Gavin Turk (born 1967) is a British-born, international artist. His 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. Turk uses his signature as a recurrent motif through which to explore the way an artist’s mark can embody aesthetic and commercial value.
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’s work has been included in many seminal exhibitions including the ground-breaking POP LIFE at Tate Modern as well as the Venice Biennale 2009, the 46th International Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul in 1999; Material Culture, Hayward Gallery, London in 1998 and Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection, Royal Academy of Arts, Saatchi Collection, London in 1995.