Gavin Turk ‘Who What When Where How & Why’ at Newport Street Gallery
By Vera Bertran @vera_bertran
Newport Street Gallery is showing the first major solo exhibition of work by British artist Gavin Turk since 2002.
‘Who What When Where How and Why’ (23rd November – 19th March 2017) spans twenty- six years of the artist’s career and features over seventy works. The exhibition –
which includes new and previously unexhibited work – is on display throughout Newport Street’s six gallery spaces. The gallery was recently awarded the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize for best new building of 2016. Since emerging onto the London art scene in the early 90s, Turk has dedicated much of his career to exploring notions of authorship, identity and value. Engaging in the central modernist debate initiated by Marcel Duchamp, Turk’s varied work appropriates both familiar everyday objects and instantly recognisable artworks by towering figures of twentieth- century art such as Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock and Giorgio de Chirico. This survey – the first major UK exhibition of the artist’s work to be presented since 2002 – features the iconic Cave, a commemorative blue plaque installation Turk exhibited in his 1991 Royal College of Art degree show. A series of ‘Signature’ works, in which Turk uses his own name as a form of ready-made in order to examine ideas surrounding origin and authenticity, are also included. The signature of the artist, traditionally the valued hallmark of authority and provenance, recurs throughout ‘Who What When Where How and Why’, emerging from the canvases of Turk’s Pollock paintings; the abstract expressionist artist’s paint splatters exchanged for innumerable ‘Gavin Turk’ signatures.