Gavin 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. He is interested in the way fame and celebrity affect the understanding of art and the position of artists. In the early 1990s Turk explored issues of authorship and identity by making a number of works based on his own signature that comment on the value that the artist’s name confers onto a work. He has also made a number of photographic and sculptural self-portraits that often involve some degree of disguise.
Turk’s work has been included in many seminal exhibitions including the latest ground breaking POPLIFE show at Tate Modern (2009) as well as the Venice Biennale (2001), the 46th International Istanbul Biennial (1999), Material Culture, Hayward Gallery, London (1998), and Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection, Royal Academy of Arts, Saatchi Collection, London (1995). Recent exhibitions have included: Gavin Turk: The Negotiation of Purpose, GEM Museum for Contemporary Art, The Hague, The Netherlands; En Face, CAC Malaga, and Oeuvre, Tate Britain Sculpture Court Display, London.
Gavin Turk lives and works in London.