The Underground Roundel is a sign that millions of people see everyday worldwide, mostly during a dreary commute, but don’t attribute much thought to. However, 100 international artists have taken it upon themselves to redesign this iconic image in the newly published: The Roundel: 100 Artists remake a London Icon. Not only do these works celebrate the underground transport system but also capture the Roundel (the disk like Underground sign) in a completely new way. Including artists such as Alice Channer, Jeremy Deller, Sir Peter Blake, Ryan Gander, Roger Hiorns, Cornelia Parker, Olivia Plender, Yinka Shonibare, Gavin Turk, Susan Hiller and Richard Wentworth, this book records the Roundel in painting, drawing, print collage and sculpture.
Including an introductory essay by architecture writer and design critic Jonathan Glancey, the book begins with a consideration of the origins of the Roundel and the reasons for its enduring success and continues to look at it’s impact globally in cities such as Kuala Lumpur, Salt Lake City, Shanghai and Osaka. Alongside Glancey, Claire Dobbin (former curator of the London Transport Museum) discusses the earlier artistic uses of the symbol and Sally Shaw (curator at the original Roundel commissioning programme) uncovers how some of the new works developed. The main interest is obviously the 100 captivating new forms of the Roundel, some of which include commentaries by the artists on their Roundel artworks.
In addition to this fascinating book, Southwark Tube Station is currently decorated with some of the works from the book.
The Roundel: 100 Artists, is available from all good bookshops, www.artbookspublishing.co.uk and other online booksellers.
All images courtesy of The Roundel: 100 artists remake a London icon, Designed by Fraser Muggeridge Studios. Published by Art on the Underground and Art/Books, 2012.
1. Roundel Cover
2. Untitled, Doug Fishbone.
3. Visit Leytonstonia, Bob and Roberta Smith.
4. Playtime, Martin Boyce.
5. Southwark Tube station.