A major artwork commission for all 270 stations to mark the 150th anniversary of London Underground
From 7 February 2013
Mark Wallinger, one of the UK’s leading contemporary artists, has created a major new artwork for London Underground to celebrate its 150th anniversary. The result, commissioned by Art on the Underground, is a multi-part work on a huge scale that will be installed in every one of the Tube’s 270 stations.
Inspired by the lexicon of the symbols of the London Underground that have become some of the most recognised in the world, Mark Wallinger chose the ancient symbol of the Labyrinth, with its single path, as the theme of the work. Each station will have its own unique Labyrinth design, emblazoned in black and white on a single 600 square millimeter vitreous enamel panel, located in a prominent position, representing the journey through the network taken by millions of individuals each year from that place.
The installation of Labyrinth launched on 7 February with the first 10 central London stations, which are: Baker Street, Bank, Embankment, Green Park, King’s Cross St Pancras, Oxford Circus, St James’s Park, Tottenham Court Road, Victoria and Westminster. Labyrinth will be installed across the whole network during the next few months, completing the permanent installation in all 270 stations in the summer.
Mark Wallinger, born in Chigwell in 1959, is one of the UK’s leading contemporary artists. Among his works are Ecce Homo, the first commission for the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square (1999), State Britain (2007) at Tate Britain, the proposed Ebbsfleet Landmark Commission White Horse (2009), Via Dolorosa in the crypt of the Duomo in Milan and Sinema Amnesia (2012) for Turner Contemporary in Margate (2012). Among his solo shows are the Serpentine Gallery, London; Tate Liverpool; Vienna Secession; Museum for Gegenwartskunst, Basel; Palais Des Beaux Arts, Brussels; Museum de Pont, Tilburg; and his latest solo exhibition, SITE, took place in 2012 at Baltic, Gateshead. He was one of three artists commissioned for Metamorphosis: Titian 2012 at the National Gallery, London as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. His work is in the collections of leading international museums including Tate; MoMA, New York; and Centre Pompidou, Paris. Wallinger represented Great Britain at the 2001 Venice Biennale. He was awarded the Turner Prize in 2007.
London Underground established Art on the Underground in 2000, initially under the title Platform for Art, with the purpose of producing and presenting new artworks that enrich the journeys of millions on the tube every day. From single site large-scale commissions at sites such as Gloucester Road station, to pocket size commissions for the cover of the Tube map, Art on the Underground has commissioned a roll call of the best artists in the last 13 years, maintaining art as a central element of London Underground’s identity and engaging passengers and staff in a strong sense of shared ownership. Artists include 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 and Peter Blake.
Mark Wallinger’s Labyrinth is one of a series of special commissions for London Underground’s 150th anniversary. Other commissions of leading contemporary artists will be announced in 2013, including a special edition of artists’ posters.
Find out more about Mark Wallinger’s Labyrinth by visiting art.tfl.gov.uk.