gavin Turk - GTMonaco Project for the Arts, MonacoSolo
2013Gavin Turk - VanacularA Site-specific Project For The 55th Venice Biennale - Gervasuti Foundation, VeniceSolo
2013Gavin Turk - The YearsBen Brown Fine Arts, LondonSolo
2013Gavin Turk L'Amour FouDavid Nolan Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
2013Artists of the Colony RoomEngland & Co, LondonGroup
2013Expression: A Philosophical Portrait Of HumankindBen Brown Fine Arts, Hong KongGroup
2013Le Futur Commence IciFRAC - Nord-Pas de Calais, DunkerqueGroup
2013SIGNS ON THE ROAD A GROUP EXHIBITION AT THE CAC MÁLAGACAC Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Málaga, Málaga Group
2013Sculpture after ArtschwagerDavid Nolan Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2013Works on Paperi8 Gallery, ReykjavikGroup
2013London UtdKling & Bang Gallery, ReykjavikGroup
2013Making facesFalmouth Art Gallery, Falmouth, CornwallGroup
2013Bakers Dozen V: Marginal RevolutionsTorrance Art Museum, Torrance, CAGroup
2013The Art Of Not MakingHå gamle prestegard, NærbøGroup
2013XXH - Premiere RétrospectiveFondation Francès, SenlisGroup
2013Snap The Portfolio 2012Paul Stolper Gallery, LondonGroup
2013Glasstress 2013 55th Venice Biennale of Art, Collateral EventPalazzo Cavalli Franchetti,VeniceGroup
2013PoesiaStädtische Galerie Delmenhorst, DelmenhorstGroup
2013EditionsGoodman Gallery Cape, Cape TownGroup
2012Transit DisasterPaul Stolper Gallery, LondonSolo
2012Gavin Turk - Solo ShowGalerist Istanbul, IstanbulSolo
2012Gavin TurkPatricia Low Contemporary, GenevaSolo
2012Beyond DecadenceEduard Planting Gallery, AmsterdamSolo
2012Gavin & TurkBen Brown Fine Arts, LondonSolo
2012AdventureHerrick Gallery, LondonGroup
2012Carving in Britan from 1910 to NowContemporary Carving - FAS Contemporary, LondonGroup
2012The Fabricated ObjectSumarria Lunn, LondonGroup
2012Art, science & fictionMAC's Grand Hornu - Musée des Arts Contemporains, HornuGroup
2012With An Apple I will AstonishLarge Glass, LondonGroup
2012Entr'acteAurel Scheibler, BerlinGroup
2012The Art Of Chess The Saatchi Gallery, London Group
2012The End of Everything A New BeginningLarm Galleri, CopenhagenGroup
2012PlateHerrick Gallery, LondonGroup
2012London Twelve - City Gallery PragueGalerie Hlavního Města Prahy, PragueGroup
2012Made In Britain - Contemporary Art From The British Council Collection 1980 - 2010National Gallery of Arts - Tirana, TiranaGroup
2012The EndJacob's Island Gallery, LondonGroup
2012Sara & André and several pieces from Gavin Turks' shopThe Mews Project Space, LondonGroup
2012The Artists’ Postcard ShowSpike Island, BristolGroup
2011En FaceVIGO, LondonSolo
2011Gavin Turk - Jack Shit!AEROPLASTICS contemporary, Brussels Solo
2011Gavin Turk: Before The World Was Round Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna Solo
2011Gavin Turk - Me as HePatricia Low Contemporary, GstaadSolo
2011Radical DrawingPurdy Hicks Gallery, LondonGroup
2011Post PopGow Langsford Gallery, AucklandGroup
2011Frisch ausgepackt – Wie Kunst altertMARTa Herford, HerfordGroup
2011#40 Ideal HomeChelsea space, LondonGroup
2011What? Mimmo Scognamiglio Artecontemporanea, MilanGroup
2011Small Medium LargeDonjon de Vez, VezGroup
2011Farbe im Fluss - 20 Jahre WeserburgWeserburg | Museum für moderne Kunst, BremenGroup
2011Signal 8 Salon ExhibitionThe Cat Street Gallery, Hong KongGroup
2011Hackney HoardGalerie8, LondonGroup
2011Eat MeGoodman Gallery Cape, Cape TownGroup
2011Made in Britain: Contemporary Art from the British Council Collection 1980–2010Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Hong KongGroup
2011Deep inside AEROPLASTICS contemporary, Brussels Group
2011Wax - Sensation in contemporary sculptureKUNSTEN Museum of Modern Art, AalborgGroup
2011Abstraction(s) mitterrand+cramer, Art advisory, Geneva Group
2011Fountain ShowDispari & Dispary Project, Reggio EmiliaGroup
2011Drawing 2011 – Biennial FundraiserThe Drawing Room, LondonGroup
2011Poisson d'AvrilVOUS ETES ICI, AmsterdamGroup
2011Blink! Light, Sound & the Moving ImageDenver Art Museum, Denver, COGroup
2011The Art of ChessUniversity of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane, QLDGroup
2011Peeping TomKunsthal KAdE, AmersfoortGroup
2011WAX - Sensation in Contemporary SculptureKunstforeningen GL Strand, CopenhagenGroup
2011Freibeuter der UtopieWeserburg | Museum für moderne Kunst, BremenGroup
2011Something That I’ll Never Really See: Contemporary Photography from the V&ANational Gallery of Modern Art, BangaloreGroup
2010Gavin Turk - Solo ExhibitAlmine Rech Gallery, ParisSolo
2010Les Bikes de bois rondArt connexion, LilleSolo
2010Gavin Turk - Solo ShowCAC Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Málaga, MálagaSolo
2010Identity TheftMimmo Scognamiglio Artecontemporanea, MilanGroup
2010The Winter Show 2010i8 Gallery, ReykjavikGroup
2010Then I RememberedCarter&Gallagher, LondonGroup
2010Diamonds are ForeverScream London, LondonGroup
2010Then I rememberedCarter Presents, LondonGroup
2010Be-HeadAndipa Gallery, LondonGroup
2010Something That I'll Never Really See, Contemporary Photography from the V&A Bhau Daji Lad Museum, MumbaiGroup
2010The 5th Anniversary ExhibitionPatricia Low Contemporary, GenevaGroup
2010TranscendingLarm Galleri, CopenhagenGroup
2010Playing the City IISchirn Kunsthalle, FrankfurtGroup
2010Unsichtbare Schatten MARTa Herford, HerfordGroup
2010The House of Fairy TalesNewlyn Art Gallery, NewlynGroup
2010Kupferstichkabinett: Between Thought and ActionWhite Cube, LondonGroup
2010The Alchemy of DelusionAEROPLASTICS contemporary,Brussels Group
2010Pop Life: Art in a Material WorldNational Gallery of Canada - Musée des beaux-arts du Canada, Ottawa, ONGroup
2010Winter ShowThe Goodman Gallery, JohannesburgGroup
2010... umso mehrKunsthalle Göppingen, GöppingenGroup
2010Passion fruits picked from the Olbricht CollectionMe Collectors Room Berlin, BerlinGroup
2010Don't Piss on Me and Tell Me it's RainingApexart, New York City, NYGroup
2010The Art of chessDOX - Centre for contemporary art, PragueGroup
2010The House of Fairy TalesMillennium, St. Ives, CornwallGroup
2010Seconde mainMusée d´Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris - MAM ARC, ParisGroup
2010Ybas RetrospectiveJealous Gallery, LondonGroup
2010Peeping TomVegas Gallery, LondonGroup
2010Pop Life - Warhol, Haring, Koons, HirstHamburger Kunsthalle, HamburgGroup
2010Party!The New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall, West MidlandsGroup
2010East Wing Nine presents EXHIBITIONISM: The Art of DisplayCourtauld Gallery, LondonGroup
2010Sur le Dandysme Aujourd´HuiCGAC - Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de CompostelaGroup
2010Banners of Persuasion - Demons, Yarns & Tales: Tapestries by Contemporary ArtistsJames Cohan Gallery - New York, NYGroup
2009Gavin Turk - The Mirror StageGoodman Gallery Cape, Cape TownSolo
2009Gavin Turk - Solo ExhibitAurel Scheibler, BerlinSolo
2009Gavin TurkPaul Stolper Gallery, LondonSolo
2009Gavin Turk: JazzzSean Kelly Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
2009That’s all Folks!Cultuurcentrum Brugge, BrugesGroup
2009Horn of PlentyViktor Wynd Fine Art, LondonGroup
2009Recent British DrawingsTrinity Contemporary, LondonGroup
2009Auction and exhibition in aid of the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of TortureSumarria Lunn, LondonGroup
2009Sphères 2009Galleria Continua - Le Moulin, Boissy-le-ChâtelGroup
2009Pop Life: Art in a Material WorldTate Modern, LondonGroup
2009Pop My CherryPatricia Low Contemporary, GenevaGroup
2009No Show Nicholas Robinson Gallery (former Briggs Robinson Gallery), New York City, NYGroup
2009The Passionate Pursuit: Gifts and Promised Works from Donna and Cargill MacMillan, JrPalm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CAGroup
2009Another AirGalleria Alessandra Bonomo, RomeGroup
2009In Between the LinesTrinity Contemporary, LondonGroup
2009A Shot In The DarkCarter Presents, LondonGroup
2009A Shot In The DarkCarter&Gallagher, LondonGroup
2009On The LineCrimes Town, LondonGroup
2009Nation StateThe Goodman Gallery, JohannesburgGroup
2009WarholesqueRichard Young Gallery, LondonGroup
2009DistortionGervasuti Foundation, VeniceGroup
2009Drawing 2009 Biennal FundraiserThe Drawing Room, LondonGroup
2009Nation StateGoodman Gallery Cape, Cape TownGroup
2009HeadsRex Irwin Art Dealer, Woollahra, NSWGroup
2009ARTISTS OF THE GALLERY - A SPECIAL SELECTIONGalerie Krinzinger, Vienna Group
2009The Art of ChessReykjavík Art Museum, ReykjavikGroup
2008Presque rien 2LGLondon, LondonGroup
2008Fresh Out of the BoxThe New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall, West MidlandsGroup
2008Shaping a Space IIGaleria Mário Sequeira, BragaGroup
2008Rock My Religion 1DA2 - Domus Artium 2002, SalamancaGroup
2008Dystopia For All at The Wharf Road ProjectCarter&Gallagher, LondonGroup
2008Deadly SeriousEXPRMNTL Galerie, ToulouseGroup
2008SIGNAL 8: Summer Salon ShowThe Cat Street Gallery, Hong KongGroup
2008Ready MadeYvon Lambert, ParisGroup
2008Cancelled, Erased & Removed, A Group ShowSean Kelly Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2008CARTER presents TEN at The PrintspaceCarter&Gallagher, LondonGroup
2008StarstruckThe New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall, West MidlandsGroup
2008The freak showMusée d'Art Contemporain Lyon, LyonGroup
2008Gavin Turk Helen Chadwick: PISS OFF! Martin Walde: HALUCIGENIA & MOREGalerie Krinzinger, Vienna Group
2008The Famous, the Infamous & the Really Quite GoodDecima Gallery, LondonGroup
2007Gavin Turk - The Negotiation of PurposeMAGASIN - Centre National d’art Contemporain de Grenoble, GrenobleSolo
2007Gavin TurkBadcock´s Gallery Ltd, Penzance, CornwallSolo
2007Gavin Turk - The Negotiation of PurposeGeM - Museum voor Actuele Kunst, The HagueSolo
2007Pop!Collectors Contemporary, SingaporeGroup
2007IN MY SOLITUDE  AEROPLASTICS contemporary, Brussels Group
2007Unfinished SymphonyFAS Contemporary, LondonGroup
2007Out of the Box And In The Garman Ryan CollectionThe New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall, West MidlandsGroup
2007Max. DurchfahrtshöheAurel Scheibler, BerlinGroup
2007Six Feet Under: Autopsy of Our RelationsDeutsches Hygiene Museum, DresdenGroup
2007When We Build, Let Us Think That We Build ForeverBALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art,GatesheadGroup
2007The CollectivePaul Stolper Gallery, LondonGroup
2007Says the junk in the yardFlowers Galleries - Kingsland Road, LondonGroup
2007Monochromed II: White OutFAS Contemporary, LondonGroup
2007Art Car Boot Fair 2007Art Car Boot Fair, LondonGroup
2007Role ExchangeSean Kelly Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2007Other Men's FlowersVenetia Kapernekas Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2007The Freak ShowMusée d'Art Contemporain Lyon, LyonGroup
2007CitadelDavid Risley Gallery, CopenhagenGroup
2007Drawing 2007The Drawing Room, LondonGroup
2007Timer 01Triennale Bovisa, MilanGroup
2007PURESean Kelly Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2007Draw Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art - MIMA, MiddlesbroughGroup
2007Darkness Visible – Contemporary Art Society Special Collection SchemeSouthampton City Art Gallery, SouthamptonGroup
2007Gail Wigley Window BoxThe New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall, West MidlandsGroup
2006Waste Not,Want NotGalleri Veggerby, CopenhagenSolo
2006Valencia Arte ContemporáneoIVAM - Institut Valencià d'Art Modern, ValenciaGroup
2006VACIVAM - Institut Valencià d'Art Modern, ValenciaGroup
2006Peace CampThe Brick Lane Gallery, LondonGroup
2006The Hiscox Collection #2Hiscox Art Projects, LondonGroup
2006In the darkest hour there may be lightSerpentine Gallery, LondonGroup
2006In the darkest hour there may be lightBrandler Galleries, Brentwood, EssexGroup
2006MultiplicationMAC Museo de Arte Contemporáneo. Universidad de Chile, SantiagoGroup
2006The SigningsKeith Talent Gallery, LondonGroup
2006Six Feet UnderKunstmuseum Bern, BernGroup
2006The Wonderful Fund - Collecting Art for the New MilleniumPallant House Gallery, Chichester, West SussexGroup
2006In BetweenGaleria Presença - Lisboa, LisbonGroup
2006Passionate CollectorsThe New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall, West MidlandsGroup
2006Dark MatterWhite Cube, LondonGroup
2006Rosa Almeida, Gavin Turk - In BetweenGaleria Presença, PortoGroup
2006KAPITEL VII: Bühne des LebensStädtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus & Kunstbau, MunichGroup
2006Stages of Life - Rethorics of EmotionStädtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus & Kunstbau, MunichGroup
2006Crivellli´s NailChapter Gallery, Cardiff, WalesGroup
2006East Wing Collection No 7 Culture BoundCourtauld Gallery, LondonGroup
2005Gavin Turk - Melange Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna Solo
2005Gavin Turk - White ElephantSean Kelly Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
2005Gavin Turk - The Golden ThreadWhite Cube, LondonSolo
2005Et maintenant - What nowCrac Alsace, AltkirchGroup
2005SuperstarsKunsthalle Wien (Museumsquartier), ViennaGroup
2005M City European CityscapeKunsthaus Graz, GrazGroup
2005Wonderful Fund CollectionMusée de Marrakech, MarrakechGroup
2005(my private) HeroesMARTa Herford, HerfordGroup
2005Contemporary Self-Portraiture Re-assessing IdentityEarl Lu Gallery, SingaporeGroup
2004Gavin Turk - The Golden ThreadWhite Cube, LondonSolo
2004Emotions EinsFrankfurter Kunstverein, FrankfurtGroup
2004SculpturesAlmine Rech Gallery, ParisGroup
2004Jeremy Deller & Gavin TurkPaul Stolper Gallery, LondonGroup
2004AnglesThe New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall, West MidlandsGroup
2004Domestic (f)utilityNew Art Centre, SalisburyGroup
2003Gavin Turk - ny kunstner i Galleri VeggerbyGalleri Veggerby, CopenhagenSolo
2003Gavin Turk - et in arcadia eggoNew Art Centre, SalisburySolo
2003Gavin Turk - Spare ChangeContemporary Fine Arts - CFA, BerlinSolo
2003Bag LadyCell Project Space, LondonGroup
2003December udstillingGalleri Veggerby, CopenhagenGroup
2003ARTLAB Especial 2003Mobile Home, LondonGroup
2003GROUP SHOWMobile Home, LondonGroup
2003Square ShowBloomberg Space, LondonGroup
2003CoollustreCollection Lambert, AvignonGroup
2003Group exhibition - MultiplicationMestna Galerija, City Art Gallery Ljubljana, LjubljanaGroup
2003IndependenceSLG South London Gallery, LondonGroup
2003Tobias Putrih, Gavin Turk -ShowroomAlmine Rech Gallery, ParisGroup
2003Works from the collection The Saatchi Gallery, LondonGroup
2002It's Unfair!Museum De Paviljoens, AlmereGroup
2002Face Off - a portrait of the artistKettle's Yard, Cambridge, CambridgeshireGroup
2002WhisperGalerie Aurel Scheibler,CologneGroup
2002Remix: Contermporary art & popTate Liverpool, LiverpoolGroup
2002Second Skin: historical life casting and contemporary cultureHenry Moore Institute, LeedsGroup
2002Hommage an Rudolf SchwarzkoglerGalerie Krinzinger, ViennaGroup
2001FunnyAndrew Mummery Gallery, LondonGroup
2001Teeth & trousersCell Project Space, LondonGroup
200149th International Art Exhibition Venice BiennaleBiennale di Venezia - La Biennale di Venezia,VeniceGroup
2001Face Off AEROPLASTICS contemporary, Brussels Group
2001Century CityTate Modern, LondonGroup
2000Multiple ChoiceInstitute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, SingaporeGroup
2000PortraitTomio Koyama Gallery, TokyoGroup
2000Out There - An Exhibition of Contemporary British ArtWhite Cube, LondonGroup
2000Half DustIrish Museum of Modern Art - IMMA, DublinGroup
1999Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi CollectionBrooklyn Museum of Art, New York City, NYGroup
19996th International İstanbul Biennial 1999International Istanbul Biennial, IstanbulGroup
1999Beautiful ProductionsWhitechapel Art Gallery, LondonGroup
1998Gavin Turk - The Stuff ShowSLG South London Gallery, LondonSolo
1998Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi CollectionHamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart, BerlinGroup
1998CamouflageGalerie Praz-Delavallade, ParisGroup
1998Group ExhibitionCollective Gallery, Edinburgh, ScotlandGroup
1998Sale or Return: An Exhibition of art works that may be seen or heard in a bookshopFruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, ScotlandGroup
1993Gavin Turk - A Marvellous Force of Nature White Cube, LondonSolo