Friday, 7 February 2014

A thumbs up for the winner of the 2016 4th Plinth Commission

I have to say I am always intrigued by what will end up on the 4th plinth in Trafalgar square and I was excited to hear the announcement of the 2015 and 2016 winners.

Next year this privilidged position will be filled by the german painter and conceptual artist Hans Haacke.

This is not my favorite of the two winners, not because I don't find it an intriguing work rather that I really love the entry for 2016.

It is a work by David Shrigley one of the 2013 Turner prize nominees and the subject of a solo exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in 2012. His works have a deliberately comical and playful nature to them, typified by his Turner prize entry exhibited in Derry~Londonderry last year. This comprised an unusually proportioned plastic life model that peed into a bucket and around whom were set up chairs and easels encouraging the visitors to draw him in whatever fashion they so desired. Although his piece did not win the coveted award it drew a lot of attention and made the news.

His design for the 4th plinth is a giant thumbs up. It will blend in with the other sculptures in the square only in as far as it echoes the use of the traditional bronze material used for the rest of the sculptures. Aside from this nod to tradition the piece will undoubtedly jump out at the viewer. The sculpture is entitled 'Really Good' and is intended as a reaction against the pervading gloom of current climate (economic, political, meteorological take your pick). I don't see how you could look up at this giant work and resist a cheeky smile and none of us will be any the poorer for that.

If you would like to see some other 4th Plinth oldies but goodies then click here.

Shrigley's website:

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