The six proposals for the next two Fourth Plinth Commissions were unveiled today in London. The artists Marcus Coates, Hans Haacke, Mark Leckey, Liliane Lijn, David Shrigley and Ugo Rondinone have been commissioned to produce maquettes of their proposed works, which will go on display at St Martin-in-the-Fields from 25 September – 17 November 2013. The two selected artists will be announced by the Mayor of London in early 2014, and their works will be unveiled in Trafalgar Square in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
Marcus Coates has proposed to place a large replica of ‘The Eagle’, a rocky outcrop situated in Brimham Rocks, Yorkshire on the plinth; David Shigley’s design, Really Good, is a 10-metre-high thumbs-up, cast in the same dark patina as the other statues in the square; Hans Haacke has created a skeletal, riderless horse that will display the live ticker of the London Stock Exchange on an electric ribbon tied to its leg; Liliane Lijn’s proposal shows two identical kinetic cones made of brushed anodised aluminium engaged in a mesmerising dance; Ugo Rondinone’s Moon Mask is an aluminium, abstract sentinel facing out over the square; and Mark Leckey has designed a creature made of amalgamated elements of the permanent statues in Trafalgar Square, including details from the statues of James II, Admiral Jellicoe, the water fountain, and the Fourth Plinth itself.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: ‘The placing of challenging artwork amidst the historic surroundings of Trafalgar Square creates a delicious juxtaposition that gets people talking and debating, underpinning London’s reputation as a great world city for culture.’
Ekow Eshun, Chair of the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group, said:
“The quality and range of this shortlist further underlines the strength of the Fourth Plinth programme, built up over successive commissions, as one of the leading public art commissions on the international cultural landscape. Debate is at the heart of the Fourth Plinth programme and we hope that the public will enjoy the exhibition and will share their thoughts with us.”
The Fourth Plinth Programme is the most high profile and provocative contemporary art prize in the UK. Funded by the Mayor of London it commissions world-class artists to make challenging new works for the historic heart of the capital.
Bringing out the art critic in everyone, the Fourth Plinth Programme aims to trigger public debate about contemporary art in London’s public spaces. Visitors to the shortlist exhibition will be invited to post their comments at the exhibition and via the Fourth Plinth website from 25 September
Born 1968 in London. Lives and works in London.
Marcus Coates makes videos, performances and installations that attempt to answer questions about how we live in urban societies. He has had recent solo exhibitions at South Alberta Gallery, Canada (2012); and Milton Keynes Gallery (2010). Recent public art projects include Create London (2013) and Vision Quest: a ritual for Elephant & Castle (2012). Coates has also performed at Port Eliot Festival, Cornwall; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; Kunsthalle Zurich; Barbican Art Gallery, London; and Hayward Gallery, London.
Born 1936 in Cologne. Lives and works in New York.
For the last four decades Hans Haacke has been examining the relationships between art, power and money, and has addressed issues of free expression and civic responsibilities in democratic societies in his work. He works in many different mediums including painting, photography and written text. He has had recent solo exhibitions at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2012); MIT List Visual Arts Centre, Cambridge, MA (2011); X-Initiative, New York (2009); and Akademie der Künste, Berlin (2006). Haacke’s work has been included in four Documentas and numerous biennials around the world. He shared a Golden Lion Award with Nam June Paik for the best pavilion at the 45th Venice Biennale (1993), and in 2000 he unveiled a permanent installation in the Reichstag, Berlin.
Born 1964 in Birkenhead. Lives and works in London.
Mark Leckey’s work explores the mediated nature of public and private environments, often working collage and animation techniques into his video and sculptural work. He has had recent solo exhibitions at The Hammer museum, Los Angeles (2013); Banff Centre, Alberta (2012); Serpentine Gallery, London (2011); Abrons Art Centre, New York (2009); and Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne (2008). Leckey curated the Hayward Touring show ‘The universal addressability of dumb things’ (2013) and was awarded the Turner Prize in 2008.
Born 1939 in New York. Lives and works in London.
Internationally exhibited since the 1960s, with works in numerous collections including Tate, the British Museum, and the V&A, and FNAC, Paris, Lijn is best known for her kinetic sculptures and her work with language and light. Recent exhibitions include Light Years at Sir John Soane’s Museum, London (2011); Gallery One, New Visions Centre, Signals, Indica at Tate Britain, London (2012); Ecstatic Alphabets/Heaps of Language at MoMA, New York (2012); and Cosmic Dramas, mima, Middlesborough. Recent public commissions include Solar Beacon, a sci-art installation of heliostats on the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge; and Light Pyramid, a beacon for the Queen’s Jubilee, which was commissioned by Park Trust and MK Gallery, Milton Keynes.
Born 1968 in Macclesfield. Lives and works in Glasgow.
David Shrigley’s work draws on the British tradition of satire, creating drawings, animations and sculptures that reflect the absurdity of contemporary society. He has had recent solo exhibitions at Bradford 1 Gallery (2013); Cornerhouse Gallery (2012), Hayward Gallery, London (2012); Yerba Beuna Centre for the Arts, San Francisco (2012); and Kelvingrove Museum, Glasgow (2010). Shrigley’s Sort of Opera: Pass the Spoon was performed at Tramway, Glasgow, and Southbank Centre, London (2011 – 12), and he has been nominated for the Turner Prize 2013.
Born 1964 in Brunnen, Switzerland. Lives and works in New York.
Ugo Rondinone is a mixed-media artist whose work explores themes of fantasy and desire. He has had recent solo exhibitions at M Museum, Leuven (2013); Art Institute of Chicago (2013); Common Guild, Glasgow (2012); Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens (2012); and Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau (2010). Rondinone has created public commissions for the Rockefeller Plaza, New York; the IMB Building, New York; and Louis Vuitton, Munich. He represented Switzerland in the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007).
The Fourth Plinth Programme is the most provocative contemporary art prize in the UK. Funded by the Mayor of London, the programme invites world class artists to make astonishing new works for the centre of the Capital City. The programme was initiated in 1998 by the RSA with the support of the Cass Sculpture Foundation. In 1999 responsibility for Trafalgar Square was transferred to the Mayor of London.
The Fourth Plinth Programme is led by the Mayor’s Culture Team, under the guidance of the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group (FPCG). The group recommends contemporary works for the Fourth Plinth. Its first commission was Marc Quinn’s sculpture Alison Lapper Pregnant, unveiled in a public ceremony in September 2005. It was followed by Thomas Schütte’s Model for a Hotel in 2007 and by Antony Gormley’s One & Other in 2009. Yinka Shonibare MBE’s sculpture Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle remained on the plinth until the end of January 2012 and now has a permanent home at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. Powerless Structures, Fig 101 by artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset was unveiled in 2012 and was replaced by Katharina Fritsch’s Hahn / Cock in July 2013. Previous commissions have been Ecce Homo by Mark Wallinger (1999), Regardless of History by Bill Woodrow (2000) and Monument by Rachel Whiteread (2001). Arts Council England has been a significant funding partner of the programme.
The Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group
Jo Baxendale – Arts Council England
Iwona Blazwick – Director of Whitechapel Gallery
Mick Brundle – Principal, Arup Associates
Jeremy Deller – Artist
Tamsin Dillon – Head of Art on the Underground
Ekow Eshun – Writer, Broadcaster (Chair)
Grayson Perry – Artist
Matthew Slotover – Co-director, Frieze
Jon Snow – Broadcaster
Justine Simons – Mayor of London (Director, Fourth Plinth Programme)
St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square is renowned throughout the world for its music, architecture, hospitality and a forward-thinking approach to supporting people in need. From London’s first free lending library and religious broadcast, to pioneering work with homeless people and its world-renowned music programme, St Martin’s continues to break new ground in defining what it means to be a church. As part of St Martin’s recent renovations the church is now able to host art exhibitions in the Foyer and Gallery in the Crypt. St Martin’s offers a platform for artists and organisations to display their works, to deliver a message of hope and to encourage viewers to re-examine their perspectives on the modern world. Exhibitions are FREE and the opening hours of the Foyer and Gallery in the Crypt, St Martin-in-the-Fields can be found on www.smitf.org.