'The Great Bear' framed print by artist Simon Patterson 1992

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'The Great Bear' framed print by artist Simon Patterson.  The black painted frame shows signs of wear.

From the Tate website - 'The Great Bear'  is an altered version of the London Underground map created by Henry (Harry) C. Beck (1903-74) in 1931. Patterson replaced the names of the underground stations with the names of engineers, philosophers, explorers, planets, journalists, footballers, musicians, film actors, saints, Italian artists, sinologues (Chinese scholars), comedians and 'Louis' (French kings). Each of these categories is listed next to a coloured line (representing the different train lines) at the bottom right of the image under the title 'Key to Lines'. The names on the map range from the obscure, known only to people with specialised knowledge - sinologues, for example - to the well known figures of popular culture - film actors and actresses and footballers. Patterson has not adhered strictly to his key, adding the names of politicians to the line representing journalists, painters to the line representing musicians and Henrys to the line of Louis. He has commented:

There is no code to be cracked in any of my work. Meanings may not be obvious, you may not get a joke, but nothing is really cryptic - I'm not interested in mystification. I like disrupting something people take as read. I am not simply pulling the rug out from people. I am not nihilistic. What interests me is juxtaposing different paths of knowledge to form more than the sum of their parts.

Dimensions: Frame: W: 75cm H: 63cm D: 3.5cm Print: W: 61cm x H: 49cm


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