A giant, skeletal, riderless, horse created by the German-American artist Hans Haacke has been installed on the fourth plinth at London’s Trafalgar Square on Thursday (March 5).
Unveiled by the city’s mayor, Boris Johnson, “Gift Horse” was inspired by the equestrian statue of William IV, for which the plinth was originally intended.
The horse sculpture is fitted with an electronic ribbon which displays a live ticker of the London Stock Exchange, asserting the place’s significance as a link between power, money and history.
Mayor Johnson described Haacke’s work as “a startlingly original comment on the relationship between art and commerce”.
It is the tenth commission for the plinth, which has seen a variety of artworks put on display in the past, including a giant blue cockerel by Katharina Fritsch and a marble torso of the artist Alison Lapper, who was born without arms and shortened legs due to a congenital disorder.
Commissions for the fourth plinth are handled by the Mayor of London’s Culture team.
Haacke’s “Gift Horse” will be on display for the next 18 months.