Jock McFadyen's painting shows a non-descript part of the platform at Aldgate East Underground station in London. The painting is constructed around the Underground logo, placed in the centre of the composition like a target. Above it is a "no smoking" sign; below is a sign indicating the exit for the Whitechapel Art Gallery. To the right is a Tube map, which looks as if it has seen better days. To the left is a poster for an exhibition by Howard Hodgkin (including McFadyen's version of his painting) which was probably the exhibition held at the Hayward Gallery in 1996/7. McFadyen's interest in the scruffier parts of cities is evident here. Although painted in the late 1990s, it is reminiscent of the grittiness of post-war British realism. The prominent inclusion of the written word and recognisable logos are also reminders of 1960s "pop art".
Jock McFadyen was born in Paisley, Scotland and studied at Chelsea School of Art, London. His first solo show was held at the Acme Gallery (London, 1978), since when he has regularly exhibited his work in the UK and overseas. In 1981 he became Artist in Residence at the National Gallery and a decade later, he was a Prize Winner at the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition 17. In 1991 McFadyen also designed sets and costumes for Sir Kenneth McMillan's ballet production of The Judas Tree at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. Today he lives and works in London and Edinburgh. Many of his paintings are inspired by the urban landscapes and anonymous spaces of the East End of London, an area that has fascinated him since the late 1960s.
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