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Hans Haacke
Gift Horse [maquette]
Finished Sculpture: horse: bronze with black patina and wax finish stainless steel fasteners and supports, bow: 5mm flexible LED display stainless steel armature polycarbonate face

183 x 169 x 65 inches

Paula Cooper Gallery

To see an installation view of the finished sculpture, go to: Installation view Gift Horse, 2014, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York

Additional Information:

Excerpt from: Fourth Plinth, Mayor of London and Arts Council England: Hans Haacke, Gift Horse - Winning Commission: 2014-2015 Fourth Plinth:

Fourth Plinth

The Fourth Plinth Programme is the most talked about contemporary art prize in the UK. Funded by the Mayor of London and supported by Arts Council England, the programme invites world class artists to make astonishing new works for the centre of the capital city. - Fourth Plinth, Mayor of London and Arts Council England

Hans Haacke, Gift Horse [Hans Haacke’s submission maquette]

Proposed Materials: bronze, electroluminescent film

Instead of the statue of William IV astride a horse, as originally planned for the empty plinth, Hans Haacke proposes a skeleton of a riderless, strutting horse. Tied to the horse’s front leg is an electronic ribbon which displays live the ticker of the London Stock Exchange, completing the link between power, money and history. The horse is derived from an etching by George Stubbs, whose studies of equine anatomy were published the year after the birth of the reputedly decadent king, whose statue was abandoned due to a lack of funds. Haacke’s proposal makes visible a number of ordinarily hidden substructures, tied up with a bow as if a gift to all.

Haacke’s early work employed physical and organic processes, such as condensation, in what he called ‘systems’, until his focus shifted to the socio-political field of equally interdependent dynamics. For the last four decades Haacke has been examining relationships between art, power and money, and has addressed issues of free expression and civic responsibilities in democratic societies. Haacke’s practice is difficult to categorise, moving from object to image to text, from painting to photography, at times of a provocative nature.

Hans Haacke was born 1936 in Cologne, Germany. He lives and works in New York.


Hans Haacke: Selected Biographies on Art in Context

Hans Haacke: Related Links on Art in Context


Hans Haacke, German, (1936- )
b. August 12, 1936, Cologne

Art in Context - Projects:
Art in Context - Art for the Day: August 12

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