Gavin Turk: Aeroplastics @ Rue Blanche Str.

20 September - 8 November 2008


Gavin Turk 

20 September - 8 November 2008

Aeroplastics @ Rue Blanche Str., Brussels 


AEROPLASTICS Contemporary has the pleasure to present, for the first time in Belgium, a selection of works by British artist GAVIN TURK.


In parallel Gavin Turk has invited the public to discover the work of four young London-based artists in an exhibition entitled You know I know He know We know. The sculptures of Toby Christian explore the concept of artifice, the installations of Tom Crawford examine the conceptual manipulation of the pictorial image, Ross Downes introduces us to his art « Brit Povera », and Jim Hollingworth (JIMP) draws morbid fascinations from daily life.


Gavin Turk's exhibition on the ground floor and 1st floor of the gallery brings together a painstaking selection of his works, from sculptures depicting himself in wax to recent 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. What is the influence of celebrity on how art is seen? Can a work of art still have intrinsic value?


Entering the arena of this debate, Turk cultivates ambiguity. Yes, he is the apparent subject of his oeuvre. But who is really hiding behind this de-multiplied image of Gavin Turk, be it via his superb wax self-portraits (Somebody's Son) or his silkscreens (Elvis Dyptich)?


Furthermore, the artist draws from everyday street life, once again, casting an ironic eye on the question of value and appearance. He works bronze and polyester to hyper-realistic effect, here revisiting the most trifling of objects, not to have them exist as souvenirs but to underline the contradiction of their existence and to call into question received ideas and beliefs born of habit. The tube from a toilet-paper roll (Manzonian Tube) is far from being the piece of cardboard that is seems to be, and his sleeping bags (Habitat – Ziggy Purple) are heavy with all the weight of this society that ignores its homeless habitants.


Here, too, we have an artist revealing to us the finesse of a watercoloured cardboard box (Open Box), and exploits the urinary stream upon metallic paint as just another mode of anointing the canvas (Untitled Anthropomorphic Piss Painting).

In sum, if one knows nothing of him, the man, obscure behind this alter-ego that is Gavin Turk, the artist, the range of works on view at AEROPLASTICS Contemporary offers a fine panorama of the history of contemporary art, from Marcel Duchamp, Yves Klein, Piero Manzoni, Marcel Broodthaers, Joseph Beuys, to Andy Warhol... among others.