Barbara Kruger uses the language of publicity to draw attention to the manipulative power of advertising. Her trademark subversive tactics are played out in Untitled (Tube Map), where the familiar imagery of the map is used to relate her own feelings about London, a city she loves and knows well.
Passengers are able to pick up Krugers map for free at Underground stations. The image shows a section of the Tube map in which the station names have been replaced by words that relate to Krugers experience of that part of London. Taking the very familiar visual language of the map, she keeps the main image intact but changes the words still in the classic New Johnston Font and liberates them from their daily function. St Jamess Park is momentarily renamed Fame, Westminster station becomes Reason and Victoria station as Pride completes a humorous triangle/set of three.
Krugers is the twelfth Pocket Tube Map design to be commissioned by Art on the Underground. Other artists in the series include Jeremy Deller, Richard Long, David Shrigley and Mark Wallinger. The maps are becoming recognised as collectors' items as the portfolio grows. Available for free from stations across the network, the map has one of the largest print runs for any organisation in Europe, with over five million printed per design and almost 15 million per year.
Although the motivation for a new map is driven by a practical issue, such as a station addition or change, the map covers also tend to communicate something about that moment in time in London, or on the network.
Art on the Underground Curator Sally Shaw says We are excited and privileged to be working with Barbara Kruger on this project. Untitled (Tube Map) presents a subtly humorous and human interpretation of life in the city, navigated via the Tube. I am looking forward very much to hearing what our customers think about Barbaras work and the others in the series via our website.
Art on the Underground has now commissioned 12 Tube map covers. Vote for your favourite for a chance to win a numbered limited edition print showing all 12 Tube map covers.
Scroll through the Tube map covers in the bar at the top of this page and click on the one you like best to find out which artist created it. Then email the name of the artist and title of the cover you like best (excluding the 12 Tube map cover poster) with your answers to a few questions.
Go to http://art.tfl.gov.uk/project/1763/
for further details