World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Mark Wallinger

Mark Wallinger
Born 1959 (age 56–57)
Chigwell, London
Nationality British
Education Chelsea School of Art, Goldsmiths College
Known for Conceptual art, Installation art
Notable work State Britain
Awards Turner Prize
Patron(s) Charles Saatchi

Mark Wallinger (born 1959) is a British artist, best known for his sculpture for the empty fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, Ecce Homo (1999), and State Britain (2007), a recreation at Tate Britain of Brian Haw's protest display outside parliament. He won the Turner Prize in 2007.[1] In October 2010, he and 100 other leading artists signed an open letter to the Culture Minister Jeremy Hunt protesting against cutbacks in the arts - he created a new work, "Reckless", for the protest.[2]


  • Life and career 1
    • Early work 1.1
    • Later work 1.2
    • State Britain 1.3
    • Personal life 1.4
  • Art market 2
  • Notes and references 3
  • External links 4

Life and career

Mark Wallinger was born in Chigwell, Essex. His formative schooling, from the age of 11, was undertaken at West Hatch High School, Chigwell, Essex. He first studied art at the Chelsea School of Art and later at Goldsmiths College where he was also a tutor from 1986. Wallinger exhibited throughout the 1980s and held one of his very first solo exhibitions from 6 August to 4 September 1983 at The Minories, Colchester.[3] Later he showed work in the Young British Artists II show at Charles Saatchi's gallery in 1993 and at the Royal Academy's Sensation exhibition in 1997. In 2000, a retrospective of his work, Credo, was exhibited at Tate Liverpool.

Early work

Wallinger's early work is noted for its social commentary, often focusing on class (social), royalty and nationalism. These works are often paintings, although by the 1990s he was beginning to use a wider range of techniques, which have continued to feature in his work since.

In 1991, Wallinger exhibited a series of full length portrait paintings of the homeless called "Capital" at the ICA in London that were bought by Charles Saatchi and later exhibited at his gallery along with Wallinger's life size paintings of racehorses.

Up until 1995, sport as a nexus for English national obsessions was a frequent topic of his work. In 1994 Wallinger appropriated an entire international football match at Wembley Stadium by being photographed with a large Union Jack banner with his name emblazoned on it. As a state flag the Union Flag has superiority to the Cross of St. George that most England football team fans display.

His 1995 Turner Prize nomination was largely thanks to his work of the previous year, A Real Work Of Art. This was actually a racehorse, which the racing fan Wallinger had bought and named "A Real Work Of Art" with a view to entering it in races and therefore causing this "art" to be piped into bookmakers up and down the country. It would thus be a further development of Marcel Duchamp's readymades. As things turned out, however, the horse was injured, and only ran one race.

Later work

Wallinger's later work appears to have largely turned away from his earlier preoccupations, instead apparently focusing on religion and death and the influence of William Blake. "Angel" is a video played in reverse showing the artist walking backwards at the bottom of the down escalator at Angel Underground Station while reciting the opening lines of the Gospel of John in the King James Bible. At the conclusion of the video the music of Zadok the Priest that forms part of the British Coronation ceremony can be heard as Wallinger 'ascends' up the stairs. No Man's Land, a show at the Whitechapel Gallery included several works on these subjects. Threshold to the Kingdom (2000), for example, is a slow motion video of people coming through automatic double doors at international arrivals at an airport. The video is accompanied by a recording of the famous Miserere by Gregorio Allegri. Wallinger has said that the title might be taken as a double meaning: arrival at the United Kingdom, but also at the kingdom of heaven, with a security guard playing the part of St. Peter.

As well as traditional religion, Wallinger's work has sometimes referenced Whistlejacket that has had a horn added to its head, thus turning it into a unicorn. Originally planned as a full-scale painting, time constraints meant the piece was manipulated entirely in Photoshop from high quality side scans. Time and Relative Dimensions in Space (2001) takes a more modern myth as its subject - it is a life-sized mirrored model of the TARDIS from Doctor Who which at certain angles seems to blend into its environment.

The largest work in the No Man's Land show was Prometheus. This piece is in two parts - on the outside, in a dark corridor, is a video of Wallinger (or rather his alter-ego, "Blind Faith") sitting in an electric chair and singing Ariel's song from William Shakespeare's The Tempest. From the corridor, automatic double doors give access to a brightly lit room which has an electric chair bolted to one of the walls, giving a top-down "God's-eye view" of it. On two facing walls are large photos of fists with the words "LOVE" and "HATE" written on them, a reference to the preacher played by Robert Mitchum in the film, The Night of the Hunter, who had similar tattoos on his knuckles. A circular steel loop gives out a continuous buzzing sound.

Ecce Homo was the first work to occupy the empty plinth in Trafalgar Square. This work is a life-sized statue of a Christ figure, naked apart from a loin cloth, and with his hands bound behind his back. He wears a crown of barbed wire. The sculpture was placed at the very front edge of the massive plinth, emphasising its vulnerability and relative smallness. It was quite popular with the public and was later shown at the Venice Biennale in 2001, where Wallinger was Britain's representative.

He was one of the five artists shortlisted for the Ebbsfleet Landmark Project[4] in January 2008, and in February 2009 it was announced that his design had won the competition. Wallinger's design is of a giant white horse modelled on another of his own racehorses, 'Riviera Red', and has been described by his supporters as "an absolutely mesmerising conflation of old England and new, of the semi-mythical, Tolkeinesque [sic] past and the six-lanes, all-crawling present".[5]

He curated the exhibition "The Russian Linesman: Frontiers, Borders and Thresholds" at the Hayward Gallery in London, which lasted from February to May 2009.[6]

In April 2011, it was announced that Mark Wallinger would be one of three artists (along with Chris Ofili and Conrad Shawcross) to collaborate with the Royal Ballet and the National Gallery to create a piece based on works by the Renaissance painter Titian. Titian Metamorphosis, which documented the entire project from conception to finished performances, was published by London-based publisher Art / Books in two editions in January 2013.[7]

In February 2013, it was announced that Wallinger had created a set of 270 enamel plaques of unicursal labyrinth designs, one for every London tube station, to mark the 150th anniversary of the London Underground; each will be numbered according to its position in the route taken by the contestants in the 2009 Guinness World Record Tube Challenge.[8] In October 2014, Art / Books published Labyrinth: A Journey Through London's Underground by Mark Wallinger, a comprehensive photographic book of all 270 labyrinth designs in situ in the Underground stations.[9]

State Britain

  • Mark Wallinger at Hauser & Wirth
  • Mark Wallinger at carlier | gebauer
  • Mark Wallinger's work in the Tate
  • Mark Wallinger in the 1995 Turner Prize, Tate web site
  • (video)State BritainMark Wallinger on
  • videoSleeperExcerpt from Wallinger's
  • 'A Number of Disappearances', essay by Richard Grayson for Mark Wallinger's Aargauer Kunsthaus catalogue, published by JRP|Ringier, Switzerland 2008

External links

  1. ^ a b
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^

Notes and references

Wallinger is represented by carlier | gebauer in Germany, Galerie Krinzinger in Austria, and Hauser & Wirth elsewhere.

Art market

Wallinger is a supporter of the Labour Party.[13]

Personal life

In 2007, he won the Turner Prize for this work — this was his second Turner Prize nomination.[1]

Mark Wallinger had a large exhibition at museum De Pont the Netherlands in 2011.[12] This was the first time that State Britain was exhibited in the Netherlands


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.