Portrait of Daniel Turner © Daniel Turner. Photo: Aurélien Arbet

Daniel Turner joins Hauser & Wirth

28 June 2023

First exhibition with the gallery will take place in 2024

We are pleased to announce representation of Daniel Turner in collaboration with Galerie Allen in Paris. Based in New York, Turner works with sculpture, painting and installation to transfigure everyday materials, objects and environments into provocative new manifestations. On the surface, the artist’s work suggests the stark lines, industrial fabrication and simple geometric forms associated with minimalism. However, Turner merely employs this aesthetic to challenge the notion that raw materials are fundamentally meaningless, conditional, and interchangeable. His practice is driven by the conviction that physical matter inherently carries meaning—that objects are imbued with the emotional, psychological and historical context for which they were made and in which they were used.

Turner has removed and recontextualized objects from such diverse spaces as pharmaceutical labs, medical facilities, civic centers and decommissioned cargo ships. He has cast the contents of a waiting room into a series of solid bars, burnished the remnants of a psychiatric facility onto both walls and specially coated canvases, and even stained a gallery floor with the liquified remains of a cafeteria’s tables and chairs. Using the physical processes of combustion, oxidation and disintegration, he probes the connections between the metallurgical and the metaphysical, investigating the sensory links that exist between materials and their geographical locations, cultural associations and human interactions.

‘Given our longstanding dedication to the medium of sculpture, we are especially delighted to welcome Daniel Turner to the gallery,’ says Marc Payot, President, Hauser & Wirth. ‘His work, which is rooted in deep material study, unleashes the potential of seemingly familiar everyday objects by refashioning them into something entirely new and uncanny. His art is both conceptually rigorous and profoundly soulful. And the magnetism it exerts makes him a natural peer of modern and contemporary sculptors in our program, from such historical figures as David Smith, John Chamberlain and Eduardo Chillida, to today’s pathbreakers like Monika Sosnowska, Larry Bell, Roni Horn and others. We look forward to sharing Daniel’s work and ideas with new audiences internationally.’

Installation view, Daniel Turner, Three Sites, Kunsthalle Basel, 2022 © Daniel Turner

Installation view, Daniel Turner, Three Sites, Kunsthalle Basel, 2022 © Daniel Turner

About the artist Daniel Turner was born in Portsmouth VA in 1983 and lives and works in New York. He studied painting and printmaking at Norfolk State University before receiving a BFA in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2006. Shortly after graduating, Turner carried out an action he titled ‘Burning an Entire Body of Work’ (2006), in which he took three dozen works, mainly large-scale paintings made between 1999 and 2006, and set them ablaze in what would become the most catalytic moment of his career. By transforming the fundamental components of a traditionally two-dimensional medium—canvas, wood, metal and paint—into a three-dimensional alchemical event, Turner unleashed a world of possibilities outside the realm of painting. Since then, Turner’s practice has been primarily focused on sculpture and installation involving the metamorphosis of materials, objects and environments into completely new forms and ephemeral phenomena.

In one of the artist’s most seminal works, ‘Particle Processed Cafeteria’ (2016), Turner chemically modified common cafeteria furniture—metal folding chairs and tables—reducing them down to their particles and then spraying that liquified reduction across a gallery’s concrete floor, leaving only an emulsive stain. For his solo exhibition at Kunsthalle Basel in 2022, ‘Three Sites,’ Turner explored the triangulation of psychiatry, the pharmaceutical industry and chemical production in and around Basel. He removed radiators, oil tanks, wall partitions and administrative documents from a former mental health facility, a former pharmaceutical research site and a former chemical laboratory. The metal objects were then melted down into solid steel bars and shaved into clusters of steel wool. Then, over the course of seven months, he used the metal fibers to burnish into specially coated canvases creating a series of monumental, darkened abstractions.

Turner has participated in numerous institutional exhibitions including most recently at the Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland; The Chinati Foundation, Marfa TX; The Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France; The Pinchuk Art Center, Kyiv, Ukraine; Kunstmuseum Krefeld, Germany; Museen Haus Esters und Haus Lange, Krefeld, Germany; Musée des Arts Contemporains Grand Hornu, Hornu, Belgium; The Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France; Muzeul de Arta Cluj-Napoca, Cluj-Napoca, Romania; The Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland; and The Maria Leuff Foundation, New York. Turner’s works are held in private and public collections including at SMAK Ghent; Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland; Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; le FRAC Bretagne, Rennes, France; Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France; ICA Miami, FL; and at the Musée des Arts Contemporains Grand Hornu, Hornu, Belgium, among others.