Fourth Plinth: 2016
Located in Trafalgar Square, the Fourth Plinth was built in 1841 and was meant to hold a statue of William IV but, due to insufficient funds, remained empty.
Over 150 years later, the Fourth Plinth now hosts a series of commissioned artworks by world class artists and is the most talked about contemporary art prize in the UK.
On the plinth: 'Really Good'
On the plinth this year is David Shrigley's 'Really Good'. A giant hand in a thumbs-up gesture, and with a really long thumb at that, must mean that something, somewhere, is really good.
But what is that something and where is it? Is it Trafalgar Square? Or all of London? Or maybe the artwork itself? And if it’s so good, why is that? Who says so? And will we agree?
‘Really Good’ is a seven-metre-high hand giving a thumbs up. Cast in bronze, with 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.
What others are saying
"The closed fingers of the massive hand fill the long rectangular plinth, while the stupendous vertical thumb offers a 21st century answer to Nelson’s Column itself."
Jonathan Jones, The Guardian, read full review
About the artist: David Shrigley
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 Auckland Arts Festival, New Zealand (2015) and Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2014). Shrigley’s Pass the Spoon was performed at Tramway, Glasgow, and Southbank Centre, London (2011-12), and he was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2013.
Support the Fourth Plinth
To celebrate the commission of David Shrigley's 'Really Good', a range of merchandise available to the public.
Money raised will help to support the Fourth Plinth Programme beyond its core funding, particularly the Fourth Plinth Schools Awards.
You can find items at the following places or shop online.
- Royal Academy
- Saatchi Gallery
- The National Portrait Gallery
- Yorkshire Sculpture Park
- St Martins in the Fields
- Museum of London
- The National Gallery
- Wellcome Foundation
- We Built this City