Crossrail Launches Public Art Programme To Include Kusama And Shawcross 




Crossrail has launched an ambitious new art programme. Titled The Culture Line. The scheme will bring world-class artists together with international architecture and engineering teams to deliver a 21st Century art programme fit for the21st Century transport system Crossrail is creating across London.

“The Crossrail Art programme brings world-class art straight from the tube to Londoners and the city’s international public”. – IB

The artists and the locations for their new artworks on the Elizabeth line from West to East are: Spencer Finch (Paddington); Darren Almond (Bond Street), Douglas Gordon (Tottenham Court Road), Richard Wright (Tottenham Court Road), Simon Periton (Farringdon), Yayoi Kusama (Liverpool Street), Conrad Shawcross (Liverpool Street), Chantal Joffe (Whitechapel), and Michal Rovner (Canary Wharf).

 Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama for the entrance to Liverpool Street station. © Yayoi Kusama. Victoria Miro, London

The Culture Line will engage 8 world-renowned London art galleries, creating a permanent line-wide exhibition across the 8 central Crossrail stations. In partnership with each art gallery, an internationally recognised artist will be selected to be part of the Crossrail story by participating in the largest, collaborative art commissioning process in a generation. The programme will create a series of eight unique destinations, with an art commission of international importance embedded into the design and architecture of each station.

The launch event on 25 March will include an overview of The Culture Line art programme as well as the unveiling of the first winning art commission by a renowned artist represented by Lisson Gallery, who will unveil his winning artwork proposal for the new Paddington Crossrail Station.

Art Capital: Art for the Elizabeth line opens today at the Whitechapel Gallery, showcasing nine internationally renowned artists and their plans to create major public artworks for London’s newest railway, the Elizabeth line. Curated by the Whitechapel Gallery in partnership with Crossrail, the exhibition brings together sketches, maquettes and prototypes to reveal the artists’ ideas transformed into deliverable public art.

The artists and the locations for their new artworks on the Elizabeth line from West to East are: Spencer Finch (Paddington); Darren Almond (Bond Street), Douglas Gordon (Tottenham Court Road), Richard Wright (Tottenham Court Road), Simon Periton (Farringdon), Yayoi Kusama (Liverpool Street), Conrad Shawcross (Liverpool Street), Chantal Joffe (Whitechapel), and Michal Rovner (Canary Wharf).

Each artist has been commissioned by The Crossrail Art Foundation to create works of art sympathetic to the locality, history or function of the stations, forming a string of cultural interventions across central London from December 2018. The works will be installed in a variety of locations including halls, escalator shafts, platforms and other public spaces.

The Whitechapel Gallery worked with the Crossrail Art Foundation to select Chantal Joffe (b.1968, UK) as the artist for Whitechapel. Inspired by painters such as Matisse and Picasso, she made studies of passers-by on Whitechapel High Street one Sunday afternoon, to create monumental and vividly coloured portraits celebrating local people on the platforms of Whitechapel station.

The Crossrail Art Foundation was founded in 2014 with support from the City of London Corporation with a mission to promote art for the benefit of the public by establishing and maintaining a public art programme that will enhance the journeys of the millions of people who will use the Elizabeth line. This ambitious art project is realised by combining the disciplines of art, crafts, architecture, engineering, transport, civic government and corporate sponsorship.

Iwona Blazwick, Whitechapel Gallery Director said: “The Crossrail Art programme brings world-class art straight from the tube to Londoners and the city’s international public. The Whitechapel Gallery is proud to exhibit the most ambitious art commissions of our age, and to have selected Chantal Joffe as an artist for Whitechapel Station where her sequence of monumental and vibrant portraits will immortalise East Enders.”

Terry Morgan, Chair, Crossrail said: “This fantastic new exhibition showcases the creative ideas of leading British and international artists who are working with Crossrail’s architects and engineers to integrate public art into the very fabric of the new Elizabeth line stations. Thanks to the imagination and determination of the Art Programme team, sponsors and supporters, the Elizabeth line will be the single biggest addition to the capital’s public art scene in a generation and will cement London’s place as a global capital for arts and culture.”


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