Tate and the State: The Tate’s recently announced Turner Prize shortlist includes artists Zarina Bhimji, Nathan Coley, Mike Nelson and Mark Wallinger, but Wallinger has the distinction of making the list twice (he didn’t win in ’95) and is this year’s favorite. His State Britain, a painstaking reproduction of longtime anti-war protester Brian Haw’s encampment in London, explores free speech in times of terrorism and war. Haw’s accretion of banners, flags, and posters has grown outside Parliament since 2001, but in 2005 the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act was passed — some say specifically to remove Haw — prohibiting demonstrations within a kilometer of Parliament Square. Police dismantled much of Haw’s protest materials.
Walker makes TIME 100: Kara Walker, whose first major U.S. museum survey closes at the Walker on Sunday, is rubbing elbows with Queen Elizabeth and Justin Timberlake: she was recently named to The TIME 100, a list of “people who shape our world.” Artist Barbara Kruger writes of Walker, “She plays with stereotypes, turning them upside down, spread-eagle and inside out. She revels in cruelty and laughter. Platitudes sicken her. She is brave. Her silhouettes throw themselves against the wall and don’t blink.” The Walker’s Walker show is going on tour; next stop, a June 20 opening at ARC/Musee d’art moderne de la ville de Paris.
Banksy jumps the shark? For a street artist, is getting covered by high society magazines a version of “gettin’ up” or the kiss of death, cred-wise? Either way, kudos to Banksy for his coverage in the New Yorker.
Boldfaced Birthday: “Is there another font so stern, so severe – yet also so sensuous?” So blogs The Guardian‘s Andrew Dickson on the 50th birthday of the typeface Helvetica. Celebrate by ordering one of the few remaining tickets to our May 31 screenings of Helvetica, the movie.