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Fifteen leading artists commissioned to create new London Undergound posters
Goshka Macuga, I came by Tube, 2013. Commissioned by Art on the Underground. Copyright the artist.

LONDON.- 15 leading international artists have accepted commissions from London’s Art on the Underground programme to create a series of new posters for major sites across the London Underground network starting in June 2013. This project, entitled 15 for 150, is part of this year’s celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the Tube. In addition, Mona Hatoum has designed the latest Tube map cover which is due out in May.

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.

They are (in alphabetical order): 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.

The posters will go up in June on prominent sites at four central London stations: Gloucester Road, Southwark, St. James’s Park and London Bridge.

As part of the commission, each artist will create a special numbered and signed edition of prints, which will go on sale in June. 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.

These new commissions follow in a long tradition of artists’ involvement in the Tube, from Man Ray to Frank Newbould, Edward McKnight Kauffer, Laura Knight, Howard Hodgkin and David Booth, all of whom have designed specially commissioned posters for the network. Landmark commissions in the last 13 years have included works by Cindy Sherman, Tracey Emin, Michael Landy, Jeremy Deller, Dryden Goodwin, Susan Hiller, Barbara Kruger, Liam Gillick, Eva Rothschild, Yinka Shonibare, Richard Long, Gary Hume, Richard Wentworth, Gavin Turk, Mark Wallinger and Peter Blake, maintaining art as a central element of London Underground’s identity and engaging passengers and staff in a strong sense of shared ownership.

In addition, Mona Hatoum has designed the cover of the new Tube map, which customers can pick up in stations from May. She has taken as her theme ‘London: the world’ as a reflection on the diversity and multiculturalism of the city and drawing on her repeated use of imagery of the globe in her work.

Hatoum, said: “The Tube map cover can be seen as a metaphor: London as a microcosm for the entire world with almost every race, culture, nationality and religion living side by side.”

The more recent programme of commissions to artists for the Tube map began in 2004 and has included work to date by Richard Long, Paul Noble, Emma Kay, Cornelia Parker, David Shrigley, Jeremy Deller, Liam Gillick, Gary Hume, Mark Wallinger, Pae White, Yinka Shonibare, Tracy Emin and Sarah Morris.

London Underground established Art on the Underground in 2000 to produce and present new artworks that enrich the journeys of millions of people on the Tube every day. The curatorial team is led by Tamsin Dillon.

Reflecting on this historic anniversary, Tamsin Dillon, Head of Art on the Underground for London Underground, said: “We are a major commissioner of contemporary art, stretching right back to our 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.”

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