Exhibitions2008Gavin Turk

Gavin Turk

20 Sep 08

Aeroplastics Contemporary, Brussels

Gavin Turk's exhibition at Aeroplastics Contemporary in Brussels brought together a large selection of his works, from sculptures depicting the artist in wax to works in painted bronze, while also casting an eye to his self-portraits silkscreened on canvas and his aquarelles.

His work questions the value, the authenticity, the originality and the integrity of art. To this end, the artist parodies famous contemporary art-works, and examines the validity of personality cults devoted to certain of his confrères. He is the apparent subject of his oeuvre, but who is really hiding behind this de-multiplied image of Gavin Turk? Audiences were invited to ponder this with his superb wax self-portrait, Somebody's Son, and his silkscreens, such as the Elvis Dyptic.

Turk also draws from everyday life, still questioning value and appearance. Manzonian Tube is far from the carboard toilet-paper tube it appears to be, and the deceptive Habitat and Ziggy Purple are not simply sleeping bags. Working bronze and polyester to hyper-realistic effect Turk underlined the contradiction of the objects’ existence, calling to question ideas and beliefs born of habit.

Turk revealed the finesse of a watercoloured cardboard box with Open Box, and the results of his urinary stream upon metallic paint as just another mode of anointing the canvas in Untitled Anthropomorphic Piss Painting.

Running concurrently was an exhibition featuring work by four young London-based artists entitled You know I know He know We know. The sculptures of Toby Christian explored the concept of artifice, the installations of Tom Crawford examined the conceptual manipulation of the pictorial image, Ross Downes introduced us to his art, and Jim Hollingworth (JIMP) presented morbid fascinations from daily life.