Elizabeth Turk

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Elizabeth Turk
Elizabeth Turk, artist working.jpg
Born 1961
Pasadena, California
Nationality American
Alma mater Scripps College, Rinehart School of Sculpture
Known for sculpture

Elizabeth Turk (born 1961 in Pasadena, California) is an American artist.

Early life[edit]

She graduated from Scripps College in 1983 with a B.A. in International Relations,[1] and from the Rinehart School of Sculpture at the Maryland Institute with an M.F.A. in 1994.[2]

Exhibitions & Awards[edit]

Elizabeth Turk - Ribbon No. 16
  • 2012 Hirschl & Adler Modern, New York, NY [3]
  • 2010 MacArthur Fellow / Barnett & Annalee Newman Foundation Fellow [4]
  • 2006 Galerie Lareuse, Washington DC, "Poetry Book"[5]
  • 2003 Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery, Scripps College, CA, "Matter and Matrix"[1]
  • 2003 Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NC, "Collars"[6]
  • 2000 NYC Art Commission Excellence in Design[7][7]/ Joan Mitchell grant [8]


Turk's work is known for expanding concepts of stone, primarily marble, while instilling in her observers that dialogue with material which can adapt tradition without eradicating it.[9]


MarbleCage7-Elizabeth Turk

Turk carves a single stone line (as long as 600") to define the space which was once a block of marble.[10] This marble structure is suspended above a stainless structure. The polished interior of which reflects infinitely, the current empty state of the rock.[11][12] What is essential is only partially visible to the eye.[13] The work is about paradox; dealing with contradictory truths within the same boundaries; lightness in weight, mass in emptiness, nests in cages, simplicity in the complex, the contemporary within tradition.[14]


The "Collars" series is built upon studies of natural patterns and systems strong enough to defy gravity and translate into stone matrices. The fragility of this lattice work emphasizes the paradox inherent in the material.[15] Each piece in the series was created over 2–4 years.[16]


From 1995 to 2000, Turk carved a series of five life-sized broken wings from Yule marble originally quarried for the Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC. Three of the wings are owned by the National Museum for Women in the Arts.[17] Turk carved the works, then created installations with them in abandoned industrial environments surrounding Washington DC. Photographs are the only records.[18]

Airplane Project[edit]

March 2003, the Airplane Project was inspired by the events of 9/11. A non-denominational "chapel" was created in CA for one month. Entering the white room, a projection of paper airplanes manipulated into a moving collage dominated the far wall. The space was filled with a field of candles. These were held by bronze, semi-melted figures atop long rods which grew from broken concrete.[19] An audio was played of barely audible chanting. Airplane Project was disassembled in 2003, only the catalog remains.[20]

Crane Project[edit]

From 2000 to 2002, Turk collaborated with Kirara Kawachi to create "Crane Project", a project exploring boundaries. The work consists of 2 videos displayed side by side.[21] Inspired by 9/11, the project took shape at Grand Central Arts, CA. Over the course of 2 months the artists worked, lived and created video footage together. The raw tapes were then edited individually, Turk in the US, and Kawachi in Japan.[22] The work is a reminder of friendships and simple humanity, in the face of cultural divides and the speed with which perspectives change. Kawachi and Crane Project were awarded the L'Oreal Art and Science Prize in Tokyo in 2002.[23] The videos were shown in the Japan Bank Building, Hiroshima (2003).[24]

New York City manhole covers[edit]


In 2000, Turk designed 87 replacement manhole covers for Wolfe's Pond Park in Staten Island, New York. Two designs were built, a 27" cover version featuring a Great Blue Heron and a larger 36" version with Osprey. They were forged in New Jersey and installed in 2001.[25]


  1. ^ a b "Elizabeth Turk | Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery". Scrippscollege.edu. 2011-10-05. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  2. ^ "CV/Biography". Hirschl & Adler Galleries. Retrieved 28 September 2010. 
  3. ^ Website by Project Projects, www.projectprojects.com, 2006-2007 (2012-03-31). "Hirschl & Adler - Exhibitions". Hirschlandadler.com. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  4. ^ Biography © Mitchell Kearney. "Elizabeth Turk : Biography". Elizabethturksculptor.com. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  5. ^ poetry book. "Elizabeth Turk : poetry book". Elizabethturksculptor.com. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ a b "Elizabeth Turk - NYC Department of Cultural Affairs". Nyc.gov. 2011-02-16. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  8. ^ Joan Mitchell Foundation. "Home". Joan Mitchell Foundation. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  9. ^ http://www.rit.edu/news/story.php?id=49097
  10. ^ ([Caroline Werner Gannett Project lecture series, Rochester Institute of Technology-[cite |web lecture] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ni73Fvw8m9I)]
  11. ^ "NYAB Event - Elizabeth Turk "Cages"". Nyartbeat.com. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  12. ^ Website by Project Projects, www.projectprojects.com, 2006-2007 (2012-03-31). "Hirschl & Adler - Exhibitions". Hirschlandadler.com. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  13. ^ [2]
  14. ^ http://www.hirschlandadler.com/MEDIA/07728.pdf
  15. ^ Ollman, Leah (11 July 2004). "Revealing the heart of stone". Los Angeles Times. 
  16. ^ "Sculpture.org". Sculpture.org. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  17. ^ Jim Sykes. "Elizabeth Turk Named 2010 MacArthur Fellow « Broad Strokes: The National Museum of Women in the Arts' Blog". Womeninthearts.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  18. ^ "WINGS". Web.mac.com. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  19. ^ airplane (2003-04-25). "Elizabeth Turk : airplane". Elizabethturksculptor.com. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  20. ^ "Watermark Printmaking Workshop". Grand Central Art Center. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  21. ^ "l'Oreal Art&Science". Loreal.com. 2008-07-24. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  22. ^ crane. "Elizabeth Turk : crane". Elizabethturksculptor.com. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  23. ^ "l'Oreal Art&Science". Loreal.com. 2001-09-11. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  24. ^ "Welcome to the College of the Arts at California State University, Fullerton". Fullerton.edu. 2002-06-30. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  25. ^ Dunlap, David W. (26 April 2001). "When City Hall Smiles on Public Art". The New York Times. 

External links[edit]