30 August 2016 | 25 °C

Book Review: The Roundel

Book Review: The Roundel
Richard Wentworth, Chinese Whispers Underground.
Richard Wentworth, Chinese Whispers Underground.
Sir Peter Blake, Untitled.
Sir Peter Blake, Untitled.
Torsten Lauschmann, Balaclava and Sweatband.
Torsten Lauschmann, Balaclava and Sweatband.
Charlie Tweed, It's tTme to go Below.
Charlie Tweed, It's tTme to go Below.
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Doug Fishbone, Untitled. This advertisement for a Royal Academy show was originally banned for nudity on the Underground. Fishbone's roundel bikini got around the rules.
Polly Apfelbaum, Roundel Rainbows.
Polly Apfelbaum, Roundel Rainbows.

The earliest form of the Tube roundel appeared across the network in 1908. To mark its 100th anniversary, Art on the Underground commissioned 100 artists to reinterpret that famous circle and bar. The result was a series of posters — some more memorable than others — displayed across London over the past few years.

These pieces are now collected together in a new book from Art/Books and Art on the Underground. The commissions include many famous names, such as Sir Peter Blake and Yinka Shonibare, as well as numerous emerging artists. The works vary considerably, with photography, collage, paintings, digital trickery and illustration. Some make you think, some appear to have been scrawled in the two minute gap between stations, and others just look nice. Everyone will have favourites.

The book also includes short essays on the roundel and the 100 art commissions, from Jonathan Glancey, Claire Dobbin and Sally Shaw.

THE ROUNDEL: 100 Artists Remake a London Icon is published by Art on the Underground and Art / Books.

Read more London book reviews.

Last Updated 13 July 2015