ARKEN gets a new landmark
From Trafalgar Square’s fourth plinth to ARKEN
in 2012, a four-metre-high bronze boy riding a rocking horse graced the Fourth Plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square. This contemporary version of a traditional equestrian statue, by the Danish/Norwegian artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset, has now become the new landmark of the ARKEN Museum of Modern Art.
At the northeast corner of historical Trafalgar Square, in front of the National Gallery, stands a plinth made in 1841 for a traditional equestrian statue of King William IV. The statue was never finished and the plinth stood untopped for more than 150 years.
Over the last eight years, the plinth has been a monumental base for some of the world’s most innovative artwork, including Elmgreen & Dragset’s sculpture Powerless Structures, Fig. 101. Thanks to a donation by ANNIE & OTTO JOHS. DETLEFS’ FOUNDATIONS OJD, the statue now stands in front of the ARKEN Museum of Modern Art.
An homage to the future
The traditional equestrian statues are known from the finest plazas of Europe’s capitals and usually celebrate powerful kings and conquerors. Elmgreen & Dragset’s monument, measuring an imposing 3.92 metres high and 4.2 metres long, is the direct opposite.
Having no warlike vibe, it celebrates children, joy and the future. The sculpture is installed in front of the main entrance to the museum, on a plinth as in Trafalgar Square. The new landmark is the visitors’ first encounter with art when they arrive at the museum.