Revealed: Trafalgar Square's Fourth Plinth Sculptures For 2026 & 2028
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Revealed: Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth Sculptures For 2026 & 2028

The upcoming sculptures have been announced

A giant sweet potato, a cat ornament and a colourful ice-cream van are just some of the artworks that were shortlisted for Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth sculpture for 2026 and 2028. It’s one of the world’s most prestigious public art projects, operating on a rotating basis, and the sculptures for the 2026 and 2028 slots has just been announced: Tschabalala Self’s ‘Lady in Blue’ and Andra Ursuţa’s ‘Untitled’.

Their sculptures beat out some rather kooky options from other sculptors. If you fancy seeing them for yourself, be quick: they’re on display until 17 March 2024 at the National Gallery

‘I’m delighted that Tschabalala Self and Andra Ursuţa have been selected as the next artists to display their work on the world-renowned Fourth Plinth,’ says Justine Simons OBE, Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries. ‘These artists were chosen from a fantastic shortlist that has inspired debate among Londoners. The sculpture prize has entertained and brought out the art critic in everybody for 25 years, and I have no doubt these two very different pieces will continue that fine tradition.’

Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth

Trafalgar Square

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What Is Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth?

Trafalgar Square was designed in 1841, complete with four pedestals for sculptures. There were three statues of George IV, Sir Charles Napier and Sir Henry Havelock, and the fourth was meant for an equestrian statue of William IV. However, lack of funds prevented this from happening. 

In 1998, after sitting empty for 150 years, the Royal Society of Arts suggested something could be done with the vacant space. Five years of debate ensued, and eventually it was agreed that three modern artworks would be commissioned. Then, in 2005, the new Greater London Authority took over management of the Square, and The Fourth Plinth Commission Group was set up. It was agreed that works would go on display on a temporary basis.

What Is On The Fourth Plinth Now?

At present, Samson Kambalu’s Antelope currently sits on the fourth plinth. This sculpture restages a 1914 photograph of Baptist preacher and pan-Africanist John Chilembwe and a European missionary called John Chorley. Chilembwe dons a hat in an act of defiance – it was illegal in 1914 for Black people to wear a hat in the presence of white people.

What Will Be On The Fourth Plinth Next?

The 2024 Fourth Plinth sculpture has been announced as Improntas (Imprints) by Teresa Margolles. Set to arrive in September, the work is made of plaster casts of the faces of hundreds of trans people, which will be arranged around the plinth in the form of a Tzompantli, a skull rack from Mesoamerican civilisations. A tribute to a transgender woman named Karla, who was murdered in Mexico in 2016, it has been designed as a symbol of trans communities worldwide.

Lady in Blue, Tschabalala Self

Lady in Blue, Tschabalala Self

What Will Be On Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth From 2026?

Tschabalala Self’s ‘Lady in Blue’ will perch atop the Fourth Plinth from September 2026. Made of bronze and covered in Lapis Lazuli blue, Self was inspired by a desire to bring a contemporary ‘everywoman’ to the famed square.

Untitled, Andra Ursuta

Untitled, Andra Ursuta

What Will Be On Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth From 2028?

Come 2028, Andra Ursuţa’s ‘Untitled’ will occupy the fourth plinth, a hollow, life-sized figure on a horse, cast in a slime-green resin. It’s designed to embody ‘multiple histories of public sculpture and commemoration at a time when there is increasing debate about the use of public space’.

How To See It

The Fourth Plinth is free to see on Trafalgar Square 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Trafalgar Sq, London WC2N 5NJ