NY carriage horses inspire Central Park’s latest equine sculpture

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"The Horses" by Jean-Marie Appriou.
“The Horses” by Jean-Marie Appriou. © Raphaël Fanelli / courtesy of Jean-Marie Appriou

An equine trio inspired by New York’s carriage horses will stand sentinel at Central Park for nearly a year in a new art installation.

The Horses  — three 15-foot tall aluminium horse sculptures by Jean-Marie Appriou — went on display on September 11 and will remain on show until August 30 next year. The installation has been mounted by the Public Art Fund.

The Horses have been fashioned as fantastical beasts with hybrid characteristics and human qualities.

Appriou was inspired by the horses nearby who pull tourists in carriages through the city and by Augustus Saint-Gaudens’s gilded monument of William Tecumseh Sherman on horseback just opposite this site at Grand Army Plaza.

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. Visitors will be able to walk around and under the horses.

The French artist is known for his intuitive approach to sculpture and experimental use of cast aluminium.

The Horses is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Public Art Fund is supported by the generosity of individuals, corporations, and private foundations. Its exhibitions and programs are also supported in part with public funds from government agencies, including the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

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