Monday, 28 November 2016

Gavin Turk: Who What When Where How & Why

A really good exhibition this, at Newport Street Gallery. I find it really odd that this is the first large scale survey in this country of Gavin Turk's work. Said work seems to be about illusion, identity, appropriation and ownership. Turk obviously knows his art history, and seems to enjoy playing fast and loose with the work of other artists, making many sly and funny references, but also creating something new by usurping their work and stamping his own identity - be it his portrait or signature - all over it.

Cave, (1991) above, the notorious blue plaque which cost Turk his Royal College Of Art Masters degree.

These photographs of Turk in the guise of Jackson Pollock, and the Pollock-like paintings (which are actually Turks' abstracted signature repeated), were very clever. I loved the giant cubes which referenced the work of Robert Morris and were also like the cubes of Ai Wei Wei which I saw in Cambridge last month (here). The distressed mirrored surfaces and their reflections were so beautiful.

This upstairs room very obviously references the work of Warhol and had great visual impact.

The carefully staged crashes of Transit Disaster using Turk's actual car and van are based on Warhol's Death and Disaster series. The cube above is the actual transit van crushed and compressed as a sculptural work in itself.

I liked the layers of meaning in these self-portraits of Turk posing as Sid Vicious, referencing Warhol's double and triple portraits of Elvis posing as a cowboy in a film still.

This figure above was odd. A disturbing end-of-pier style dummy who becomes animated once a sensor was triggered.

This figure was really affecting. I really felt for Turk as a down and out substance abuser, compared to the swagger of Turk as the figure of Sid Vicious, above. Shades of Duane Hanson.

I found these trompe l'oeil 'readymades' intriguing and extraordinary in their mundane ordinariness.They really do fool the eye and you can't help but want to touch and examine them to feel their weight compared to the real things as they are all bronze. I thought they were fantastic.

These bronze sleeping bags referencing the homeless were really emotive, especially at the this time of year given the weather conditions, and most of us able to enjoy the warmth of our homes and comfort of family in the run up to Christmas. With next years forecasted economic hardships on the horizon one can't help but think - there but for the grace of God...

I will definately be paying this exhibition another visit.

Gavin Turk: Who What When Where How & Why
until 19th March 2017
Newport Street Gallery

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Mixed Christmas Show: Cambridge Contemporary Art


I was delighted once again to have been invited to show a couple of new pieces in Cambridge Contemporary Art's Mixed Christmas Show, including a new series of works entitled Gloriole, (the piece above being one from the series). It is a gold-leaf piece and comes in a 50cm x 50cm ash box frame. There will be more on this series in a future post. The show opens today. To make enquiries about this piece or others of mine at the gallery, contact Cambridge Contemporary Art (details below), or myself directly, ( or 07930 209587).

The gallery would also like to invite you to celebrate the festive season, and join them for drinks whilst viewing the Christmas Show on Wednesday 7th December between 5-8pm. Last year was great fun with carol singers and flash-mob dancers, so again contact the gallery for further details if you would like to attend.

Mixed Christmas Show
until 24th December 2016
Cambridge Contemporary Art
6 Trinity Street 
01223 324222

Thursday, 24 November 2016

A Josef Frank-Inspired Commission: Outcome

So I was recently commissioned by a cllient of the Rowley Gallery to create a 1m squared Butterfly Ball which took as its inspiration the colours from this fabulous Josef Frank fabric entitled - Citrus Garden. I was also asked to include butterflies from maps of areas that held special memories to the recipient. The following are pictures of the finished artwork which I was really happy with. Can't wait for the Josef Frank exhibition early next year.

If you would like to commission something similar then contact me directly, or via the galleries that show my work here.

Sunday, 20 November 2016