London’s Different Strokes

London

London’s contemporary art scene has something to suit every taste: fine art, radical installations, and children’s illustrations. The global metropolis brings in talent from the far reaches of the planet, with galleries launching the careers of local-turned-global artists like Damien Hirst, Chris Ofili, and Tracey Emin. Roam the halls that once exhibited works by world-renowned virtuosos like Frida Kahlo, Pablo Picasso, and Andy Warhol. Whether you’re an art novice testing the waters or an avid enthusiast finding your niche, we’ve found some of the city’s finest art galleries to start off your creative journey. All you need is an open mind and a pair of sensible walking shoes!

Updated 10 months ago

1
2 saves

House of Illustration

Recommendation posted 8 July 2018

Sir Quentin Blake, celebrated illustrator of the Roald Dahl Books, founded the House of Illustration. It’s the first dedicated public venue to celebrate illustration in all its forms—from advertising and animation, all the way to children’s picture books, editorial cartoons, and fashion design. Revive your childlike wonder as you tap into a side of art that pervades our everyday lives. Whatever artwork you see inside the House of Illustration, you’ll probably encounter them in the real world!

+442036962020

2 Granary Square, King's Cross, London, United Kingdom

2
2 saves

The Photographers' Gallery

Recommendation posted 8 July 2018

Photography is another unsung hero of the art scene. Luckily, The Photographers’ Gallery gives professionals and hobbyists a space to appreciate all that goes into a well-taken photo. Entrance is free if you come before noon! The center is six storeys high, so there’s plenty of room for everyone. Previously, exhibiting artists have included people like filmmaker David Lynch, featuring another side to his body of work: the single frame.

+442070879300

16–18 Ramillies Street, London, United Kingdom

3
1 save

Pangolin London

Recommendation posted 8 July 2018

Pangolin Gallery is dedicated to sculptures—forms, both from the natural world and plucked from the imagination, are immortalized in solid material. Tour around the gallery to see statues in primeval quality (like artifacts dug up from ancient caves), while others are futuristic and whimsical. All dwell in harmony within the art space, so take it all in.

+442075201480

King's Place, 90 York Way, London, United Kingdom

4
2 saves

Serpentine Gallery

Recommendation posted 8 July 2018

Catch a one-of-a-kind installation by artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude on Serpentine Lake! The artists used thousands of colorful barrels on a floating platform to recreate an ancient Egyptian tomb called the “Mastaba.” Stand in awe of the 20-meter monolith as it dwarves over little rowboats on the water. See it for yourself, as the masterpiece will be on the Lake from June 18 to September 23 of 2018! The installation has been decades in the making. Trace the Mastaba’s entire process through an exhibit running simultaneously at the Serpentine Gallery. Serpentine is quite familiar with the big names. In 1989, they mounted a show on Andy Warhol’s early works from the 1950s. Along with special projects, Serpentine regularly commissions legendary architects to design their Summer Pavilions.

+442074026075

Kensington Gardens, London, United Kingdom

5
2 saves

Serpentine Sackler Gallery

Recommendation posted 8 July 2018

Serpentine Gallery overflows with so much art that in 2013, they opened an extension called the Serpentine Sackler Gallery. Here, the old meets the new. (Its brick walls once housed gunpowder within!) Architects added a futuristic structure when they renovated, expanding the gallery for more art space, a restaurant, and a shop. The Serpentine Sackler is a place where artists and audience, young and old, can come out to play for the day. Mull over the exhibits over lunch, then score some exclusive merch designed by the artists themselves.

+442074026075

West Carriage Drive, London, United Kingdom

6
2 saves

White Cube (Mason's Yard)

Recommendation posted 8 July 2018

The immaculate space of White Cube has been the playground to London’s contemporary artists since it opened. Bold and creative minds have transformed the gallery with tanks of preserved animals, an intimate bed installation, or larger-than-life paintings. Discover new talent before they’ve made it big. White Cube has been closely associated to the Young British Artists (YBA), a group whose members include the likes of Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Sarah Lucas, and Gary Hume. They created art that shocked the audience, and many of the YBA members even got their first solo shows launched their career at White Cube!

+442079305373

25-26 Mason's Yard, London, United Kingdom

7
2 saves

Saatchi Gallery

Recommendation posted 8 July 2018

The art is always fresh at venues like White Cube, and our next spot: Saatchi Gallery. The popular art space has always followed the trends of the times. The 1980s and 1990s brought in a mix of minimalist art and pop art from American artists. To this day, Saatchi is fueled by an insatiable appetite for what’s new on the art scene. They’re always on the lookout for the most interesting artworks being made today. An artist’s career generally begins at galleries like White Cube and Saatchi Gallery. Here, you’ll encounter pieces by young maestros and international talents who have just gotten their big break in the United Kingdom.

+442078232363

Duke Of York's Headquarters, King's Road, London, United Kingdom

8
2 saves

Gagosian Gallery (Britannia Street)

Recommendation posted 8 July 2018

Any newcomer to the art scene must meet one of its most important dealers. Gagosian, owned and directed by Armenian art dealer Larry Gagosian, has 16 sites all over the world. Keep your eyes peeled for their current and upcoming shows. They bring forth the best in modern and contemporary art wherever they break ground. Gagosian’s worldwide network of galleries boasts a roster of contemporary masters: Willem de Kooning, Jeff Koons, Jackson Pollock, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Pablo Picasso, and, of course, Andy Warhol. You never know who’s popping up at the Britannia Street location next!

+442078419960

6-24 Britannia Street, London, United Kingdom

9
3 saves

Whitechapel Gallery

Recommendation posted 8 July 2018

Since 1901, the Whitechapel Gallery has brought artists and their art (both locally made and internationally acclaimed) to the people of East London. Rub elbows with the next Frida Kahlo, Mark Rothko, or Gilbert & George—all of whom have also exhibited here. Strike up a conversation with fellow enthusiasts. That’s what the art is for! The gallery engages with the community and reaches out to the next generation through special programs. Whitechapel also hosts a plethora of talks about art and pressing issues. Buy a book from their extensive stock to keep the learning going even after you’ve left.

+442075227888

77-82 Whitechapel High Street, London, United Kingdom


10
2 saves

Lisson Gallery (Marylebone)

Recommendation posted 8 July 2018

Tickle your brain cells at the Lisson Gallery where Minimalism and Conceptual Art take the spotlight. Everyday items like caps are transformed into art for the audience to consider. Meanwhile, overlooked materials such as metal bars are brought to attention. These are just some of the techniques Minimalists and Conceptual Artists employ. The two art movements may have originated across the pond in America, but they’ve also made a mark in London. Since 1967, Lisson Gallery has invited award-winning artists like Anish Kapoor, Richard Deacon, Tony Cragg, Grenville Davey, and Douglas Gordon.

+442077242739

67 Lisson Street, Marylebone, London, United Kingdom

11
2 saves

Hauser & Wirth

Recommendation posted 8 July 2018

Hauser & Wirth has seen many radical installations—an airborne longboat, a series of massive Rorschach ink blots, and delicate pillars of thread. They challenge what can fit within the four walls, which was once home to an old bank. Immerse yourself in a dynamic environment that only installation art can do. It’s like falling into a rabbit hole and tumbling in head-first into Wonderland!

+442072872300

23 Savile Row, London, United Kingdom

Download Lemi

Lemi is better in your pocket. Discover more and create your own Lists in our iOS and Android apps.