There is a refreshing eclecticism about this year’s Turner prize exhibition at Tate Britain. The four short-listed artists represent a diverse range of practices: there is sculpture, video, conceptual work, and even some traditional painting. This is a comforting rather than a confrontational show. Stephen Deuchar, director of Tate Britain, hinted as much on Monday when he described how contemporary art had become “less scary” over the past few years, due in no small part to the Turner’s persistent demystification of recondite art forms. But how to find the balance between intimidating and just plain timid?

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