The Turner Prize winning artists Douglas Gordon and Richard Wright have been chosen to create art for the flagship Crossrail, Tottenham Court Road station.
City of London Corporation will match funds amounting to half the costs of the Art Programme in Crossrail’s central London stations. The newly dubbed Culture Line is to deliver artworks by some of the world’s most celebrated artists, in collaboration with London’s most prestigious galleries. Both of the artists are represented by the Gagosian Gallery.
The artworks will be permanently integrated into new stations at Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, Whitechapel and Canary Wharf. It is hoped they will deliver inspiration and pleasure to London commuters for generations to come and become a destination for art-lovers world-wide.
The Culture Line is one of the largest, collaborative public art commissioning processes in a generation. Crossrail is Europe’s largest infrastructure project, and The Culture Line is an integral part of its efforts to design and build new high-quality stations and to vastly enhance areas above and around the new stations.
Mark Boleat, Policy Chairman at the City of London Corporation, said: “We are delighted to be expanding our long-standing support for Crossrail by helping to fund The Culture Line. These innovative new exhibitions will bring together renowned artists and galleries to create a lasting legacy for London. The capital needs world class infrastructure to succeed on the global stage and the Crossrail project is a fantastic example of what can be achieved if policymakers rise to this challenge.”
Terry Morgan, Chairman of Crossrail said: “It is terrific that the City of London Corporation is making such a substantial commitment to The Culture Line. This programme will enhance London’s reputation as one of the world’s great cultural capitals. We welcome interest from the business community, both in the UK and internationally, to match fund these new pieces of art, which will be curated by seven of the world’s premier art galleries and undertaken by some of the most celebrated artists.”
Artworks are being selected by an advisory Round Table of representatives from national and local arts organisations and commercial galleries. Among the galleries already identified to work in partnership with Crossrail are Lisson Gallery for Paddington station, Victoria Miro for Liverpool Street, Gagosian for Tottenham Court Road, White Cube for Bond Street station and Sadie Coles for Farringdon. Crossrail is in discussions with other renowned galleries for the remaining stations at Whitechapel and Canary Wharf.
Douglas Gordon’s commission will be installed in the station’s western ticket hall in Dean Street, Soho. A series of three video screens will display images of people to evoke the history, culture and character of Soho. These images collectively form human compositions in a concept known as ‘Exquisite Corpse.’
Richard Wright’s commission will see gold-leaf hand-gilded on the vast ceiling above the eastern ticket hall, next to the existing Tottenham Court Road London Underground station. It draws on the lightness and colour of the ticket hall architecture and the rapidly improving public areas around the station. The pattern, which echoes the tile patterns of historic underground stations, will appear to change, fading in and out, depending on the light and viewpoint. Both artists’ concepts will be developed over the coming months, with imagery released in the New Year.
Douglas Gordon commented: “The work will draw upon the history of the Soho area, where I spent a lot of time in the 1980s and 1990s. It will also allude to the area’s ability to recreate itself. It is vital that Soho’s historic identity should be embedded in its current renewal and this art will help achieve that.”
Richard Wright commented: “I aim to create something that gives people a sense of enchantment. I want the painting to be delicate and elusive; folding, unfolding and fading in and out with the light and different viewpoints.”
Crossrail’s new artwork at Tottenham Court Road will join an Art on the Underground commissioned work by renowned French artist Daniel Buren, to open in 2015. It will also join the existing, iconic 1984 mosaics by Sir Eduardo Paolozzi.
Douglas Gordon lives and works in Glasgow and Berlin. His practice includes video and film, installation, sculpture, photography and text. Through his work he investigates themes like memory and the passage of time. He was the recipient of the 1996 Turner Prize, the 1997 Venice Biennial’s Premio 2000 award, the 1998 Hugo Boss Prize awarded by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the 2008 Roswitha Haftmann Prize and the 2012 Käthe Kollwitz Prize. His work has been the subject of numerous museum exhibitions, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2001); the Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona (2006); MoMA, New York (2006,) the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh (2006); Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany (2007); Tate Britain, London (2010), Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main (2011) and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2013). His work Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait premiered at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival before screenings at numerous international venues.
Richard Wright was born in 1960 in London. He moved to Scotland as a child and has continued to live and work there, based in Glasgow. Through his unique intricate painting methods, Wright injects complex works into often overlooked architectural spaces, working predominantly with paint and gold leaf directly on walls, ceilings and windows. Wright won the Turner Prize in 2009 for an untitled gold leaf fresco. He has exhibited world-wide. Notable shows include Kunsthalle Bern and Tate Liverpool (2001), Dundee Contemporary Art (2004), Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (2007), Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow (2012) and Kunsthistorisches Museum, Theseus Temple, Vienna (2013). He has permanent works in the collections of MoMA, New York, Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Tate Gallery, London, Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, and the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.