In brief

Katharina Fritsch's Cock on London's Fourth Plinth to Be Replaced by Hans Haacke's Horse

Hans Haacke - Gift Horse Courtesy GLA

Hans Haacke – Gift Horse
Courtesy GLA

The riderless skeleton of a horse will replace Katharina Fritsch's ultramarine blue cock on the Fourth Plinth, in London's Trafalgar Square, early in 2015. A tongue-in-cheek allusion to the equestrian statue of William IV which was originally meant to occupy the plinth, the sculpture, entitled Gift Horse, is by conceptual artist Hans Haacke. It will feature an electronic ribbon displaying live the ticker of the London Stock Exchange.

Haacke is best known for his scathing institutional critique, and while more visually ornate then most of his previous works, Gift Horse packs as much of a punch. The title pointedly refers to the saying “don't look a gift horse in the mouth," and can be interpreted as a wry comment on the British capital's cosy relationship with the financial industry.

The work will be replaced in 2016 by a monumental thumbs-up sculpture, courtesy of David Shrigley.