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Art on the Underground pops-up at Piccadilly Circus

ART on the Underground is set to launch its first ever pop-up retail space at Piccadilly Circus Underground station. From April 8 to April 19, 2014, commuters and passers-by will be able to purchase fifteen sets of signed and numbered, limited edition prints from top international artists at Print Shop, a specially purposed booth in the station’s main concourse.

The artists who have created works are (in alphabetical order): Pablo Bronstein, Melissa Gordon, Runa Islam, Idris Khan, Sarah Lucas, Goshka Macuga, Robert Orchardson, Martha Rosler, Nedko Solakov, Frances Stark, Corin Sworn, Wolfgang Tillmans, Gillian Wearing, Lawrence Weiner and Haegue Yang.

Launching in collaboration with Own Art, an initiative that offers budding collectors interest-free loans to purchase contemporary artworks, the Art on the Underground pop-up shop presents a rare chance for the public to acquire affordable art in a non-gallery setting.

Print Shop has been designed by APFEL and Simon Jones, who previously created the House of Voltaire pop-up for Studio Voltaire in 2012 and 2010.

The fifteen works on sale are special commissions by Art on the Underground for 15 for 150 – fifteen underground artworks by fifteen leading artists for London Underground’s 150th anniversary. Revenues from the sales of prints will help support Art on the Underground’s programme in the future.

Rebecca Heald, Art on the Underground Curator, says: “Print Shop presents a fantastic opportunity, in a unique and alternative setting, for commuters and collectors alike to own works inspired by the Tube from some of the world’s greatest contemporary artists.”

And Helen Bonar, Programme Manager for Own Art, says: “We are delighted to be partnering with Art on the Underground to make it possible for more people to own a limited edition print from the 15 for 150 collection by enabling them to spread the cost of their purchase with Own Art.”

Art on the Underground (AOTU), which is part of London Underground, provides a world-class programme of contemporary art that enriches the Tube environment and customers’ journey experience; and continues the longstanding tradition that excellent art and design is at the core of London Underground’s identity and services.

The programme operates through a number of different strands and includes temporary and permanent commissions displayed on large scale single station sites such as Gloucester Road and other stations throughout the network; a series of commissions for the front cover of the Pocket Tube map; a film programme at Canary Wharf station; and a programme of Tube line-based commissions, which revolve around a particular theme.

The Tube line series has so far included the Piccadilly line (Thin Cities), the Jubilee line (One Thing Leads to Another – Everything is Connected) and the Central line (Central Line Series). For London Underground’s 150th Anniversary in 2013, Art on the Underground commissioned Turner Prize winning artist Mark Wallinger to create Labyrinth, a permanent artwork for each of the 270 stations on the network.

The 15 for 150 commissions follow in a long tradition of artists’ involvement in the Tube, from Man Ray to Frank Newbould, Edward McKnight Kauffer, Laura Knight, Howard Hodgkin and David Booth, all of whom have designed specially commissioned posters for the network.

Landmark commissions in the last 13 years have included works by Cindy Sherman, Tracey Emin, Michael Landy, Jeremy Deller, Dryden Goodwin, Susan Hiller, Barbara Kruger, Liam Gillick, Eva Rothschild, Yinka Shonibare, Richard Long, Gary Hume, Richard Wentworth, Gavin Turk and Peter Blake, maintaining art as a central element of London Underground’s identity and engaging passengers and staff in a strong sense of shared ownership.

Piccadilly Circus Print Shop opening hours: Tuesday to Friday, 11am – 7pm; Saturday and Sunday, 11am – 6pm.