Soane Artist nominated for the Fourth Plinth Commission, Trafalgar Square
Exhibition curator Dr Jerzy Kierkuc-Bielinski welcomes the news that Soane artist Liliane Lijn is shortlisted for the Fourth Plinth commission in Trafalgar Square, with her piece 'The Dance'.
For the past seven years, the vacant plinth in the north-west corner of Trafalgar Square in London has been used for the display of temporary sculptures by some of the world’s leading contemporary artists. The plinth was designed by Charles Barry in 1841 and originally an equestrian statue of William IV was intended to be displayed there. It was not to be. A lack of funds meant that this monument was never erected and the plinth remained empty. Until that is 1998, when, at the instigation of the RSA, three leading artists were invited to respond to the plinth and the urban space around it. The works produced by Rachael Whiteread, Mark Walinger and Bill Woodrow captured the public’s imagination. Since then, artists, including Antony Gormley, Yinka Shonibare, Marc Quinn and Elmgreen and Dragset, to name a few, have each year been invited to submit proposals for temporary works to occupy the plinth.
Liliane Lijn's proposed Fourth Plinth artwork 'The Dance'. Image courtesy of the Greater London Authority
On 24 September, the six nominations for 2014/2015 were announced. Maquettes of their proposed sculptures are on display in the crypt of St Martin’s in the Fields, Trafalgar Square until 17 November 2013. I was absolutely thrilled to see that Liliane Lijn has been shortlisted, along with Hans Haacke, Marcus Coates, Mark Leckey, Ugo Rondione and David Shrigley. I met Liliane at the private view for the Commission and she told me that one of the factors that inspired her to submit a proposal for the Fourth Plinth was her 2011 exhibition at the Soane Liliane Lijn: Light Years. Her submitted piece The Dance consists of two, seemingly identical cones in brushed, anodised aluminium. Their forms echo the spire of St Martins-in-the-Fields. At the same time, for Liliane, the cone symbolises ‘…a ubiquitous abstract form that occurs in mathematical, mythical and astronomical systems’. However, the identical nature of these pieces is undermined by the fact that the cones are cut into sections, each of which revolves creating a series of sensual, abstract shapes - the surface of the anodised steel glittering as the sculptures rotate and perform their dance. We wish Liliane (as indeed the other short-listed artists) every success with their nominations. The two successful artists will be announced in early 2014.