The Turner prizewinner Jeremy Deller will present an ambitious public art piece in Trafalgar Square in July 2025 marking the 200th anniversary of the National Gallery. The work will celebrate “festivals, gatherings, and art in the public realm”, a gallery statement says.
“Deller has been researching and cataloguing events on Trafalgar Square as a history of celebration, commemoration and demonstration, collecting countless instances of joy and art in activism,” the statement adds; the artist declined to comment further.
Deller’s piece, entitled The Triumph of Art, is part of the gallery’s bicentenary programme known as NG200. His work will be devised in collaboration with four institutions across the UK: The Box in Plymouth, Mostyn in Llandudno, The Playhouse in Derry/Londonderry and Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design in Dundee. “Each will research, develop and stage a local element, before the collaborative projects join together,” the statement says.
Deller is known for The Battle of Orgreave (2001), his epic re-enactment of a confrontation between police and picketing miners which took place during the tumultuous 1984-85 strike. “I very much hope that Jeremy will come up with something joyful and participatory,” Gabriele Finaldi, the National Gallery director, told Apollo magazine last year.
Deller’s piece will draw to a close the NG200 programme which launches spring next year with the National Treasures project. This nationwide initiative comprises 12 simultaneous exhibitions opening 10 May at 12 museums and galleries across the UK. Works by artists such as Constable, Turner and Monet will go on show at selected venues including Brighton Museum & Art Gallery and the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth.
The NG200 initiative also includes a controversial upgrading of the gallery’s Sainsbury Wing. Under the revamp designed by the New York-based Selldorf Architects, a research centre and a members area will be inserted into the corner of the gallery’s 19th-century Wilkins Building. The total cost of the NG200 programme is £95m (£85m on capital projects).