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Elmgreen & Dragset: From Trafalgar Square's Fourth Plinth to the Arken Museum in Copenhagen
Elmgreen & Dragset, Powerless Structures, Fig. 101, 2012. The Fourth Plinth, Trafalgar Square, London. Photo: James O Jenkins.
COPENHAGEN.- For the past 18 months, a four-metre-high bronze boy riding a rocking horse has been gracing the Fourth Plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square. This contemporary version of a traditional equestrian statue, by the Danish/Norwegian artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset, is now en route to Denmark, where it will be a new landmark of the ARKEN Museum of Modern Art.

At the northeast corner of historical Trafalgar Square, in front of the National Gallery, stands a plinth made in 1841 for a traditional equestrian statue of King William IV. The statue was never finished and the plinth stood untopped for more than 150 years. Over the last eight years, the plinth has been a monumental base for some of the world’s most innovative artwork, including, most recently, Elmgreen & Dragset’s sculpture Powerless Structures, Fig. 101. Thanks to a donation by ANNIE & OTTO JOHS. DETLEFS’ FOUNDATIONS OJD, the statue will now stand in front of the ARKEN Museum of Modern Art.

ARKEN’s director Christian Gether says, “It’s a great honour to get the opportunity to show Elmgreen & Dragset’s wonderful, thought-provoking work at ARKEN. The artist duo long since broke through on the international art scene thanks to their uncompromising innovation and exceptional international standard. This is evident in their contemporary version of a traditional equestrian statue, which is both a new highlight of ARKEN’s collection and a gift to the museum’s visitors.”

An homage to the future
The traditional equestrian statues are known from the finest plazas of Europe’s capitals and usually celebrate powerful kings and conquerors. Elmgreen & Dragset’s monument, measuring an imposing 3.92 metres high and 4.2 metres long, is the direct opposite. Having no warlike vibe, it celebrates children, joy and the future.

The sculpture will be installed in front of the main entrance to the museum, on a plinth as in Trafalgar Square. The new landmark will be the visitors’ first encounter with art when they arrive at the museum.

The sculpture is expected to be installed during 2013. ARKEN will issue a press release on the occasion.





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