david shrigley is the winner of the 2016 commission for the fourth plinth

7 February 2014

Stephen Friedman Gallery is delighted to announce that David Shrigley is the winner of the 2016 commission for the Fourth Plinth. His bronze sculpture ‘Really Good' will follow the current and next commission, being unveiled in Trafalgar Square, London, in July 2016.

Since 1999, the Fourth Plinth commissions in the northwest corner of Trafalgar Square are recognised internationally as leading the field in presenting world-class contemporary artworks in the public realm. The award is one of the most famous world-class contemporary art prizes. Some of the world's most celebrated artists, such as gallery artist Yinka Shonibare MBE with his acclaimed 'Nelson Ship in a Bottle' have proposed and made works for this high-profile location in the heart of London.

The sculpture is a giant hand in a thumbs-up gesture, and with a really long thumb at that, must mean that something, somewhere, is really good. But what is that something and where is it? Is it Trafalgar Square? Or all of London? Or maybe the artwork itself? And if it's so good, why is that? Who says so? And will we agree?

‘Really Good' will be cast in bronze with the same dark patina as the other statues in the Square, the comic extension of the thumb bringing it up to ten metres in height. Shrigley's ambition is that this will become a self-fulfilling prophecy; that things considered ‘bad', such as the economy, the weather and society, will benefit from a change of consensus towards positivity.

Shrigley's daily tirade of satirical vignettes takes the British tradition of satire into three and four dimensions. Nominated for the 2013 Turner Prize, his drawings and animations feature protagonists that express their dark impulses and are subject to the violence and irrationality of life, while his sculptures are often jokes in 3D form, reflecting the absurdity of contemporary society.

David Shrigley and The Fourth Plinth Commission