Cookies on the Crossrail website

We use cookies to ensure we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Crossrail website.

Find out why we use cookies and how to manage your settings.

Two Turner Prize-winners commissioned for Crossrail art programme at Tottenham Court Road station

By Hamish McDougall

  • Douglas Gordon and Richard Wright awarded Crossrail art commissions
  • Artworks to be funded by property group Almacantar, City of London Corporation and Derwent London

Renowned artists Douglas Gordon and Richard Wright have been commissioned to create large-scale artworks in Tottenham Court Road Crossrail station.

Douglas Gordon’s commission will be installed in the station’s western ticket hall in Dean Street, Soho. A series of three video screens will display images of people to evoke the history, culture and character of Soho. These images collectively form human compositions in a concept known as ‘Exquisite Corpse.’

Richard Wright’s commission will see gold-leaf hand-gilded on the vast ceiling above the eastern ticket hall, next to the existing Tottenham Court Road London Underground station. It draws on the lightness and colour of the ticket hall architecture and the rapidly improving public areas around the station. The pattern, which echoes the tile patterns of historic underground stations, will appear to change, fading in and out, depending on the light and viewpoint.

Both artists’ concepts will be developed over the coming months, with imagery released in the New Year.

The commissions are lead-funded by Almacantar and the City of London Corporation and co-funded by Derwent London. Both artists are from Glasgow and had proposals selected by the Crossrail Art Advisory Board in consultation with Gagosian Gallery, station architects Hawkins/Brown and the funders.

Douglas Gordon commented: “The work will draw upon the history of the Soho area, where I spent a lot of time in the 1980s and 1990s. It will also allude to the area’s ability to recreate itself. It is vital that Soho’s historic identity should be embedded in its current renewal and this art will help achieve that.”

Richard Wright commented: “I aim to create something that gives people a sense of enchantment. I want the painting to be delicate and elusive; folding, unfolding and fading in and out with the light and different viewpoints.”

Kathrin Hersel, Development Director of lead-funder Almacantar commented: “Tottenham Court Road is going to become a major new interchange for London. We are very excited to play our part of transforming the area with the redevelopment of Centre Point and the new public square as well as enhancing London’s cultural scene by helping to fund public art works from these renowned artists.”

Simon Silver, Director at Derwent London commented: “Derwent London are delighted to be co-funding new artworks at Tottenham Court Road Station. It marks our commitment to integrating art into the built environment, something that is part of our own mantra. The artworks will bring a special quality to the station and complement the other pieces by Eduardo Paolozzi and Daniel Buren. The area around Tottenham Court Road is seeing the biggest change for decades and we are all excited by the benefits Crossrail will bring.”

Terry Morgan, Crossrail Chairman commented: “The art at Tottenham Court Road will be enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people every day, embedding culture into the heart of the world class railway that will be delivered in 2018. It will be a terrific inheritance for us to leave for future generations.”

Crossrail’s new artwork at Tottenham Court Road will join an Art on the Underground commissioned work by renowned French artist Daniel Buren, to open in 2015. It will also join the existing, iconic 1984 mosaics by Sir Eduardo Paolozzi.

Tottenham Court Road station will be run by Transport for London and will be a key interchange when Crossrail opens in 2018. Crossrail is working alongside TfL on a transformation of the station and the surrounding public realm, in one of the biggest transport investments in the West End for decades.

The improvements will future-proof Tottenham Court Road station for the expected 200,000 people using it daily from 2018. This, along with the planned changes at Centre Point and other nearby property developments and urban realm improvements, is expected to revitalise the eastern end of Oxford Street.

Crossrail will carry over 200 million passengers per year, adding 10% to London’s rail network and bringing an additional 1.5 million people within 45 minutes commute of central London. It will link London’s key employment, leisure and business districts – Heathrow, West End, the City and Canary Wharf, and encourage regeneration across the capital.

NOTE: Many features on the website require Javascript. You can enable it via your browser's preference settings.


For further information contact the Crossrail Press Office on 020 3229 9552 or email [email protected]

The Culture Line will engage world renowned London art galleries, together creating a permanent line-wide exhibition across Crossrail’s new central London stations. The result will be a series of unique destinations, with an art commission of international importance embedded into the design and architecture of each station.

As well as Tottenham Court Road, artworks will be permanently integrated into new Crossrail stations at Paddington, Bond Street, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, Whitechapel and Canary Wharf. It is hoped they will deliver pleasure and inspiration to Londoners for generations to come and become a global destination for art-lovers.

Artworks are selected by an advisory Round Table of representatives from national and local arts organisations and commercial galleries. Crossrail’s Culture Line art programme falls outside its £14.8 billion funding package and will be funded through private sponsorship. The Crossrail Culture Line is advised by Futurecity, a leading cultural and placemaking agency.

Crossrail’s Art Board is marketing to businesses and philanthropists in the UK and internationally to secure funding for the additional 50 per cent of the artworks at central London Crossrail stations. Businesses will have a once in a generation opportunity to associate their brand with an iconic piece of London infrastructure and some of the world’s most famed galleries and artists.

The Advisory Round Table members for the Tottenham Court Road station selection have volunteered their time and include: Lydia Yee, Curator at Barbican Art Galleries, Barbican Centre; Kirsten Dunne, Senior Cultural Strategy Officer, Greater London Authority; Susie Allen MA RCA, Founding Director of Artwise; Jo Stella-Sawicka MA RCA, Deputy Director, Frieze Art Fair (London/ New York), Director Frame / Focus; Whitney Hintz, Curator, Hiscox Collection and Independent Advisor; and Ann Elliott, an independent curator and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. This panel works together with the station architects Hawkins/Brown, Futurecity, Crossrail and the station sponsors to select inspiring art for the station.

About Douglas Gordon

Douglas Gordon lives and works in Glasgow and Berlin. His practice includes video and film, installation, sculpture, photography and text. Through his work he investigates themes like memory and the passage of time.

He was the recipient of the 1996 Turner Prize, the 1997 Venice Biennial's Premio 2000 award, the 1998 Hugo Boss Prize awarded by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the 2008 Roswitha Haftmann Prize and the 2012 Käthe Kollwitz Prize.

His work has been the subject of numerous museum exhibitions, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2001); the Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona (2006); MoMA, New York (2006,) the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh (2006); Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany (2007); Tate Britain, London (2010), Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main (2011) and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2013). His work Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait premiered at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival before screenings at numerous international venues.

About Richard Wright

Richard Wright was born in 1960 in London. He moved to Scotland as a child and has continued to live and work there, based in Glasgow.

Through his unique intricate painting methods, Wright injects complex works into often overlooked architectural spaces, working predominantly with paint and gold leaf directly on walls, ceilings and windows.

Wright won the Turner Prize in 2009 for an untitled gold leaf fresco. He has exhibited world-wide. Notable shows include Kunsthalle Bern and Tate Liverpool (2001), Dundee Contemporary Art (2004), Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (2007), Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow (2012) and Kunsthistorisches Museum, Theseus Temple, Vienna (2013).

He has permanent works in the collections of MoMA, New York, Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Tate Gallery, London, Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, and the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

About Almacantar

Almacantar is a property investment and development company specialising in large-scale, complex investments in central London, with the potential to create long-term value through development, repositioning or active asset management. Since launching in 2010, Almacantar has acquired a number of prime assets with untapped potential in the heart of London, including: Centre Point, Marble Arch Tower, CAA House, and 125 Shaftesbury Avenue.

About Derwent London

Derwent London plc owns a portfolio of commercial real estate predominantly in central London valued at £3.7 billion as at 30 June  2014, making it the largest London-focused real estate investment trust. Landmark schemes in the Derwent portfolio of 5.7 million sq ft include Angel Building EC1, The Buckley Building EC1, White Collar Factory EC1, 1-2 Stephen Street W1, Horseferry House SW1 and Tea Building E1. In December 2014, Derwent London topped the property sector and came ninth overall in Management Today’s awards for ‘Britain’s Most Admired Companies’.

About Crossrail:

The total funding envelope available to deliver Crossrail is £14.8bn. The Crossrail route will pass through 40 stations and run from Reading and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21 km (13 miles) tunnels to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

When Crossrail opens it will increase London's rail-based transport network capacity by 10%, supporting regeneration and cutting journey times across the city. Crossrail services are due to commence through central London in 2018.

Crossrail is being delivered by Crossrail Limited (CRL). CRL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London. Crossrail is jointly sponsored by the Department for Transport and Transport for London.