Michal Rovner, Transitions, 2019, a permanent commission for Canary Wharf’s Crossrail station © Michal Rovner Studio


The FT Reviews Michal Rovner's Commission for the Crossrail Art Programme

Written by Rachel Spence

October 6, 2019

Lines of tiny people march across a cityscape, its grainy, mist-wreathed skyline studded with monuments that are at once familiar and strange. At times, certain rows of figures shift through registers of light — black, grey, diaphanous white, neon-red — to evoke the rattle and shimmer of trains along high-tech tracks. Sometimes the flickering colours reduce the figures to signals, even warnings. Here is a vision of movement at once industrial and digital, human and uncanny.

Entitled “Transitions”, the newly unveiled 16-metre-long video-montage by Michal Rovner is installed in what is currently the lobby above a swish underground gym and cinema in the heart of London’s Canary Wharf. However, if Crossrail, the £17.8bn east-west London railway project, keeps to its current timetable, by this time next year “Transitions” will be the public face of the new Elizabeth line station below it.

Co-funded by the Canary Wharf Group and the City of London Corporation, with support from the artists’ galleries, Crossrail’s public art programme is an entirely private initiative. It has commissioned nine artists including Rovner, Yayoi Kusama, and Chantal Joffe to make work for the central seven stations along the Elizabeth line. When I observe to Sexton that the art project appears to be running more smoothly than the railway, which has been beleaguered by delays, Sexton laughs ruefully: “I couldn’t possibly comment,” he replies.

Read the full article, written by Rachel Spence, on The Financial Times' (opens in a new window) website.
  • Press — The FT Reviews Michal Rovner's Commission for the Crossrail Art Programme, Oct 6, 2019