CR Blog

Mark Wallinger's Underground Labyrinth

Art

Posted by Mark Sinclair, 7 February 2013, 13:08    Permalink    Comments (7)

Mark Wallinger, Labyrinth, 2013 © The Artist, Courtesy Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London. Photograph © Thierry Bal, 2013

Artist Mark Wallinger has just unveiled his new commission for the London Underground. Labyrinth consists of a series of wall-mouted mazes that will be installed at all 270 of the network's stations...

To mark the 150th anniversary of the Underground, Art on the Underground commissioned Wallinger to create an artwork that would link each and every tube stop on the system. The artworks will be placed in stations over the next six months.

Photograph © Thierry Bal, 2013

The work, Labyrinth, is a series of small enamelled panels, each featuring a different black and white maze. Each one is also numbered as in the tradition of editioned artworks.

In fact, the numbers relate to a particular record-breaking tube journey made in 2009 and refer to the order that stations were visited in the ‘Tube Challenge' where participants aim to pass through every single station on the network in the fastest time.

Mark Wallinger, Labyrinth, 2013 © The Artist, Courtesy Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London. Photograph © Thierry Bal, 2013

Wallinger's designs are produced in vitreous enamel – echoing the more regular Underground signage – and the maze device links nicely with the task of negotiating the network itself.

As we report in our forthcoming special issue on the design of the Underground (CR March), the maze device has featured on the system before.

Photography by Sam Hart

Alan Fletcher's maze for the seat recesses at Warren Street station was created with the commuter with a three minute wait for the next train in mind (the design is a pun on 'warren').

At Oxford Circus, on the Bakerloo line, mosaic wall motifs by Nicolas Munro suggest the flow of passengers in a maze-like environment.

Photograph: Wikipedia Commons

The next issue of CR will include a host of Underground design-related features, including a piece on the station graphics, mosaics and public art installations that have graced the Underground since its founding.

Fletcher's maze was one of a larger 16-piece Victoria line mural project, commissioned for the opening of the line which occured in stages between 1969 and 1972. Abram Games, Tom Eckersley and Edward Bawden also created tile designs for the project.

Wallinger's installation taps into this underworld of warrens and mazes, giving commuters a puzzle to play with wherever they might be on the Underground.

Mark Wallinger, Labyrinth, 2013 © The Artist, Courtesy Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London. Photograph © Thierry Bal, 2013

Mark Wallinger, Labyrinth, 2013 © The Artist, Courtesy Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London. Photograph © Thierry Bal, 2013

Mark Wallinger, Labyrinth, 2013 © The Artist, Courtesy Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London. Photograph © Thierry Bal, 2013

Mark Wallinger, Labyrinth, 2013 © The Artist, Courtesy Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London. Photograph © Thierry Bal, 2013


CR in Print
The February issue of CR magazine features a major interview with graphic designer Ken Garland. Plus, we delve into the Heineken advertising archive, profile digital art and generative design studio Field, talk to APFEL and Linder about their collaboration on a major exhibition in Paris for the punk artist, and debate the merits of stock images versus commissioned photography. Plus, a major new book on women in graphic design, the University of California logo row and what it means for design, Paul Belford on a classic Chivas Regal ad and Jeremy Leslie on the latest trends in app design for magazines and more. Buy your copy here.

Please note, CR now has a limited presence on the newsstand at WH Smith high street stores (although it can still be found in WH Smith travel branches at train stations and airports). If you cannot find a copy of CR in your town, your WH Smith store or a local independent newsagent can order it for you. You can search for your nearest stockist here. Alternatively, call us on 020 7970 4878, or buy a copy direct from us. Based outside the UK? Simply call +44(0)207 970 4878 to find your nearest stockist. Better yet, subscribe to CR for a year here and save yourself almost 30% on the printed magazine.

CR for the iPad
Read in-depth features and analysis plus exclusive iPad-only content in the Creative Review iPad App. Longer, more in-depth features than we run on the blog, portfolios of great, full-screen images and hi-res video. If the blog is about news, comment and debate, the iPad is about inspiration, viewing and reading. As well as providing exclusive, iPad-only content, the app will also update with new content throughout each month.

7 Comments

What an honor to have your work in such a place, great stuff
Johnny
2013-02-07 13:53:21


I like these a lot but does a maze need more than one path to be a maze?
Steve
2013-02-07 14:02:00


This is an awesome idea, The maze at Warren Street grabs my attention every single time
Motion Graphics Bristol
2013-02-07 14:44:37


Lovely things, but they're not mazes.
Andi
2013-02-07 17:01:05


correct. a labyrinth has a single path to the centre, no choices. a maze has divergent paths not all of which lead to the centre [or anywhere]. wallinger's are labyrinths, fletcher's is a maze.
steve collins
2013-02-07 23:33:55


great stuff
Jyoti
2013-02-08 05:56:01


@steve collins Thanks for the comment, Steve. It seems many dictionaries (like the one we have here at CR) are happy to have the words as interchangable but yes, you're right, they are specific to the definitions you mention.
More info here http://www.labyrinthos.net/typology.html – and you can even see some of the 'classical' and 'medieval' labyrinths that Wallinger has used, here http://www.labyrinthos.net/typolab01.html
CR Mark Sinclair
2013-02-08 10:30:36


Tell us what you think

What happens with my feedback?

We no longer require you to register and have a password in order to comment, simply fill in the form below. All comments are moderated so you may experience a short delay before your comment appears. CR encourages comments to be short and to the point. As a general rule, they should not run longer than the original post. Comments should show a courteous regard for the presence of other voices in the discussion. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments that do not adhere to this standard.

Get the RSS Feed
NULL