National Gallery director is not amused by the misuse of Trafalgar Square
Fourth Plinth commission should be replaced by “two well-matched contemporary works”
By Ben Luke. Web only
Published online: 30 October 2012
Nicholas Penny, the director of the National Gallery in London, has criticised the contemporary works that temporarily occupy the empty plinth in front of the gallery in Trafalgar Square as “antagonistic to the architectural character of the square”, turning the plinth into “a stage, which can be used ironically, farcically [and] inappropriately”.
In an interview with The Art Newspaper, Penny expressed his “grave concerns” about the square in general, particularly the “tawdry tents and hoardings for advertising” that regularly “conceal” the gallery from view.
Penny outlined his alternative ideas for the square, proposing that the two northern plinths in front of the gallery should have two “well-matched contemporary works” and that Francis Chantrey’s equestrian statue of George IV be placed on a pedestal within the steps leading up to the gallery from the square.
For an interview with Nicholas Penny, see the November print edition of The Art Newspaper
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