|The First Art Newspaper on the Net
||Established in 1996
|| Monday, July 24, 2017
|150 artists exercise their talent as art goes underground for Stockholm commuters |
A train leaving the Kungstraedgaarden subway station, decorated in 1977 by Swedish artist Ulrik Samuelson. Over 90 of the 100 subway stations in Stockholm have been decorated with sculptures, mosaics, paintings, installations, engravings and reliefs by over 150 artists. AFP PHOTO / JONATHAN NACKSTRAND.
By: Anna-Karin Lampou
STOCKHOLM (AFP).- It's deep underground, dubbed "the world's longest art exhibition", shows everything from Roman torsos to giant tulips and, if you live in Stockholm, can be seen everyday on your way to work.
Welcome to the Swedish capital's metro system, where 150 artists have exercised their talent on some 100 stations along the 110-kilometre (68-mile) network to distract, amuse or intrigue the tens of thousands of commuters who ply the route daily.
The subway "becomes an important place in people's lives," said artist Ulrik Samuelson, 78, whose 1977 design for the central Kungstraedgaarden stop remains a favorite.
The Swede, who has exhibited in galleries from New York to Paris, liked the idea of targeting an "uninitiated" audience.
He created a subterranean wonderland with green, red and white shapes and stripes, as well as busts and building fragments, all alluding to a 17th-century palace that once stood above the site.
Ten years later, he added dripping grottoes and tropical plants as well as statues and fragments from an old city district demolished in the 1950s.
"This is our Forum Romanum, or Forum Stockholmium maybe," said Johanna Malmivaara, an art guide for the city metro, proudly.
Samuelson's design is part of the permanent exhibition, some of which dates back to the 1950s when the underground first opened.
When it was extended in the '60s and '70s, there was concern that people unused to travelling underground might be scared, like they would "come to the underworld," said Malmivaara.
So the Stockholm regional government suggested " 'why not make it pleasant and decorate the underground instead'," said Malmivaara.
The metro today offers an eclectic mix of paintings, sculptures, mosaics, video installations and even textile, with a hefty annual maintenance cost of 10.5 million Swedish kronor ($1.6 million, 1.2 million euros).
Not all locals still pay attention, glued instead to their newspapers or smartphones.
But the art has also turned Stockholm's metro into a magnet for tourists and, at times, celebrities -- like American pop diva Madonna, who used shots from the Hoetorget and T-Centralen metro stations in the video for her 1998 hit "Ray of Light" .
"We've never seen anything like this before," said Californian visitors Fay and Paul Krivonos, who found another famously decorated subway, the Moscow metro, "filled with pompous and propaganda art" by comparison.
Themes vary widely. The centrally located T-Centralen station is pure mid-1970s "agitprop" -- art-cum-propaganda. Dozens of painted workers crowd onto the ceiling with one crushing Article 32, a much-reviled chapter in the old statutes of the Swedish Employers' Confederation permitting companies to hire and fire at will.
Morocco's Atlas Mountains inspired artist Sigvard Olsson's salmon pink shades at Raadhuset station, while Lasse Lindqvist focussed on sports for the Stadshagen stop where ice hockey teams, swimmers and skiers peak out from folded aluminium sheets.
Seven of the stations are reserved for displays that change each year. One is the Odenplan stop, coveted as a career launching pad for four new art school graduates hand-picked by the metro's art group.
Yet commuters were foremost in the minds of project developers and many artists.
"Public art is available to a whole lot of people who have never even approached a gallery before," said Samuelson.
And when the long season of ice and snow on above-ground stations causes major delays across the network, Malmivaara joked, "It is our way to say 'Excuse us for the delays in the winter'."
© 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse
September 4, 2013
For the first time in years, Two Bedrooms reunited at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam
Stories of suffering and salvation: Getty explores saints in the Middle Ages
Pissarro masterpiece from the years that defined Impressionism on offer at Bonhams New York
Mystery human mummy in sarcophagus found in German attic by a 10-year-old boy
Sotheby's to offer two masterpieces from the Collection of Guy and Myriam Ullens de Schooten
The Museum at Bethel Woods opens exhibition of the unseen archive of Columbia Records
Todd Hido's recent body of work "Excerpts from Silver Meadows" on view at Kaune, Posnik, Spohr Gallery
Russia briefly detains 'Vladimir Putin underwear' Museum of Power chief Tatyana Titova
New electronic ePlate credit cards offer exclusive artwork from artists, innovative new channel to collectors
150 artists exercise their talent as art goes underground for Stockholm commuters
Malala, schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taliban, says books can defeat terrorism at UK library opening
Sotheby's to offer calligraphy by Su Shi - One of the most well-known figures in Chinese history
New staff positions and appointments at Stanford University's Cantor Arts Center
Exhibition reflects on the issue of the artistic creation process within a situation of residency
Princeton University Art Museum to install billboard piece by artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres at 12 locations
Powerful women's stories told in Becoming, a solo exhibit in New York
SMU's Pollock Gallery presents photographs from Taos, New Mexico by Deborah Hunter
Four new fall exhibitions at the Addison Gallery explore a wide range of themes
made, unmade a film installation by artist Julie Brook on view at The Wapping Project
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Dallas Museum of Art make their first joint acquisition
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- New Van Dyck painting on display at the Ashmolean
2.- Muscarelle Museum of Art chief curator identifies Paul Cézanne painting
3.- Sarah Lucas' first major museum exhibition in the United States opens in San Francisco
4.- The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago opens first-ever museum exhibition of Amanda Williams
5.- "Irene Williams: Queen of Lincoln Road" harkens back to a more colorful time on South Beach
6.- Paris show of Impressionist masterpieces never seen in West
7.- Scientists find that Aborigines have been in Australia longer than previously thought
8.- Exhibition at Haus der Kunst focuses on two pivotal exhibitions held in 1937
9.- Spanish judge schedules Dali exhumation for July 20
10.- 'The Noise' breathes the romance back into Formula One
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.