Sunday, 21 July 2013

Poster Art 150 - London Underground’s Greatest Designs

 These are from Poster Art 150, on until October at the London Transport Museum. It's as if they invented it to please me - graphic art, tube geekery, printmaking, LONDON. I felt a bit emotional walking around it, it's an entire history of this city of cities.

Also it makes you realise that despite everything, some enlightened people in the hierarchy have realised over the years that people need art, and have funded it.

Of all the fine artwork on show, if I could have taken one home, it would have been this by prolific artist Fred Taylor.   They commissioned a series called Rehabilitation, after WWII had devasted the transport system like everything else, asking people for patience while they repaired it. It is just beautiful.

Below is a detail from a close run second choice by Edward Bawden. Check out the pigeon with a roundel for an eye.  I love the un-catlike cat too.

My tube geekery is not yet over, oh no. Going to this production in the closed Aldwych tube soon.  And the archives in Acton will be open for poster tours.

Some interesting stories in this exhibition. Apparently people stopped using the tube in the 80s because of fares hikes, and so advertisers stopped buying advertising space. The 'Art on the Underground' initiative, then called Platform for Art, was launched in order to fill some of that unsold advertising space. Now the advertising is booming, but they have continued to commission artists to make work for the tube.


  1. Oh thanks, I want to try and see this. Nash, Spencer and Carrington at Dulwich too (though won't attempt that while the weather is so bonkers.)

  2. It's well worth it, Arabella. I'd like to see that too.