Hans Haacke and David Shrigley have been announced as the winning artists for the next two Fourth Plinth commissions in Trafalgar Square. Their designs will be unveiled in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
Hans Haacke’s design Gift Horse depicts a skeletal, riderless horse - a wry comment on the equestrian statue of William IV originally planned for the plinth. Tied to the horse’s front leg is an electronic ribbon displaying live the ticker of the London Stock Exchange, completing the link between power, money and history. The horse is derived from an etching by George Stubbs; the famous English painter whose works are represented in the National Gallery at Trafalgar Square.
David Shrigley’s proposal Really Good will see a ten-metre-high hand giving a thumbs up. Cast so that it has the same dark patina as the other statues in Trafalgar Square, the thumb is disproportionately long. Shrigley’s ambition is that this simple gesture will become a self-fulfilling prophecy; that things considered ‘bad’, such as the economy, the weather and society, will benefit from a change of consensus towards positivity.