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'Petrobras [Rio]' by Sarah Morris, the 17th cover in the Tube map cover series commissioned by London Underground. December 2012.

Tube map cover by Sarah Morris

06 Dec 2012

Tube map cover by Sarah Morris

Available in stations from December 2012

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Artist Sarah Morris’s new art work, Petrobras [Rio], commissioned by Art on the Underground will be displayed on the front cover of millions of Pocket Tube maps from December 2012.

Petrobras [Rio] will be available for passengers to pick up from stations across the London Underground network. This vibrant, abstract work is loosely based on the Tube map itself and the colours are an expanded version of the Tube map colours.

The work is a diagram of movement depicting a series of interactions. Petrobras [Rio] encourages us to think about a journey - not a linear journey from A to B but more a slippage where thoughts and interactions occur that cannot be measured or contained.

Since the mid-1990s, Sarah Morris has been making brightly coloured complex abstract paintings and installations. These bold, geometric works, based on different cities, distill architectural details whilst capturing the psychology of a city and its key protagonists.

The titles Morris uses for her paintings refer to the names of existing buildings or institutions. The title Petrobas [Rio] is a reference to the Brazilian energy company and to the forthcoming Olympic and Paralympic games. Her entire new body of work is based on Brazil and her latest film RIO premiered at the Locarno Film Festival in August and will be shown at White Cube in July 2013.

In addition to the Tube map in June 2012 Sarah Morris was invited by Art on the Underground to create the twelfth commission at Gloucester Road. Big Ben [2012] is a site-specific response to the architecture of the station and the city of London. Spanning eighteen arches across the entire length of the disused platform, this dynamic work is an evolving spectrum of colour and geometry that invites the viewer to reflect upon both London’s past and its future.

Morris’s work is the latest in a series of commissions by Art on the Underground for the Pocket Tube map cover. Other artists in the series include Tracey Emin, Jeremy Deller, Richard Long, and Mark Wallinger.

Tamsin Dillon, Head of Art on the Underground, said: “I’m delighted by the artwork created by Sarah Morris for the Tube map cover from December. Its strong references to the Tube map colours and use of shapes and lines echo the Tube network that millions of customers use everyday.”

“Sarah’s use of abstract shape and colour for the work allow for many interpretations and I’m sure Tube users will enjoy drawing their own conclusions. It’s great that we were able to get this work by Sarah at the same time as her current presentation at Gloucester Road station can be seen by the millions of people that pass through.

Sarah Morris, artist, said: “The work is a way of depicting a series of interactions, a subjective way of streamlining perception of multiple chains, movements and interlapping spheres of activity. My work always involves notions of what public space is. Titles are always borrowed and taken over as initial starting points. Right now I am working on a series of paintings and a film titled RIO. I always treasured the London Tube map as a form of Monopoly and my work is not that different.”

Sarah Morris

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