The new proposals for the fourth plinth commission in Trafalgar Square have been unveiled at the National Gallery this morning. They include a scoop of ice-cream covered in flies, an empty white robe and a recreation of a sculpture destroyed by ISIS are among the new proposals for a work for Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth. Huma Bhabha, Damián Ortega, Heather Phillipson, Michael Rakowitz and Raqs Media Collective today unveiled maquettes of their proposed works. These will be on display in the Annenberg Court of the National Gallery until 26 March 2017.
The two artists who have been selected will be announced in March 2017, and their works will be unveiled in Trafalgar Square in 2018 and 2020 respectively. The winning commissions will follow on from the current sculpture Really Good by David Shrigley, a 7m high thumbs up, that will be on the plinth until March 2018.
“The variety of the exciting proposals unveiled today demonstrates the way in which artists react so differently to Trafalgar Square” – Sadiq Kahn
The new proposals are:
Untitled by Huma Bhabha, an imposing figure, the scale reflecting a modern comic sci-fi movie.High Way by Damián Ortega, a playful and precarious construction of a truck, oil cans, scaffold and a ladder.
High Way by Damián Ortega, a playful and precarious construction of a truck, oil cans, scaffold and a ladder.
THE END by Heather Phillipson explores the extremes of shared experience, from commemorations and celebrations to mass protests, all while being observed by a drone’s camera.
The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist by Michael Rakowitz, a recreation of the Lamassu, a winged bull and protective deity, which was destroyed by ISIS in 2015.
The Emperor’s Old Clothes by Raqs Media Collective explores how power can be both present and absent in sculpture.
The Fourth Plinth is the smallest but most prominent sculpture park in the world. Funded by the Mayor of London with support from Arts Council England, the programme invites world-class artists to make astonishing new works for Trafalgar Square. An established icon for London, it brings out the art critic in everyone.
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “The variety of the exciting proposals unveiled today demonstrates the way in which artists react so differently to Trafalgar Square. I’m delighted to see that the shortlisted commissions are not just from the UK but from around the globe, a clear sign that London is open to creativity. The Fourth Plinth reflects the best of London in so many ways – it is inventive, pioneering, surprising and a source of delight, discussion and debate for millions of Londoners and visitors from across the world.”
Ekow Eshun, Chair of the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group, said:“I am delighted to unveil these new commissions for the Fourth Plinth from a host of leading international artists. The strength of the work displayed underlines the Fourth Plinth programme as a leading public art commission on the international cultural landscape. Debate is at the heart of the programme, and the Commissioning Group look forward to hearing the public’s thoughts on the proposals.”
Image Proposals (left to right): Huma Bhabha, Damián Ortega, Heather Phillipson, Michael Rakowitz and Raqs Media Collection