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Giant horse sculptures will greet visitors at Central Park's Fifth Avenue entrance

"The Horses" by Jean-Marie Appriou will be unveiled

"The Horses" by Jean-Marie Appriou will be unveiled at Central Park's Fifth Avenue entrance on Sept. 11. Photo Credit: Raphaël Fanelli / courtesy of Jean-Marie Appriou

Three more horses will join the equine lineup at Central Park's Fifth Avenue entrance, but they won't be pulling carriages. The 15-foot-tall aluminum sculptures will be standing guard.

The commissioned sculptures by Jean-Marie Appriou, simply named "The Horses," will go up on Sept. 11 and remain through Aug. 30, 2020, according to the Public Art Fund, which is mounting the installation at the Doris C. Freedman Plaza opposite the gilded William Tecumseh Sherman by Augustus Saint-Gaudens.

Inspired by the carriage-pulling horses at the park, Appriou, a 33-year-old artist from France, carved 16-foot-long models from clay and foam before casting them in aluminum. The silvery and jagged metal picked up the tool marks and fingerprints he left on the models, according to the Public Art Fund.

"Jean-Marie Appriou's unconventional approach to sculpture is almost alchemical," said Daniel S. Palmer, Public Art Fund curator. "His craftsmanship is informed by a deep knowledge of the historical lineage of sculptors that have preceded him. At the same time, Appriou’s equine sculptures are otherworldly, evoking the silent majesty of horses with nuanced sculptural details that flicker between narrative and poetry." 

Rather than putting them up on a pedestal, visitors will be able to walk under and around them.

Appriou also creates human, plant and other animal forms using the same process, but started working with the medium by melting cans in homemade kilns in his backyard, the art fund says.

"The Horses" replace Mark Manders' "Tilted Head," a cast bronze masklike face resting on a mass of formless clay-like material, which went up on March 6 this year.


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