Air Routes of the World (Day)

Langlands and Bell (1955;1959 - )



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© Langlands and Bell

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  • About the work

    At first glance, this screenprint together with its counterpart, 'Air Routes of the World (Night)', also in the Collection, appears as an abstract compositions of dots and lines, like constellations of stars. A closer inspection reveals that the images represent aerial maps similar to those usually found in in-flight magazines. Showing the domestic and international flight routes taken by an airline, the maps are aesthetically striking ways of conveying practical information. The ‘Night’ and ‘Day’ subtitle of each work are also suggested by the use of white on black and black on white.

    Langlands & Bell are concerned with the systems by which our lives are controlled.  An earlier work, titled Air Routes in NW Europe (Night and Day), is described as ‘an image and effigy of some obscure force, abstract and elusive: an image not only of speed, but of the whole system of control over human travel’ (Serpentine Gallery exhibition catalogue, 1997).

  • About the artist
    Ben Langlands and Nikki Bell met as students at Middlesex Polytechnic in 1978 and have worked in collaboration ever since. Their practice is primarily concerned with the relationships between people and the architecture in which we live our lives. They have said ‘we shape our buildings, and thereafter they shape us.’ Langlands and Bell have exhibited widely around the world, including exhibitions in Tokyo at TN Probe (1998) and CCA Kitakyushu (1997 and 2020-21). In the late 1990s, they were part of the group of artists known at the time as the ‘Young British Artists’, and their works featured in the 'Sensation' touring exhibition that opened at the Royal Academy in 1997. In the same year, a major touring exhibition of their work from 1986–1996 featured at the Serpentine Gallery, London, the Grey Art Gallery in New York and the Kunsthalle, Bielefeld. In 2004, the artists’ exhibition, 'The House of Osama Bin Laden' won a BAFTA Award in the category of Interactive Arts Installation. The exhibition was shown at the Imperial War Museum, London and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin. Since 2008, solo exhibitions of Langlands and Bell’s work include shows in London, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Kitakyushu and Accra.
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  • Details
    Air Routes of the World (Day)
    A/P VI/XI
    height: 83.90 cm, width: 143.80 cm
    Purchased from Alan Cristea Gallery, November 2010
    verso bc: Langlands & Bell 2001 AP VI/XI
    Alan Cristea Gallery, London
    GAC number