The Roundel, which I just found out is the name of the symbol used to denote the London Underground, celebrates a 100 years of its existence this year, and to recognise that the London Transport Museum has partnered with 100 artists for their interpretation of it as an art subject. Various artists have chosen to interpret the roundel in different forms – words, photos, graphic images, community projects, to name a few. I’ve been noticing some of these displayed in some tube stations over the last few months, and like much modern art, some of it didn’t make sense – like some of Anna Barriball’s short pithy posters, which seem a little more meaningful now that I’ve learnt the rationale behind it. However, the forthcoming exhibition and related talks in Shoreditch, titled ‘100 Years, 100 Artists, 100 Works of Art‘ promise to be genuinely interesting.
Lothar Gotz, Vision of a Roundel, 2008
Another piece of information I dug out as I was reading about the roundel is that it was traditionally used by officers of arms and the military to signify nationality. The two most well-known corporates that use the roundel (concentric circles) in their logo are probably the London Underground, and of course Target.