French sculptor Jean-Marie Appriou’s “The Horses” were installed on September 11th at the Doris C. Freedman Plaza on Fifth Avenue and East 60th Street and will remain on display through Aug. 30, 2020. The installation was commissioned by the Public Art Fund.
Appriou carved clay and foam models to cast in aluminium, emphasizing the tool marks and fingerprints of his tactile process. The works’ jagged textures and silvery surfaces create a dynamic play of light and shadow.
After being commissioned for a sculpture in such a public space, Appriou wanted to “indirectly” approach the human as a sculptural subject.
By working with an equestrian theme, I was able to integrate people through another lens. Everyone has a rapport with horses in some way, whether it’s the cowboy, the western, or even pony camp as a child. And, of course, Central Park’s horse-drawn carriages
Horses hold a significant place in the history of sculpture. There is a rapport with the idea of the plinth—if you think of the sculpture of a general, for example, he is always mounted on a horse as a representation of power. The horse is his plinth, and then the horse itself is also mounted on a plinth. (Unbridled: the Wild Equestrian Statues of Jean-Marie Appriou.)
The sculptures are more than just horses: he’s used the various representations of the horses’ limbs as a doorway, a seat, and a shelter from the elements, respectively. They have become participatory sculpture, which people can engage with.
I definitely need to put this on my list of things to see next time I’m in New York.