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 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 spring 2013 Turk’s eponymous monograph was published by Prestel. Assembled under the artist's direction and with essays by Iain Sinclair and Judith Collins the book showcases more than two decades of his work.
2010 Honorary Doctorate in Arts, University of East London
2007 Charles Wollaston Award, Royal Academy of Arts
2001 Jack Goldhill Sculpture Prize, Royal Academy of Arts