Britain’s David Shrigley and the German/American artist Hans Haacke get the thumbs up for the 2015 – 2016 Fourth Plinth commission. A 10-metre tall thumbs-up and a riderless horse skeleton will take pride of place in Trafalgar Square over the next two years. Mayor 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.”
Really Good by David Shrigley, a giant bronze of a ‘thumbs up’ will be unveiled in 2016. Shrigley was born 1968 in Macclesfield. Lives and works in Glasgow. His 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.
Hans Haacke Born 1936 in Cologne. Lives and works in New York. His horse, sculpture is wrapped in a LED ribbon, tied to its leg and shows the latest live FT index prices. 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. Haacke stated; “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.” Haacke said he hoped visitors would be “intrigued by what the ticker of the London Stock Exchange tells them about their fortunes”.