Pablo Bronstein, Melissa Gordon, Runa Islam, Idris Khan, Sarah Lucas, Goshka Macuga, Robert Orchardson, Martha Rosler, Nedko Solakov, Frances Stark, Corin Sworn, Wolfgang Tillmans, Gillian Wearing, Lawrence Weiner and Haegue Yang
To mark the 150th anniversary of the Tube, Art on the Underground invited 15 leading contemporary artists from countries spanning the UK, USA, Bulgaria, Poland, Germany and South Korea each to create an image for reproduction as a poster and a special limited-edition print. Their individual interpretations of the Tube form a set of images that reflects their many approaches and processes, offering a vibrant contemporary picture of the London Tube – the world’s first underground network.
The artists selected for the project reflect the diversity and international importance of London and are at all stages of their careers, from the long established to the new and emerging.
The range of responses from this diverse group of artists reflects the continuing global resonance of this vast public infrastructure in the collective and the individual imagination. To explore this further, artist and writer Francesco Pedraglio was invited to weave an additional story using the images as a starting point (see download below).
All these works will become a legacy for the Tube and for London itself – continuing an extraordinary record of heritage that encompasses innovations in transport, engineering, architecture, design and art.
On this historic birthday, Tamsin Dillon, Head of Art on the Underground, said: “We are a major commissioner of contemporary art, stretching right back to its founding 150 years ago. We are very proud that such significant artists have agreed to participate in this and are delighted with the variety of their approaches; ranging from the historical references drawn from London Transport Museum to a direct collaboration with one individual Tube traveler.
“It seems particularly pertinent to mark this anniversary with a project which has resulted in our largest series of artists’ poster commissions ever. I am sure these new artworks will enrich the daily journeys our millions of customers.”
As part of the commission, each artist created a special signed and numbered edition of prints, are on sale from our Shop. With prices starting from £150, this is a unique opportunity to own a work by leading contemporary artists. As well as marking this important anniversary in the history of the London Underground, revenues from the sales of the prints will help support Art on the Underground’s programme in the future.