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Stockholm‘s subway system – the tunnelbana – is home to the world’s longest art gallery. Among the network’s 100 stations there are more than 90 works of art, ranging from sculptures and mosaics to paintings and changing installations, all of which were created by 150 artists beginning in the 1950s.
Located on the blue line, Kungsträdgården subway station is considered by many to be the crème de la crème of the underground art gallery. Created by Ulrik Samuelson, the art is meant to evoke an underground garden.
The hub of Stockholm’s underground system is Central Station – also known as Centralen. It is home to a number of works of art, from the mosaic tiles on a platform to the grotto feeling of the blue line, and the art is continually expanding. Original works were by Per Olof Ultvedt, Signe Persson-Melin, and Anders Österlin.
Tekniska Högskolan is named for the Royal Institute of Technology, so it’s no surprise that the art here includes representations of the four classic elements: water, air, fire, and earth.
Rådhuset takes you to the seat of Stockholm government – but before you emerge into the light take time to study the mysterious, fiery, cave-like atmosphere created by Sigvard Olsson.
Stadion is named for the nearby stadium that hosted the 1912 Summer Olympic Games. That in itself is worth seeing but before you get there notice the art in the subway station, which is an homage to those most glorious of Games.
One of the less celebrated of Stockholm’s subway stations, Fridhemsplan, has its own charm. Artists Torsten Renqvist and Ingegerd Möller have enhanced this with a variety of exhibits that a reflect of Sweden’s strong environmentalist movement, as well as its connection to the sea.
Almost as busy as Central Station, Östermalmstorg features art that was designed in 1965 by one of Sweden’s most famous artists Siri Derkert. This art reflects culture, peace, women’s rights, and environmental issues. It took the artist more than a decade to complete.
With its pixelated art, Thorildsplan is wonderfully modern and playful – and for good reason: the original art was so badly damaged that new artwork was commissioned. Animator and painter Lars Arrhenius created work that reflects the modern digital world in the simplest way possible.