Gavin Turk (b 1967) is a British born, international artist. He has pioneered

many forms of contemporary British sculpture, 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. The artist's signature is a recurring and literal

feature in Turk's oeuvre; indeed in some of his works 'signature' and 'work' are

interchangeable. If, Turk reasons, an artist's signature is so important to a work's

value why should it not be the aesthetic focus of a work?


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.