Conceptualism, minimalism, photography, admission free, trendy and famous - there are many galleries in London for every taste.
Alison Jacques Gallery
Gallery in the West End, impeccably tailored in accordance with the canons and aspirations of the contemporary art world: a minimalistic interior, white walls and high ceilings would be a space without the character, where however very seductive and motley content is found, e.g. works of Ryan McGinley. Also in the regular rotation of the exhibition program: modern British and German art (Paul Morrison, Michael Bayer), sculpture and photography emphasizing performance (Hélio Oiticica), gender and feminist topics (Hanna Wilke, Ana Mendieta) with a special preference for Brazilian art of the second half of the XX century. Alison Jacques Gallery is the only gallery in the UK, which has the exclusive rights for representation of the heritage of Robert Mapplethorpe.
Barbican Art Gallery
The exhibition space of the Barbican culture center should be called the unsurpassed art institution of London. It provides easily understood educational videos and talks about architecture, design, art and photography, all without being strictly connected to certain eras, ideologies, genres and national borders. Themes of exhibitions vary from erotic trends of surrealism and Asian clothing design traditions to retrospectives of Le Corbusier, the Bauhaus and New York performance-art avant-garde. Featured exhibitions often are of a big scale and are accompanied by intensive program of lectures and master-classes. The Curve is located on the first floor of the gallery. The Curve is a home for artists experimenting with installations and multimedia projects.
The admission fee is £10 if you buy a ticket on the web site or £12 at the box office.
Calvert 22 is a Slavic cultural center, comfortably situated in the midst of life in London East End near the pretty public garden and Arnold Circus focused on presentation and support of contemporary art from Russia, CIS and Eastern Europe on charitable basis. Thematic scope of exhibitions is encouraging, curatorial work often brings the most blissful emotions, while the genre restrictions, age and other status qualifications for artists are practically absent. In Calvert 22 artworks by Kabakov, Monastyrsky, Prigov and Taus Makhacheva, Anya Titova and Arseny Zhilyaeva can coexist in peace and harmony.
Camden Arts Centre
Camden Arts Centre is a cultural institution with a solid reputation and a very colorful track record. They often feature young or little known but highly interesting and promising artists. Behind the scenes, preference goes to complex installations, spatial and interactive works, as well as non-trivial concepts and socially engaged art.
One of the few places on the artistic map of London, where you can learn the art in its most sincere impulsive forms without commercial motivation.
The Gasworks art institution located in the south-west of London in the Vauxhall district actively supports new artists, promotes cultural exchange and offers international resident programs. It is worth visiting Gasworks to experience a slightly chaotic creative workshop atmosphere and learn about experimental projects of young artists that are fearlessly pushing boundaries of mixed media and confidently discuss divergent but current social issues.
Admission is free.
Hauser & Wirth
Hauser & Wirth is backed up by collectors and patrons of the Swiss origin, who for the last 20 years have been successfully balancing the items art-dealers are craving and the items that not necessarily belong to the art market. As a result their collection is eclectic and versatile with a strong tendency to the “complex” for understanding and original “avant-garde” art presented, for example, by the pioneers of Happenings Paul McCarthy and Allan Kaprow. Next to them we find the art work of the Turner Prize winner Martin Creed and Louise Bourgeois.
Admission is free.
The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA)
The Institute of Contemporary Art has a remarkable biography: in 1989 ICA held an exhibition of Ilya Kabakov, and in 1991 Damien Hirst presented his work to the public for the first time. Also, the gallery held exhibitions of Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock and Yves Klein, as well as lectures by Yoko Ono, philosophers Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault. The atmosphere in the gallery is very relaxed, friendly and free thinking, they often hold avant-garde festivals, concerts, ambiguous performances and lectures. Exciting dialogues can be overheard in the cafe by the gallery. Being famous for its love for provocative and marginal art, ICA barely escaped bankruptcy in 2010.
Originated in 1967 with a purpose of representing minimalism and conceptual art, Lisson Gallery to this day is one of the center outposts in this area. The main criterion which forms the gallery collection is that the artist's main ideological component dominates the expressive aspirations, and visualisation will become an auxiliary tool, not underestimating poetical and intellectual charm of work. The catalog is listing such artists as Dan Flavin, Daniel Buren, Sol LeWitt, Allora and Calzadilla, and others.
Maureen Paley Gallery
Its founder, an adventurous tutor Maureen Paley, is a pioneer and protector of cultural life in London's East End. She opened her first gallery in Bethnal Green district. It was a pilot platform for artists who soon became known as Young British Artists. Today Maureen Paley Gallery pays special attention to contemporary photography (Gillian Wearing, Wolfgang Tillmans, Hannah Starkey), painting and video art; it studies subjective, psychological and socio-ethical grounds.
Michael Hoppen Gallery
The gallery is focused on the art of photography, and is located in a spacious, three-storey mansion in Chelsea. Its founder, Michael Hoppen, is one of the leading European dealers in the photography field. In his gallery, the exhibitions of young artists are held, who shoot exclusively on film and practice hand prints. There is also a huge archive of Japanese photo artists, such as Nobuesi Araki, Daido Moriyama, Miyako Ishiuchi.
Parasol Unit is an art foundation, organizing praiseworthy cultural and educational activities to the open public. Absence of commercial motivation affects its exposition program in a positive way, its art life is not extremely intense but rather carefully tailored and prepared, as it can be seen from the choice of artists and works, with aesthetics and concept combined in a win-win proportion. Parasol Unit hosted solo exhibitions by Mona Hatoum, Eija-Liisa Ahtila and other significant artists, mostly working with installations and video. The gallery also has a cozy patio with a pond - a space for site-specific-installations.
The admission is free.
The Photographers Gallery
The main abode of London and European photo art, the independent gallery that has been around since 1971. It moved from Covent Garden to Soho in 2009 and expanded it's possessions in May of 2012. The Photographers Gallery collection represents works of renowned masters: from modernists Andre Kertesz and Manuel Alvarez Bravo to recognized contemporaries - Taryn Simon and Antoine D'agata. Since 1996 the gallery has been hosting the annual exhibition of the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize nominees.
South London Gallery
The municipal gallery is found far from London key art-activity places, but has an impressive contemporary art collection: Alfredo Yaar, Sarah Lucas, Christian Boltanski, Antony Gormley and others. Ten exhibitions are showcased each year: five on the main floor and the rest at the back wing. It mostly profiles young avant-garde post-modernist artists.
South London Gallery’s plain looking floor covering hides the XIX century parquetry floor designed by Walter Crane, the famous Art Nouveau era illustrator. The fragment displays a different wood patterned inscription reading 'The source of art is in the life of people'.
Prestigious commercial gallery in Mayfair with German roots, solid reputation, versatile interests, almost impeccable taste and extremely profound ideas on the modern art. The Sprüth Magers catalog presents progressive German artists (Thomas Demand, Rosemarie Trockel), highly popular photographers (Cindy Sherman, Stephen Shore) and award-winning American conceptual artists (Ed Ruscha, Jenny Holzer and Barbara Kruger).
Admission is free.
This brainchild of Jay Jopling, an influential British art businessman, former husband of the artist Sam Taylor-Wood and chief patron of young British artists needs no introduction. Besides that, Jopling is a close friend of Damien Hirst. With his financial support of his friend, Hirst created his axiomatic artworks The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (five-meter tiger shark in a tank of formaldehyde) and For the Love of God (diamond-encrusted skull for £14 million).
White Cube is a tier I commercial gallery, its turnover reaches astronomical figures, and represents the most expensive artists.
There are three galleries in the list of exhibition spaces of White Cube: in Mayfair, Hoxton, and a new space White Cube Bermondsey - the biggest commercial gallery in Europe claiming a status of the museum of modern art.
Admission is free.
One of the oldest, most well-known and respected public galleries in London, designed by architect Charles Harrison Townsend and opened in 1901. In Whitechapel the first British exhibits debuted of Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Frida Kahlo, Liam Gillick, Nan Goldin, as well as the first retrospectives of David Hockney, Gilbert and George and Richard Long. The gallery continues showing the works of socially important artists-innovators, who are recognized at the international level.
The Zabludowicz Collection
The regularly updated art-treasure Zabludowicz Collection is privately owned by the Zabludowicz family, multimillionaires, renowned philanthropists and patrons of art. You can learn about the brilliant group of the most popular current creators that the art community is exaltedly obsessed with at the former Methodist Church of Chalk Farm. Here are the names: Richard Prince, Olafur Eliasson, Matthew Barney, Philip - Lorca Di Corso, Martin Kippenberger, Tracey Emin, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Haroon Mirza, Nan Goldin, John Baldessari, Larry Clark, Nam June Paik, Wolfgang Tillmans, Pierre Yuig, Nobuyoshi Araki and many others.
Admission is free.
This gallery opened its doors in 1970 at Kensington Gardens of Hyde Park and not only has an attractive location, but also is peculiar in its consistently impressive and diverse program of exhibitions and superb dedication of curators Julia Peyton-Jones and Hans-Ulrich Obris. It is exceptionally exciting that the gallery policy excludes hard to understand conceptualism, dubious superficiality, snobbery and unintelligible trash. The gallery featured exhibitions by Philippe Parreno, Anish Kapoor, Wolfgang Tillmans, Gerhard Richter, Derek Jarman, Matthew Barney and many other notable figures of the contemporary art. The gallery also has a book store Koenig with a large selection of magazines and books on art, philosophy and cultural studies.
Admission is free.