5 art places in London… When thinking of London and contemporary art you automatically think of the Tate Modern, and rightfully so.
I am sorry to say that but YOU ARE MISSING OUT! Here is a little list of places you might want to check out on your next trip.
You need another good reason to do so? A lot of them are FREE!
And because you are going to need all that good energy to walk around the British capital, I also give you some cool addresses to eat out. Don’t forget to check the custom google map I made at the end of the post! You’re welcome!
1. Victoria Miro Gallery & Parasol Foundation
I know it is 2 places, but they are so close it counts as 1! Let me explain. When you are standing in front of the building on your left there is the large art gallery. On your right the foundation. The cool trick? Walk around the gallery and head to the back to discover a beautiful garden with a little pond. From there you will be able to enter at the back of the foundation (how cool!). The art gallery is one of the few to have a garden in London, if you are lucky when visiting, the artist presented might be using that space!
Tip #1: walk around the canal nearby, you won’t feel like you are in the heart of a capital! So magical!
Tip #2: at the foundation grab the map of the “East End Gallery Trail”. There you will find info on 50 fine art institutions nearby.
2. Whitechapel Gallery
A must-see in London, founded in 1901 this is a charity dedicated to contemporary art. They have a lot of history of showing international acclaimed artists and never-before-seen artworks in the country. Like for example with Picasso’s Guernica shown in 1939. They presented the work of artists such as Jackson Pollock, David Hockney, Gilbert & George, Liam Gillick, Paul McCarthy, the list goes on.
Eat: Old Spitalfields Market in the Brick Lane district. Various food stands of great choice and price!
3. Barbican Gallery
Huuuuuuuge venue. It is an arts and learning center, representing all type of arts and cultural manifestation. All gathered in a “futuristic” architecture. When I say big I mean: two art galleries, two theatres, three cinemas, a concert hall and a tropical conservatory. Well, I would not mind being stuck there for a few days. So for the exhibitions, plan at least two hours to tour the spaces. The shows were amazing, so take your time, enjoy it. But remember, even if it is summer and really hot outside. Bring a jacket, the AC was on fire.
This one is NOT free (only one in the list, but I HAD to include it!).
Entrance fee: 13,50£ (worth it)
4. Mayfair Galleries
Walk around the neighborhood and check a few art galleries, get a taste of London’s new art scene. Don’t worry they won’t bite you. When touring them grab the GalleriesNow map of all galleries in the area and info on the shows.They update it every few months. If you have some energy left you can check out the Royal Academy of Arts in the district.
5. Serpentine Gallery
Well a trip to London would not be one without a stop at Hyde Park, right? So pack up that picnic and head over there. They say it better than me: “Championing new ideas in contemporary art since it opened in 1970, the Serpentine has presented pioneering exhibitions of 2,263 artists over 45 years, showing a wide range of work from emerging practitioners to the most internationally recognized artists and architects of our time.” There you have it! Also their artistic director is Hans Ulrich Obrist, one of the most acclaimed and recognized curator of our time.
Let me know which one is your favorite and if I missed one!
Subscribe to my newsletter and get access to all the FREE Customed Google Maps I created. Enjoy!