Stockholm’s subway system is known as the world’s longest art gallery, with more than 150 artists transforming the underground stations one by one since the 1950s. Some of Sweden’s most heralded artists have been commissioned over the years to create art that have made the 110 km underground space a place of peace and beauty.
For the price of a ticket you go from station to station on the Stockholm subway and at each stop you’ll discover a new art experience. You’re sure to see plenty of art as you pass through Central Station so here’s some of View Stockholm’s other favourites.
In 1973 Enno Hallek and Åke Pallarp collaborated to create colourful designs that celebrate the 1912 Summer Olympics, which were hosted by Stockholm at the nearby Stadium, which remains one of the most interesting sports arenas in the world.
In 1977 Ulrik Samuelson transformed Kungsträdgården’s subway platforms into an underground garden, with colourful abstract designs which reflect the nearby Kungsträdgården park in the city centre. Samuelson made further additions a decade later, which only enhanced the magic of the space.
For the subway art at Tekniska Högskolan (KTH the Royal Institute of Technology) artist Lennart Mörk showcases the four classic elements: fire, water, air, and earth, as well as technology advances and the universe, perfectly reflecting the school’s name it shares.
A forest runs the length of the walls, reflecting artists Karl-Olov Björk and Anders Åberg’s political statement on the environmental movement backing 1975. The sky is blood red but while the scenes look idyllic at first glance a closer look will give you a different message.
Located on Kungsholmen, Rådhuset station’s art was created by Sigvard Olsson, who took inspiration from the city’s past, when Franciscan monks first inhabited the island in the 15th century. A mysterious grotto, complete with archeological finds, feels as if you’re on an underground dig, discovering bits of the past.
What would the world’s longest art gallery in a city devoted to tech and digital be without at last a nod to the thriving scene? The pixellated station, designed by Huck Hultgren and Lars Arrhenius is a wonderful simple reflection of Stockholm’s continued devotion to the future, while giving a nod to the past.
Artists Elis Eriksson and Gösta Wallmark seem to have channeled their inner child when they dreamed up Hallonbergen. 28 meters below the Centrum is a whimsical space, based entirely on children’s artwork, with both paintings and sculptures. It’s a breath of fresh air and reminds us of how to see the world through the eyes of a child.
Use View Stockholm’s handy map to start your journey through the World’s Longest Art Gallery!
Begin your art tour at Stockholm Central Station.
Featured Photo credit: © J. Lekavicius / Shutterstock, Inc.