Since 2000, Art on the Underground has been working with artists to produce and present new artworks to enhance and enrich the journeys of millions on the Tube every day. Art on the Underground sustains and develops the influence of art and artists on the landscape of the Tube. It maintains art as a central element of LU’s identity, enhancing journeys and engaging passengers and staff to establish a strong sense of shared ownership.
A broad and flexible range of project models is employed in many locations across the Tube network, providing the large-scale and spectacular in some sites and the quiet and contemplative in others. For example large-scale ‘station-sized’ commissions appear in series at sites such as Gloucester Road station whilst, by contrast, the pocket Tube map cover is the site for a well established series of artworks, each only 7.5cm wide but reaching 15 million customers a year. Other projects might include the direct participation of Tube staff or customers but whatever the site or the media, the result is always the production of a new art work for the Tube environment.
The artists selected for the programme reflect the diversity and international importance of London and are at all stages of their careers, from those emerging and developing a promising art practice to established and internationally significant artists with a reputation for producing ground-breaking and influential works of art.
In addition to temporary commissions, new permanent artworks are being commissioned as part of the investment programme to upgrade specific stations. Permanent artworks will share the same principles of excellence that inform temporary projects and will reflect current trends and developments in contemporary art. These artworks will lead to the establishment of new landmarks to enhance and punctuate the journeys of millions of people.
The London Underground heritage and its unique environment hold a long-term fascination for artists, staff and customers. Art on the Underground commissions and presents art to link this heritage to the present day, connecting the organisation’s exceptional history with an impressive future.
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