13 Sep 14

Ben Brown Gallery Limited

On 13 September 2014, Ben Brown Fine Arts Hong Kong opened the first solo exhibition of works by Gavin Turk in Asia. The highly acclaimed British artist brought together a varied selection from his iconic and provocative oeuvre. The exhibition included a trompe l’oeil sculpture, a room of neon works, and a room dedicated to his ‘after’ Warhol series.

Inspired by a visit to Hong Kong, Turk had created a Styrofoam box sculpture especially for the exhibition, adding to his infamous trompe l’oeil sculpture series in which he would cast a substantial bronze sculpture from a seemingly ephemeral object and then paint it to further obfuscate the true materiality of the piece. In this case, Turk chose a polystyrene container commonly used to transport fish in Hong Kong’s wet markets, thus elevating a familiarly banal object to an undeniably significant piece of art, pushing the viewer to take notice of the form and function of the object.

The gallery’s project room was transformed into a neon installation space with arresting pieces such as Port (Yellow) (2012), The Observing Eye (2012), and One Twenty Five (2013). Turk’s investigations through neon address consumerism, celebrity, propaganda and spectacle while referencing the iconography of 20th century masters such as René Magritte, Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol. Another room of the gallery was dedicated to Turk’s ‘after’ Warhol series in which he appropriates iconic Warhol imagery, typically inserting himself as the subject, and employs the same silkscreen process as the revered artist.

The exhibition ran concurrently with a solo exhibition of Turk’s neon works that opened at the Bowes Museum in England, County Durham; before travelling to the New Art Centre, Roche Court; and Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool.