Cologne’s Subway Unveils Massive Katharina Grosse Mural

Her trademark colorful style will surely brighten any commuter's day.

Photo: nord-sued-stadtbahn.de
Katharina Grosse's Cologne subway mural. Photo: indechs.org

Katharina Grosse’s Cologne subway mural.
Photo: nord-sued-stadtbahn.de

Katharina Grosse has completed a large-scale mural for the subway station of Cologne’s Chlodwigplatz in the city center, Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder announced.

The German artist was commissioned to decorate the station after winning a competition held by Cologne’s transit authority KVB. The city sponsored the €1.75 million ($1.8 million) initiative to bring art installations to the underground stations on Cologne’s north-south railway line.

Commuters can admire the work up close from the escalators descending into the station. Photo: indechs.org

Commuters can admire the work up close from the escalators descending into the station.
Photo: nord-sued-stadtbahn.de

Grosse’s design covers the entire western side of the station, and travelers will be able to get an up-close look at the installation from a stairway descending into the underground station alongside the wall.

Regular service is scheduled to resume at the station on December 13, when commuters will be able to admire the artist’s expansive wall painting styled in Grosse’s trademark swathes of intense color.

Using a spray gun to apply paint to the wall, the artist’s design leaves little to no trace of the concrete wall visible.

The work covers the entire west wall of the station. Photo: indechs.org

The work covers the entire west wall of the station.
Photo: nord-sued-stadtbahn.de

According to the city transport authority’s website, the design “Adds to the physical movement of passers-by and encourages the movement of the eyes and spirit by providing a sensation of a colorful artificial light source.”

The artist intends to complement “the human ability to perceive several realities at the same time, stylized into an event. The large painting stands in contrast to the architectural structure.”

The design is painted in Grosse's trademark colorful style. Photo: indechs.org

The design is painted in Grosse’s trademark colorful style.
Photo: nord-sued-stadtbahn.de

Grosse has previously fulfilled commissions for public works at other transport centers including a railway line in Philadelphia, a train station in Vara, Sweden and at the airport in the Canadian city of Toronto.

Art in subway stations has become something of a tradition in major cities across the world. Threatened by destruction during renovation, an Eduardo Paolozzi Mural at London’s Tottenham Court Road station was recently acquired by a museum.


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