It’s no secret that London is on the cutting-edge of the art scene in the world, often housing some of the most influential and sought-after exhibitions in the world. There are plenty of art institutions, as well as small independent galleries all across the city. Here are 10 we highly recommend visiting.
The Barbican is a serious destination for art lovers. Whether it’s a rainstorm that doesn’t get you wet, or an in-depth look at the work and life of Jean-Michel Basquiat, the Barbican’s curation team always exceeds excpecations.
What’s more, the Barbican is an amazing piece of Brutalist architecture, so is well worth the visit for the building!
The Hayward Gallery located on the Southbank was closed for 2 years due to refurbishment, but reopened in 2018. The refurbishment wait was well worth it, with natural light flooding into the space and programming back and better than ever. They have amazing exhibitions, such as the retrospective of Bridget Riley, and Reverb – a multisensory exhibition.
The National Gallery
Home to some amazing classic paintings such as Da Vinci, Van Gogh, Rubens, and more – the National Gallery is a wonderful place to seek inspiration and culture. This amazing, open building is great – and alongside their permanent collection they often hold amazing temporary exhibitions by artists such as Caravaggio and Michelangelo. What’s more – the permanent exhibitions are free.
Whitechapel Gallery has been a curatorial heartbeat for London for over a century. It helped introduce Londoners to amazing artists such as Jackson Pollock and Frida Kahlo. Years later, it’s still curating some of the best exhibitions in the city.
The Tate Modern is a wonderful building worth visiting in its own right, but what’s more is the magnitude of art this gallery holds. They have a wonderfully eclectic selection of modern and contemporary artworks that few can beat.
Newport Street Gallery
The Newport Street Gallery in Vauxhall was built specifically to put on shows of Hirst’s art collection. You’ll find artworks from Jeff Koons and John Hoyland amongst his collection. What’s more, it gives you a little peek into the life of Hirst.
The Lisson Gallery is one of the UK’s oldest galleries, and is still going strong. It is known for having introduced the world to artists such as Anish Kapoor, Julian Opie, and Douglas Gordon.
Project Native Informant
This art gallery hiden within an intimidating office block focuses on art that questions and undermines gender and identity norms. They will be moving soon to their new location in Bethnal Green.
A London outpost of this major German gallery in Mayfair, they host many exhibitions spanning classic minimalism and contemporary art. They’ve held exhibitions from the likes of Cindy Sherman and Donald Judd.
White Cube Bermondsey
This gallery is definitely one that deserves this list. The White Cube brought us Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, and plenty of other amazing British artists. Having moved to their new space in Bermondsey, the White Cube is a museum-quality art gallery.