Gavin Turk - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Wednesday, February 27, 2008 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    White Cube, London

  • Exhibited

    London, Royal College of Art, Degree Show, 1991; London, Saatchi Gallery, Young British Artists IV, 5 June – 15 June, 1994; London, Royal Academy, Sensation 17 September – 28 December, 1997; South London Gallery, The Stuff Show, 10 September – 18 October, 1998; Dorset, Sherborne House, Gavin Turk in the House, 15 March – 13 April, 2003

  • Literature

    A. O’Connell, ‘Gavin Turk…just another big-headed artist?’ in The Times,29 August, 1998, n.p. (another example illustrated); G. McCann, ‘First, fail your degree case…’ in The Independent, 6 September, 1998, n.p. (another example illustrated); J. Palmer, ‘I am art, therefore I am’ in The Independent, 17 September, 1998, n.p. (another example illustrated); S. Shave, ‘bummed’ in ID Magazine, 1998 n.p. (another example illustrated); L. Buck, ‘Artist of the Month: The Stuff show Gavin Turk’ in Esquire, n.p. (another example illustrated); ‘Gallery’ in Blackmore Vale Magazine, 14 March, 2003 n.p. (another example illustrated); ‘Sculpting Satire’ in Western Daily Press, Somerset, 20 March, 2003 n.p. (another example illustrated) Sensation: Young British Artists From The Saatchi Collection, Royal Academy of Arts, 1997

  • Catalogue Essay

    Gavin Turk is one of the original Young British Artists who is well known for his pranks as well as his artworks. Through his work Gavin Turk continually investigates what it means to be an artist and many of his works deal with issues of authorship, authenticity and originality. In 1998, Gavin Turk had a one-man exhibition called ‘Stuff Show’ at the South London Gallery which included the work ‘Cave.’ For the private viewing he is described as wrapping the exhibits in canvas so that no-one could see them. It was described there was a lot of sarcastic eye-rolling over the canapés that night. But Turk’s gesture had all his mischievous hallmarks. It both dislocated the spectator and at the same time, saturated the works in art-historical allusion. This impish nature has been with Gavin Turk since the beginning of his career when he made his public debut with a statement of finality. “It is nearly 15 years since Gavin Turk failed his MA at the Royal College of Art. His tutors took exception to the blue ceramic plaque, of the kind produced by English Heritage, which he mocked up for his degree show. Called Cave, it read, ‘Gavin Turk Sculptor worked here 1989-1991’ and was the only object adorning an otherwise empty white space. It was a clever piece, paradoxically announcing his own death as an artist before he’d begun, and flunking his MA jump-started his career: Turk became a cause célèbre of the art world, and has never looked back. ‘Cave was a profound moment for me’ he says. ‘Sometimes I wonder whether I should milk it more. When people want to buy a piece of my work, they want something they feel represents me – a signature work. Often they want Cave.’ ” (Gavin Turk in conversation with A. Sooke, ‘In the studio: Gavin Turk,’ in The Telegraph 22 November, 2005).



Ceramic face mounted on concrete.
Diameter: 48.5 cm. (19 1/8 in).
Signed and numbered ‘Gavin Turk’ on the reverse. This work is from an edition of three. 

£40,000 - 60,000 ‡♠

Sold for £60,500

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

28 Feb 2008, 7pm