Entertainment & Arts

Latest Fourth Plinth works unveiled

(l-r) Hans Haacke's Gift Horse and David Shrigley's Really Good Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The two artworks will be the 10th and 11th to appear on the plinth, built in 1841 but left empty after the money ran out to build a statue of William IV

A skeletal riderless horse and a 10-metre-high thumbs up are the latest works that will take their place on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square.

Gift Horse, with an electronic ribbon tied to its leg displaying live Stock Exchange prices, is by German Hans Haacke. It will be unveiled next year.

David Shrigley's bronze thumbs up - Really Good - will be unveiled in 2016.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said the "two very different sculptures" were "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."

Haacke based his work - a nod to the equestrian statue of William IV originally planned for the plinth - on an etching by George Stubbs.

"I hope the other two horses on Trafalgar Square, the one carrying Charles I, strutting, and the other, with George IV on its back - rather stoic - accept the newcomer graciously and recognise that their temporary companion has a lot to talk about."

The stock exchange ticker makes the link between power, money and history, with Haacke saying he hoped visitors would be "intrigued".


British artist Shrigley's artwork has been cast with a disproportionately long thumb and is intended to engender a sense of positivity.

The artist, who was shortlisted for last year's Turner Prize, called his work "slightly satirical but also serious at the same time".

The two latest artworks will be the 10th and 11th to appear on the plinth, built in 1841.

"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," said Joyce Wilson, of Arts Council England - which supports the Fourth Plinth programme.

Funded by the Mayor of London, the programme invites world-class artists to make new works to stand in the heart of the city.

The 10-strong commissioning group includes artists Jeremy Deller and Grayson Perry, and broadcaster Jon Snow.

Mark Wallinger's figure Ecce Homo was the first piece to stand on the empty plinth - in the northwest corner of the square - in 1999.

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