LONDON.- Hans Haacke and David Shrigley were announced today as the winning artists of the next two commissions for the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square. Their designs will be unveiled in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
Hans Haackes design Gift Horse depicts a skeletal, riderless horse - a wry comment on the equestrian statue of William IV originally planned for the plinth. Tied to the horses front leg is an electronic ribbon displaying live the ticker of the London Stock Exchange, completing the link between power, money and history. The horse is derived from an etching by George Stubbs; the famous English painter whose works are represented in the National Gallery at Trafalgar Square.
David Shrigleys proposal Really Good will see a ten-metre-high hand giving a thumbs up. Cast so that it has the same dark patina as the other statues in Trafalgar Square, the thumb is disproportionately long. Shrigleys ambition is that this simple gesture will become a self-fulfilling prophecy; that things considered bad such as the economy, the weather and society, will benefit from a change of consensus towards positivity.
The two artworks will be the 10th and 11th to appear on the Fourth Plinth since the commissioning programme, which is now funded by the Mayor of London and supported by Arts Council England, began in 1998.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: 'The commissioning group has chosen two very different sculptures to go on the Fourth Plinth, with each being wryly enigmatic in their own way. Our rolling programme of art continues to surprise, providing a contrast to its historic surroundings and giving Londoners and visitors alike another reason to visit Trafalgar Square.'
Ekow Eshun, Chair of the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group said: Hans Haacke and David Shrigley are artists of international repute with a clarity of vision that the Commissioning Group found exciting and inspiring. Gift Horse and Really Good are significant new works that contribute further to the development of the Fourth Plinth as one of the world's leading public art commissioning programmes. I am sure Londoners will take both sculptures to their hearts.
Joyce Wilson, Area Director, London, Arts Council England, said: Supporting the artistic commissions for the Fourth Plinth is one of the ways in which the Arts Council invests in the creation and display of exciting new, high quality contemporary art in public spaces. The large number of visitors to Trafalgar Square, from both near and far, makes it an ideal location to showcase new works and give everyone the opportunity to appreciate art that they may not normally see or have access to.