Critics’ Picks

Gavin Turk, Ash, 2008, bronze, paint, 4 x 9 1/2 x 9 1/2”.

Gavin Turk, Ash, 2008, bronze, paint, 4 x 9 1/2 x 9 1/2”.

Vienna

Gavin Turk

Galerie Krinzinger
Seilerstätte 16
February 24–March 26, 2011

Many of the works in this carefully assembled exhibition examine transience: A cone of ash is all that remains at a human’s end; a brick is reminiscent of long-gone street demonstrations; one of the maps of the world is plastered with brightly colored marketing logos, while on another they are peeling away like old paint. “Before the World Was Round” is the title Gavin Turk has given to this latter white map piece, and it also serves as the title for his solo show at Galerie Krinzinger. With this phrase, he refers not to the Dark Ages but rather to one––or many––changes of perspective. Each work is brimming with art-historical allusions. And nothing is what it seems: The brick, Missile, 2008, is a bronze casting painted as a brick, and the embers in Ash, 2008, are bronze painted as ash. A series of fifteen classical-looking bronze busts are made of clay. These are installed on pedestals in an adjacent room, and they are casts of Turk’s likeness, which the public was allowed to transform at a performance. The faces are now smashed in, warped, and riddled with holes. Our world is no longer flat, but rather replete with abysses.

Translated from German by Diana Reese.