Redesigned Feliks Topolski exhibit opens

An exhibition of works by artist Feliks Topolski, redesigned by Casson Mann, has been unveiled by London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Housed in the railway arches beneath London’s Hungerford Bridge, the panoramic display features 180m of paintings and illustrations chronicling the 20th century.

The artist’s children, Tessa and Daniel Topolski, appointed Casson Mann to the job in 2003, briefing the group to help a 21st-century audience to interpret the paintings, which Topolski gifted to the nation in 1984.

Casson Mann cleaned the paintings, removed unfinished panels by Topolski and replaced them with illustrated panels linked to orientation text in the floor.

The exhibition design consultancy also created moveable display structures focusing on topical issues, and a series of interactive databases containing information on the people encountered in the display.

In addition, the group created an area for temporary exhibitions at the rear of the arches.

Casson Mann has worked on the project on and off since its appointment six years ago.

‘The project was very stop-start, partly due to funding and partly because of delays on site,’ says Craig Riley, Casson Mann associate designer. ‘We did most of the work in 2005, and then it went quiet as the trustees applied for funding, before picking up again in 2006.’

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