This engaging book is a survey of irreverent and socially engaged artist Mark Wallinger. It includes a a new interview with Wallinger, his best-known work, including his unforgettable film Sleeper and is fully illustrated in colour
The consistently original painter, sculptor and video artist Mark Wallinger has created some of the most subtly intelligent and irreverent work from the UK in the last twenty-five years. Studying in London at the Chelsea School of Art (1978–81) and Goldsmiths College (1983–5), his early work questioned the traditions and values of British society and its class system, best represented by his employment of images of racehorses. Painted in a photo-realist style, these works explored issues of ownership, inheritance and pedigree, with suggestive titles such as Race, Class, Sex (1993).
In the late 1990s Wallinger shifted his focus to a questioning ofinstitutionalised spirituality and religion. Typical of his humorousobservational approach, his piece Angel (1997) is a video played inreverse showing the artist as his blind alterego ‘Blind Faith’ walking backwards at the bottom of an escalator at Angel Underground Station while reciting the opening lines of the Gospel of John in the King James Bible.
His innate scepticism was downplayed in a later popular public sculpture commissioned for the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square, Ecce Homo (1999), a serenemarble life-sized cast of a young man representing Christ.After a retrospective at Tate Liverpool in 2000, representing Britain at the Venice Biennale in 2001, and then winning the Turner Prize in 2007 with his socially engaged installation State Britain, Wallinger’s star has continued to ascend, culminating in Ebbsfleet Landmark Project – a fifty metre sculpture of a white horse standing in the English countryside. 2013 saw him create a multi-part work entitled Labyrinth to mark the 150th anniversary of London Underground.
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