Damien Hirst first saw Gavin Turk’s work at his Royal College degree show in 1991 and began acquiring pieces in 1998. This latest show for the gallery, which follows Jeff Koons successful exhibition spans almost three decades, ‘Who What When Where How and Why’ will showcase works from throughout the artist’s career, many exhibited together for the first time.
Turk’s work focuses on the anti-hero, the recycling of art history, waste and refuse, the signature and the painted bronze. Tracing his early interest in themes pertaining to authorship, identity and the artist, the show features ‘Cave’, the now iconic blue plaque installation that was exhibited in Turk’s Royal College of Art degree show in 1991. Works from the artist’s Signature series also feature alongside four life-size figure sculptures, as well as painted bronze Rubbish pieces. Drawn entirely from Damien Hirst’s collection, other highlights include Turk’s re-imagining of Warhol’s Elvis screen prints, his ‘recycled’ Magritte self-portrait, Godot (1996), and the bronze Ariadne (2006–2014), which is based on de Chirico’s series of paintings of the statue.
On the occasion of the exhibition, Turk said, “It is a massive compliment to have Damien as an artist, collect my work on this scale, with such intelligence and then show it to the public in this beautiful new gallery.”
Hirst stated, “I started collecting Gavin’s work twenty years ago. He’s an incredibly powerful artist, his work is about language and the spaces between things – about identity and being somebody and nobody, he plays with our preconceptions of what’s there and not there, of what art is and how it functions. He’s had a major impact on British art so it’s great to be able to show such an extensive collection of his work at Newport Street.”
Newport Street Gallery is the realisation of Hirst’s long-term ambition to share his extensive collection of art – which includes over 3,000 works – with the public. The gallery was recently shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize, the UK’s most prestigious architecture prize.
Newport Street Gallery’s current exhibition of work by Jeff Koons – ‘Now’ – will run until the 16th October 2016, at which time the gallery will close until 22nd November. Pharmacy 2 restaurant will also close on Sunday 16th October then re-open as usual one week later on Tuesday 25th October. Entry to all exhibitions is free.
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.
His work has been exhibited in over 50 solo shows internationally as well as many major curated exhibitions from the Tate and the Royal Academy to Museum shows in America, Asia, Australasia, and Europe.
Turk was the recipient of the Royal Academy of Art’s Charles Wollaston Award in 2007 and the Jack Goldhill Sculpture Prize in 2001. In 2010 he received an Honorary Doctorate in Arts from the University of East London.
‘Who What When Where How and Why’ 23rd November 2016 to 19th March 2017 Newport Street Gallery will host the first major solo exhibition of work by British artist Gavin Turk since 2002 (opens 23rd November 2016).
Photo: P C Robinson © Artlyst 2016