Thursday, 29 October 2009

London Underground, 55 Broadway SW1

Epstein's sculptures on the podium of the London Underground building might have got all the attention, but the allegorical figures along the parapet are by some equally distinguished artists including Eric Gill and Henry Moore. If Epstein's work had been up there as well, no-one would have noticed.
The figures illustrate the Four Winds, but because each wing has a wind on both sides, there are actually eight of them. Also, confusingly, because they are presented blowing out of the building, the South Winds are on the north wing, the East Winds on the west wing and so on. Because Winds are named for where they come from, now where they are going to. Clear?
Gill got three of these plum commissions, a brisk and chilly North Wind (above), the balmy and fecund South Wind (below) and the East Wind, but unfortunately that is now hidden from the street by a boring commercial block gratuitously put up right in front.

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