Fourth Plinth Proposals Unveiled at National Gallery
A Ghanaian grain silo and a sculpture featuring the faces of 850 trans women are among six works being shown in miniature.
Goshka Macuga, GO NO GO (2021). Macquette for Fourth Plinth commission. Photo: James O Jenkins.
The other nominees are a block of faces cast from trans women by Teresa Margolles, a figure from German folklore by Paloma Varga Weisz, and a sculpture by Samson Kambalu of Baptist preacher and pan-Africanist John Chilembwe who broke the law in 1914 simply by wearing a hat.
(UPDATE, 5 July 2021: Kambalu and Margolles won the competition.)
One of the winning works will replace Heather Phillipson's sculpture THE END (2020)—a dollop of whipped cream topped with a cherry, a housefly and a drone—when it is removed from the Fourth Plinth in September 2022. The other will be unveiled in 2024.
Contemporary art has been shown on the Fourth Plinth since 1998. The plinth was originally intended for an equestrian sculpture of William IV that was abandoned in 1841 when funds ran dry. The square's other three plinths are occupied by statues of George IV, General Sir Charles James Napier, and Major-General Sir Henry Havelock.
The Fourth Plinth commission is funded by the Mayor of London with support from Arts Council England and Bloomberg Philanthropies.
'It casts new light on London's most historic square, helping our public landscape to reflect, represent and celebrate many more of our stories,' said Justine Simons OBE, Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries.
Images of all six shortlisted works along with descriptions from the office of the Mayor of London can be viewed below. —[O]