The latest fourth plinth commission, an ultramarine fibreglass bird designed by the German artist Katharina Fritsch took pride of place on the fourth plinth on Thursday 25th July.
Over the past years the fourth plinth in the northwest corner of Trafalgar Square has become home to a range of innovative artworks amongst them Marc Quinn’s Alison Lapper Pregnant (2005), Antony Gormley’s popular One and Other (2009), Yinka Shonibare’s Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle (2010) and the last year’s commission Elmgreen & Dragset's 'Powerless Structures, Fig. 101' (2012)
The plinth was designed in 1841 to display an equestrian sculpture. But a lack of funds meant that until 1998, when Mark Wallinger, Bill Woodrow and Rachel Whiteread were commissioned to create works for the space, the plinth lay bare.
The latest fourth plinth commission, a 15.5ft (4.7m) high fibreglass bird designed by the German artist Katharina Fritsch took pride of place on the fourth plinth on Thursday 25th July. The logistics of such a large and fairly fragile art piece and the installation of it in a public space always come with a challenge. A bespoke travel frame was constructed around the intense ultramarine blue bird to protect and stabilise the sculpture during its travel to Trafalgar Square and support it during the move to the plinth.
Due to the size of the artwork all moves had to be planned out to the smallest details and the transport of the art piece to take place in early morning hours to avoid the rush hour traffic and safely covey the cockerel to its new location.
About the artist
Katharina Fritsch is one of Germany’s leading contemporary artists. Born in Essen, Fritsch studied at the Kunstakademie in Dusseldorf and has exhibited widely across Europe, Japan and the USA. She represented Germany at the 1995 Venice Biennale and has been the subject of exhibitions at DIA Centre for the Arts, New York, the San Francisco Museum of Contemporary Art, Tate Modern, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and K21, Duesseldorf. Her work is represented in many significant permanent collections including The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, Schaulager, Basel and Museum of Modern Art, Frankfurt.