Underground Abstract

Cornelia Parker

1 January 2008 – 30 November 2008

Part of the following series:

Tube Map

Underground Abstract, by artist Cornelia Parker, takes the form of a ‘Rorschach blot’ – a symmetrical image made by applying paint to a piece of paper then folding it in half, often used by psychoanalysts to map their patients’ emotional states.

The work plays on the idea of maps, orientation and image association – Cornelia Parker has used the colours of the different Underground lines from Harry Beck’s iconic Tube map to create a new symbol for the front cover of the pocket Tube map. Customers will begin to recognise many other shapes and forms in Parker’s art work and can while away their journeys making these visual associations.

The image also conjures up other connections with the long history of the design of the LU map, including David Booth’s 1986 poster The Tate Gallery By Tube (which depicts a tube of paint squeezed out to create the coloured lines of the Underground) and the very earliest LU maps in which stations appeared as large blobs of colour along the lines.