Cab Gallery

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Cab Exterior - 'TAXY' Bob & Roberta Smith.jpg
Cab Gallery with first exterior, TAXY
Artist Bob and Roberta Smith
Year 1999 (1999)
Medium Red and yellow vinyl
Location London, England

Cab Gallery was an art project from 1999 to 2001 curated by London art dealer Paul Stolper of Paul Stolper Gallery and art collector and London taxi driver Jason Brown. The concept was for art to be exhibited on the outside and inside of a working London taxi rather than a traditional gallery space. As stated by Brown, "It was important to me that when working, the artwork was incidental to the journey of the passenger. I hoped they would notice but it was part of their environment and unexpected. It was also interesting to me to learn which artworks they reacted to. But it had to be a natural discovery."

Artists were provided the views and dimensions of the available spaces such as the bottom of fold-up seats (or "tip-up seats"), the exterior of the cab, and limited inside options for free-standing work. Because the cab was also a working London taxi, after each artwork was selected by the curators, approval from the Cab Advertising Committee of the Public Carriage Office was also required. Artwork placed on the exterior of the cab was printed in vinyl the same as per usual advertising procedures. Special receipts were designed, listing participating artists and contact details. In addition to serving as gallery space during working cab hours, Cab Gallery would park outside galleries on their opening nights enabling the artists to exhibit more ambitious and experimental installation and sound pieces.

Throughout the project Brown honored his commitment to the project's concept of never bringing attention to the art while operating as a working cab but rather allowing the passengers to discover it for themselves. When the cab was serving as a stationary exhibition space at art galleries and events, however, Brown would often act as de facto docent for the collection.


In 1999, Brown approached Stolper with the idea of exhibiting art in the spaces reserved for advertising in his traditional London Black Taxi, and Cab Gallery was launched in Hoxton Square on 24 September 1999.

The first exterior was a text piece by Bob and Roberta Smith, Taxy in red and yellow vinyl. On the fold-up seats were two text pieces by Peter Liversidge, who became a regular contributor to the project and whose collected proposals were later published in book form.[1] Also on display at the launch were All the animals, an embroidered cushion by Abigail Cohen, from Swiss Cottage to Soho and back, a book of drawings by Susie Hamilton, and Cab Gallery Greeting, a sound piece by Jessica Voorsanger. Absinthe was served out of the rear boot of the taxi.

The success of the launch led to other artists becoming involved and invitations by galleries and art event organizers to participate in their openings. On these occasions, the Cab was parked outside the entrance and artists had the opportunity to create more ambitious artworks as installations and sound pieces.

In mid-2000, the Bob and Roberta Smith exterior artwork was replaced with Sunny by Alex Katz, the American figurative painter. The popularity of the project spread through wide media coverage and Cab Gallery participated in its first show outside London at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham. This was soon followed by From Space Gallery in Manchester and in 2001 the Aspex Gallery in Portsmouth. In 2001 the final exterior of the cab became Out from Under by important American conceptual artist Lawrence Weiner. The project expanded to include a website featuring a project by Layla Curtis which traced the routes made by Brown in his cab over a specific week.

The project came to feature regular new pieces by Peter Liversidge, the "house artist," as well as new artists and artwork to keep the project fresh. By the end of 2001 after media coverage as wide ranging as the magazines Top Gear, The Art News and Art in America and daily papers from Finland to Australia it was felt that the project should end at its height.


Retrospective with cab exterior Out from Under by Lawrence Weiner

The curators arranged for a retrospective exhibition immediately upon discontinuing the project, held as part of the opening of the Essor Gallery, which occupied the main gallery as well as a project space nearby. The Cab Gallery Retrospective ran from 15–22 January 2002 and included the "Cab Gallery" itself, which was parked up inside. All previous artworks were on show along with films and sound pieces.

After Cab Gallery[edit]

Stephen Farthing, RA prepares Chelsea Cab for Late at Tate

Paul Stolper continues as a leading London gallery owner and publisher.

Jason Brown collaborated with Chelsea space at Chelsea College of Art & Design to use the same taxi, renamed the Chelsea Cab, to exhibit new exterior artwork on the cab by Bruce McLean, Stephen Farthing RA and David Shrigley. In 2012 he moved to Nashville, Tennessee and continues to curate art shows including exchanges between London and Nashville. In 2012 Brown donated the entire Cab Gallery archive including artwork, correspondence and ephemera to the Special Collections at the Library at the Chelsea College of Art & Design.[2]

Exhibiting Artists[edit]


  • "Cab Gallery". Time Out. Sep 1999. 
  • "Cab Gallery". The Express. 17 Sep 1999. 
  • "Hoax". Evening Standard. 24 Sep 1999. 
  • "Cab Gallery". The Express. 24 Sep 1999. 
  • "Taxing Work". The Guardian (Space Magazine). 30 Sep 1999. 
  • "Cab Gallery". The Times (Metro Magazine). 2 Oct 1999. 
  • "Moving Experience". Time Out. 6 Oct 1999. 
  • "Cab Gallery". Metro Magazine. 7 Oct 1999. 
  • "In The Back Of My Cab". Galleries Magazine. Nov 1999. 
  • Louisa Buck (Nov 1999). "London Calling: Hail your Art". The Art Newspaper. 
  • "Deals on Wheels". The Observer. 21 Nov 1999. 
  • Guy Somerset (30 Nov 1999). "Cab Gallery". Metro Magazine. 
  • "The Thursday Review". The Independent Newspaper. 20 Jan 2000. 
  • Top Gear Magazine. Feb 2000.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  • Mike Dawson (Feb–March 2000). "Keep The Meter Running". FLUX Magazine.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  • DPICT Magazine. April–May 2000.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  • "Scene Down Under". The Manly Newspaper (Australia). 15 Sep 2000. 
  • "Present & Display (Hi-Jacked)". FLUX Magazine. Oct–Nov 2000. 
  • "Art On The Move". Mondo Magazine (First Issue). Nov 2000. 
  • "Hailing a new kind of gallery". Evening Standard Newspaper. 7 Nov 2000. 
  • Talous Sanomat Newspaper (Finland). 23 Nov 2000.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  • "'i had that brian eno in the back of my cab'". i-D Magazine (The Gallery Issue). Apr 2001. 
  • "10 Best Websites of the Week". The Independent, Information Magazine. 19 May 2001. 
  • "Touring London: Cabbie's Mobile Gallery". Jewish Chronicle. 24 Aug 2001. 
  • "Rolling with it". ARTnews. Sep 2001. 
  • "Links worth a visit". The Guardian, Editor supplement. 22 Sep 2001. 
  • "The Top Ten: London's Hot New Galleries". Art Review Magazine. Oct 2001. 
  • Time Out Magazine. 9 Jan 2002.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  • "Cab Gallery Retrospective". Evening Standard Newspaper. 14 Jan 2002. 
  • "Hailing Artwork On The Move". Metro Magazine. 15 Jan 2002. 
  • "Cab Gallery - Retrospective 1999-2001". FLUX Magazine. Dec 2001 – Jan 2002. 
  • "Artnotes". Art Monthly. Dec 2001 – Jan 2002. 
  • Carol Kino (Oct 2002). "Life after YBA-mania". Art in America Magazine. 
  • Rory Logsdail (director). Cab Gallery 2. Firefly Pictures. 
  • Aaron Paul (director). Film & Art/Eye Contact. 
  • "Cab Gallery". Focus Art News. Episode 108. May 2001. Artsworld Channel for Sky Digital. 


  1. ^ Liversidge, Peter (1999). Proposals for Paul E. Stolper and Jason Brown: For: Cab Gallery, Reg: S310 DGJ, Model: Tx : 1. ISBN 978-1870540322. 
  2. ^ For a description of the materials available, see Retrieved 1 October 2013.

External links[edit]