The New York City subway, considered an engineering feat and a work of art, has kindled the imagination of millions. Art and the Subway explores artistic production surrounding the world's most famous public transportation system, from just before its opening in 1904 to the present day. Using a stunning array of images, Tracy Fitzpatrick offers perspectives on ways in which the subway has been used as a subject about which to make art, as a site within which to make art, and as a canvas upon which to make art.
Fitzpatrick captures the emotions of artists and riders alike, as she explores paintings, photographs, performance art, graffiti, and public art by artists such as Walker Evans, Bruce Davidson, DONDI, Keith Haring, Yayoi Kusama, Jacob Lawrence, Reginald Marsh, Elizabeth Murray, and many others. She also considers representations of the subway in film, on song sheet covers, and in illustration. By examining the cultural, technological, and social contexts for these creative interpretations, Fitzpatrick illuminates in fresh ways the contradictions and harmonies between public and private space.
Featuring 17 color plates and 80 black-and-white images, Art and the Subway takes readers on a fascinating ride through the visual history of one of the twentieth century's greatest urban planning endeavors as it grew, changed form, and reinvented itself with passion and vitality.