Giant thumb and skeletal riderless horse next up for Trafalgar Square's Fourth Plinth

By Culture24 Reporter | 07 February 2014

Thumbs and skeletons for the Fourth Plinth described as "wryly enigmatic" by the Mayor of London

A photo of a male artist standing next to a box containing a sculpture of a giant thumb
Thumbs up for David Shrigley's Fourth Plinth proposal© James O Jenkins
David Shrigley will create a ten-metre thumbs-up, posed as a positive spin on the economy, bad weather and society in general, and Hans Haacke will send a skeletal, riderless ribboned horse onto the Fourth Plinth in the latest commissions to appear in Trafalgar Square.

A photo of a sculpture of a skeleton of a horse on a plinth with a ribbon tied to its foot
Hans Haacke, Gift Horse© James O Jenkins, courtesy Hans Haacke / Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
Instigated in 1998, the Plinth will make the proposals its 10th and 11th arrivals, beginning with the German-American artist's Gift Horse.

Known for his political verve, Haacke's horse - mounting the Plinth in 2015 - will carry an electronic ribbon on its front leg, displaying a live ticker from the London Stock Exchange in a statue inspired by a George Stubbs etching and referencing the equestrian statue of William IV originally planned for the Plinth.

Shrigley’s witty surrealism is at play in Really Good, a disproportionately long thumb cast in the same colour as the statues which will surround it in 2016.

“Gift Horse and Really Good are significant new works,” said Ekow Eshun, the Chair of a Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group whose judges include artists Jeremy Deller and Grayson Perry and the broadcaster Jon Snow, calling the artists’ “clarity of vision” a deciding factor.

“I am sure Londoners will take both sculptures to their hearts.”

A giant blue cockerel – Katharina Fritsch’s Hahn/Cock – has proved popular on the Plinth since its unveiling last July.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

More on the Fourth Plinth:

Fourth Plinth shortlist radical as ever as new proposals are revealed for 2015 and 2016

Yinka Shonibare's Nelson's Ship in a Bottle on Fourth Plinth, Trafalgar Square

Antony Gormley invites people to be living monuments on Trafalgar Square Fourth Plinth
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