An All-Encompassing Guide To Art Galleries In London | The Nudge
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An All-Encompassing Guide To Art Galleries In London

Art Galleries In London

An All-Encompassing Guide To Art Galleries In London

Ever since cavemen graffitied their bedrooms, art has played a key role in our culture. But with so much of it about, it’s hard to know what to look for. One man’s trash is, literally, another’s Turner award-winning installation. Luckily, the capital curates some of the finest collections on earth, and with this comprehensive guide you’ll be surveying Cezannes and pointing out Picassos like a pro.

It’s time to brush up…

Last updated: 29th November 2018


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CENTRAL LONDON ART GALLERIES

Hayward Gallery

Hayward Gallery - art galleries London

A Brutalist and, quite frankly, brutal concrete metropolis is home to the Hayward Gallery; an exhibition space designed to receive touring work and host major modern collections. Sat within the cultural playground that is the Southbank Centre, there’s a dazzling array of art on offer within its walls, and that of its neighbours. Its visual policy is painted with broad brush strokes, and previous exhibits have included everything from Van Gogh to Gormley – but recently it’s the recent which has taken centre stage.

WHAT’S ON

Space Shifters | Until 6th January

If you’ve never seen the famous room full of oil (Richard Wilson’s 20:50), now’s your chance, as the Hayward gathers trippy artworks subverting perception and spatial awareness in their light-filled halls.

Address: Southbank Centre, 337-338 Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX | Opening Hours: Wed-Mon 11am-7pm, Thursdays until 9pm | Entry: Free / Exhibitions from £14.50

ICA

The errant, wayward child of the RA, the ICA was established as a space for artists and scientists to discuss ideas freely and without limitation. An avid promoter of the avant-garde, it’s been an epicentre of experimental work ever since. With galleries, a theatre, and two cinemas you’re bound to find something, in some medium, that suits your fancy. Even if it’s just the second Rochelle Canteen restaurant.

WHAT’S ON

Metahaven: VERSION HISTORY | Until 13th January 2019

This film-making/designer duo blend psychology, politics, philosophy and sociology in a trio of moving-image artworks, accompanied by a publication examining the processes of their work. Meta.

Check out screenings, talks and more HERE

Address: The Mall, St James’s, SW1Y 5AH | Opening Hours: Tue-Thurs 12pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 12pm-12am, Sun 12pm-11pm | Entry: £1

Mall Galleries

A little green house on Pall Mall goes for £100, and a big red hotel will set you back £1000. Unfortunately, the work on offer here will cost a little bit more. Home to the British Federation of Artists, this Regency-style gallery has art for browsing, and for buying, with a real variety gracing its walls.

WHAT’S ON

Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers 2018 & Royal Institute of Oil Painters Annual Exhibition 2018 | Until 9th December

Two societies populated by some of the city’s most skilled artists showcase their recent works – many of which, thanks to their size, are actually pretty affordable.

Address: The Mall, St. James’s, SW1Y 5AH | Opening Hours: Tue-Sun 10am-5pm (closes 1pm last day of exhibitions) | Entry: Free / Exhibitions £4/£6 with a catalogue

National Gallery

National Gallery - art galleries in London

Pride of place in London’s art scene, presiding over the four lions of Trafalgar Square, is the National Gallery. Amongst the most visited art museums in the world, the National Gallery has a premier league roll call of great works. Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, Turner’s The Fighting Temeraire and Da Vinci’s The Virgin of the Rocks all adorn its walls. Most major artists are represented in some way or another here, making it an absolute mecca for Art History bingo.

WHAT’S ON

Courtauld Impressionists: From Manet to Cezanne Until 20th January

See the world through the eyes of a sot without touching a drop, in this celebration of all things Impressionist. A double measure of the movement’s best artists are on display here, so you can squint and swirl at worlds slightly out of focus to your heart’s content.

Mantegna and Bellini | Until 27th January

Two great Renaissance artists rub shoulders in this seminal exhibition gathering works from around the globe.

Lorenzo Lotto Portraits | Until 10th February

Renaissance Italian painter Lorenzo Lotto gets his own dedicated gallery, collating some of his most highly praised portraits filled with, ahem, a Lotto symbolism. (Free)

Address: Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN | Opening Hours: Sat-Thurs 10am-6pm, Fri 10am-9pm | Entry: Free / Exhibitions from £10

National Portrait Gallery

A nosy, mouthy, (and eye-y) neighbour of the National Gallery, the NPG has been serving up strong face in every corner of its four storey building ever since 1896. It’s fairly commonplace to feel like you’re being watched with over 195,000 faces looking out from within frames or atop busts. The most celebrated visage is that of William Shakespeare, but the entire gallery is a veritable who’s who of history and makes the perfect spot to come face to face with England’s ancestors.

WHAT’S ON

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize | Until 27th January

A 57-strong shortlist for the prestigious annual portrait award, from spontaneous family photos to enigmatic sitters.

Address: St. Martin’s Place, WC2H 0HE | Opening Hours: Sat-Thur 10am-6pm, Fri 10am-9pm | Entry: Free / Exhibitions from £14

The Photographers Gallery

Photographers gallery - art galleries in London

After snapping up a Tea Bar in Covent Garden, founder and director Sue Davies quickly developed it into the UK’s first dedicated space for photography and photographers. It’s now moved into an old textiles factory but continues to act as a centre of excellence, and research, into the 20th century’s iconic medium.

WHAT’S ON

Roman Vishniac Rediscovered | Until 24th February

The first UK retrospective of Roman Vishniac, a Russian-born photographer who spent his youth in Berlin before moving to New York towards the end of WWII. Staggeringly talented, he was celebrated in the fields of both biology and photography – but it’s the latter that’s showcased here, exhibiting both rare and seminal snapshots of the rise of Nazi Germany, and the concurrent loss of civil liberties suffered by the Jewish population.

All I Know Is What’s On The Internet | Until 24th February

A fascinating exploration of how ‘like’ culture, bots, and the rapid recirculation of images online has impacted visual culture, and especially photography.

Address: 16-18 Ramillies Street, W1F 7LW | Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 10am-6pm | Entry: Free / Exhibitions £4

Proud Galleries

Pride comes before a fall but the photographs are firmly in place at this boutique gallery on the Strand. Popular culture in all its forms is celebrated here, so expect to rock and roll your way through a gallery of famous faces and legendary locations.

WHAT’S ON

Sessions In Sound: Photographs By Norman Seeff | Until 13th January

A South African photographer who essentially built his career off the success of one single photo, Norman Seeff spent years spontaneously capturing music icons like Johnny Cash, Joni Mitchell and The Rolling Stones – all of which you can spot in this rock’n’roll retrospective.

Address: 32 John Adam Street, WC2N 6BP | Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 11am-6pm | Entry: Free

The Queen’s Gallery

Once upon a time an exclusively royal affair but these days awash with the unwashed, the Queen’s Gallery is the dictionary definition of a fine art gallery – “a place that houses work created primarily for aesthetic and intellectual purposes”. The collection is, unsurprisingly, fit for a king (or queen) and contains a revolving exhibit of works owned by the royals to ensure their protection for, and presumably from, the Great British public.

WHAT’S ON

Russia | Until 28th April 2019

A survey of the entwined histories of the British and former Russian royal families over the past 400 years, through Fabergé eggs, diplomatic gifts and contracts – alongside Roger Fenton’s stirring photographs of the Crimean War.

Address: Buckingham Palace, Buckingham Palace Road, SW1A 1AA | Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 9:30am-5:30pm | Entry: £12

Royal Academy

Royal Academy - art galleries in London

Perhaps in a moment of his famed “madness”, King George III dipped into his own pocket to establish the RA in order to raise the professional status of artists and foster a national school of art. Off his rocker or not, it proved a big success and lives on to this day as a privately funded institution training, and promoting, artists and art appreciation. The RA has moved with the ebbs and flows of artistic taste, and its annual summer exhibition showcases the best new art on the scene. Its exhibitions have ranged from Hogarth to Hockney, whilst its permanent collection samples something from throughout Art History.

WHAT’S ON

Oceania Until 10th December

Celebrating 250 years since Cook’s first voyage to the Pacific, the RA brings together 200 works from 500 years of Oceanic history.

Renzo Piano: The Art of Making Buildings | Until 20th January 2019

Looking at the ‘piece-by-piece’ approach of the architect behind The Shard and Paris’ Pompidou Centre.

Klimt/Schiele: Drawings From The Albertina Museum, Vienna | Until 3rd February 2019

A rare collection of fragile sketches from two of Austria’s greatest artists, 100 years after their deaths.

Address: Burlington House, Piccadilly, Mayfair, W1J 0BD | Opening Hours: Sat-Thurs 10am-6pm, Sun 10am-10pm | Entry: Free / Exhibitions from £14

Somerset House

Originally the tudor crib to end all cribs, this imposing residence on the river Thames became a Stuart royal palace, a brief home of the Royal Academy, and now holds the offices of over a hundred creative organisations and artists, alongside numerous exhibition spaces for a range of different media. The Duke of Somerset, despite being executed before it was completed, would no doubt lose his head over how brilliant it’s become.

NOTE: The Courtauld Gallery is currently closed for major renovation works. Watch this space.

Address: Strand, WC2R 1LA | Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 8am-11pm | Entry: Free

Tate Britain

The epicurean, slightly dotty uncle of the Tate Modern is concerned with one thing only – The Land of Hope and Glory (and the artists who come from within it). It’s quite the line up, so expect all the big names from 1500 to the present day; Turner, Constable, Bacon, Blake, and Emin. Quite the knees up.

WHAT’S ON

Turner Prize 2018 | Until 6th January

Four shortlisted artists display their entries for the British art scene’s most prestigious annual prize, each focussed on some of the most pressing topics around the world today.

Figure Totem Beast: Sculpture in Britain in the 1950s| Until 4th February

A look at how an era of uncertainty and anxiety moulded the sculptures of Cold War Britain.

Edward Burne-Jones | Until 24th February

A huge collection of paintings, sketches and tapestries from one of the Pre-Raphaelite movement’s most prominent artists.

Jesse Darling: The Ballad of Saint Jerome | Until 24th February

A surreal collection of animated-looking objects, from escaping cabinets to snake-canes.

Address: Millbank, SW1P 4RG | Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 10am-6pm | Entry: Free / Exhibitions from £16

Tate Modern

Tate Modern - art galleries in London

Some people think modern art is just a load of Pollocks. And they’d be right. But he’s not the only artist you’ll find in this behemoth of modern and contemporary works. It holds the British Collection of pieces from 1900 to the present day, and is one of the largest modern art museums in the world. Housed within the old Bankside power station, it has become an iconic landmark on the Thames’ riverscape. The old turbine hall dwarfs its visitors and holds specially commissioned, larger-than-life exhibits.

WHAT’S ON

The Clock | Until 20th January 2019

Following years and years of meticulous study, Christian Marclay has created a 24-hour montage of clocks and watches from film and TV to create an installation that unfolds in real time. There are a couple of 24 hour screenings scheduled in; but otherwise you’ll need to catch a glimpse during opening hours. There may well be queues… during which, presumably, you can watch your own watch.

Anni Albers | Until 27th January 2019

Albers was enrolled at the Bauhaus school of art, but as a woman, was discouraged from taking certain classes. So she did what any reasonable person would do, and made a world-renowned, pioneering career in artistic textiles instead.

Tania Bruguera: 10, 145, 110 | Until 24th February 2019

A pair of site-specific, immersive installations exploring ‘forced empathy’, which involve using body heat to reveal a portrait of Yousef, a Syrian refugee, and a room filled with a gaseous compound that makes you cry.

Magic Realism | Until 14th July 2019

A free, year-long exhibition, this collation of works from Germany’s Weimar Republic (1919-1933) reflects on the shift towards “cold veracity” and the unsettling in an era of huge political change.

Address: Bankside, SE1 9TG | Opening Hours: Fri-Sat 10am-10pm, Sun-Thurs 10am-6pm Entry: Free / Exhibitions from £16

Wallace Collection

A collecting hobby that got a little out of hand is now a major collection of 18th and 19th century works collected by subsequent Marquesses of Hertford, and bequeathed to the public. Housed within a imposing regency townhouse, the Wallace is famed for its triumphant collection of French decorative arts; the grandest one outside of Gaul. It’s a fancy family’s fancy private collection so expect gilded frames, suits of armour, and offensive levels of wealth to dominate your surroundings on your sojourn through the wings.

WHAT’S ON

Sir Richard Wallace: The Collector | Until 6th January

Celebrating their new £1.2 million exhibition space, the Wallace Collection have chosen to inaugurate it with a toast to the man who brought about their inception. Sir Richard Wallace was a famed philanthropist of Victorian England and was instrumental in unveiling masterpieces to the masses. In this exhibit you can see, for the first time, his personal contributions to the collection including a rare silver ostrich and a golden trophy from the Asante kingdom.

Address: Hertford House, Manchester Square, W1U 3BN | Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 10am-5pm | Entry: Free

 

NORTH LONDON ART GALLERIES

Ben Uri Gallery

Founded over 100 years ago, in the Jewish Ghetto of Whitechapel by Russian immigrant Lazar Berson, this art museum has always focused on the lives, careers, and works of refugee artists. True to its heritage, the gallery packed its bags and migrated to St John’s Wood, where now its 1300 works, covering 30 separate mediums, continue to showcase the artistic output of immigrant communities.

WHAT’S ON

Acquisition Highlights | Until 2nd December

A tour of some of the collection’s most prized pieces.

Address: 108A Boundary Road, NW8 0RH | Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-5:30pm, Sat-Sun 11am-5pm | Entry: Free

Camden Arts Centre

Camden Arts Centre - art galleries in London

Credit: Hydar Dewachi

What began as a local Arts scheme providing the Hampstead community with classes in everything from painting to pottery, grew, over the past 50 years, into an internationally acclaimed centre for the arts. Housed on the leafier side of Swiss Cottage this enclave of ever rotating, multi disciplinary artistry is a small and quaint affair with an onsite bookshop, cafe, and garden to boot.

WHAT’S ON

Amy Sillman: Landline | Until 6th January

New York-based artist Amy Sillman brings her abstract, multimedia work to a UK gallery exhibition for the first time. Expect riotous, frequently reworked paintings that draw on the postwar style.

Address: Arkwright Road, NW3 6DG | Opening Hours: Tues-Sun 10am-6pm, Wed 10am-9pm | Entry: Free

Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art

The frontage exudes the class and posture of Georgian England, but step inside and you’ll tumble down into the kaleidoscopic world of Italian Futurist Art. Futurism was one of Italy’s most significant contributions to the 20th century and this museum is Britain’s only one dedicated to the movement. Expect sculptures, paintings, landscapes, and the downright bizarre – all from a young nation looking to find la dolce vita.

WHAT’S ON

A New Figurative Art 1920-1945 | Until 23rd December

An array of rarely seen interwar Italian artwork from the private collection of a Milanese lawyer, celebrating artists who moved away from the growing Fascist aesthetic of the time.

Address: 39A Canonbury Square, N1 2AN | Opening Hours: Wed-Sat 11am-6pm, Sun 12pm-5pm | Entry: £6.50/£4.50 (Concession)

House of Illustration

House of Illustration - art galleries in London

London’s only public gallery dedicated to graphic art was founded by a man who undoubtedly etched his creations onto your childhood, Sir Quentin Blake. As Dahl’s illustrator, his work has found itself onto almost every bookshelf in Britain and a small collection of his drawings are on permanent display in the House of Illustration. Set within the old granary buildings just north of Kings Cross, this museum is a dais to doodles – proving that even sketches have their place up on the wall.

WHAT’S ON

100 Figures: The Art of Quentin Blake | Until 27th January 2019

Discover the distinctly un-Roald Dahl side to the great Quentin Blake in this collection of 100 figurative paintings and prints – none of which has been shown before.

Address: 2 Granary Square, King’s Cross, N1C 4BH | Opening Hours: Tue-Sun 10am-6pm | Entry: £7.50/£5.50 (Concession)

Pangolin

Dedicated totally to the three dimensional, the Pangolin details the historic development of British sculpture as well as showcasing the, ahem, cutting-edge of modern contemporary work.

WHAT’S ON

Brian Kneale: A Brimful of Grace | Until 22nd December

A sizeable collection of RA member Brian Kneale’s abstract illustrations, sculptures and paintings.

Address: Kings Place, 90 York Way, N1 9AG | Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-6pm | Entry: Free

Victoria Miro

Representing 40 established and emerging artists, Victoria Miro is one of the largest commercial spaces in London – and a great place to wile away the afternoon pretending you can afford to buy even one item. The Wharf Road gallery is a converted furniture factory and now houses Grayson Perry’s 15m Walthamstow Tapestry amongst numerous other works including the garden itself, landscaped personally for the gallery.

WHAT’S ON

Yayoi Kusama | Until 21st December

New works from the renowned Japanese pop artist known as the polka dot painter. Expect an explosion of colour, pattern, and provocation. SOLD OUT – check the VM Instagram for updates on ticket releases.

Address: 16 Wharf Road, N1 7RW | Opening Hours: Tue-Sat 10am-6pm | Entry: Free


William Morris Gallery

William Morris Gallery - art galleries in London

The original hipster, Morris eschewed Victorian trends in favour of more “retro” Medieval vibes – before going on to propagate the socialist movement in Britain and then sow the seeds of fantasy literature by translating Icelandic epic poetry. His life was as intricate and interconnected as his infamous wallpaper designs, and this delightful museum celebrates every facet of his fascinating existence.

WHAT’S ON

The Enchanted Garden | Until 27th January 2019

Exploring the allure of the garden as artistic stage, featuring works from Monet to Beatrix Potter.

Address: Lloyd Park, Forest Road, E17 4PP | Opening Hours: Wed-Sun 10am-5pm | Entry: Free

 

SOUTH LONDON ART GALLERIES

Dulwich Picture Gallery

The oldest public art gallery in England, this imposing Regency triumph stands proud in well to do Dulwich. Home to an impressive collection of historical works, this is a classic gallery experience. Expect Dutch paintings of cows on bridges, splendid nudity in reenactments of Greco Roman mythology, and a handful of Italian masters.

WHAT’S ON

Ribera: Art of Violence | Until 27th January 2019

Take in the violent, contorted art of the “heir to Caravaggio” in this exhibition that specifically looks at his accomplished works depicting the body in challenging poses. Plus, see a piece of preserved, tattooed human skin.

Address: Gallery Road, SE21 7AD | Opening Hours: Tue-Sun 10am-5pm | Entry: £16.50/£8 (concessions)

Newport Street Gallery

Formaldehyde-bathed bovines and spin-painted pictures, sharks sliced in half, and a golden hooved calf, mountains of artwork all tied up with string, these are a few of Damien Hirst’s favourite things. As one of the richest living artists and most enthusiastic collectors, Hirst is no stranger to the contemporary scene and his personal collection, on show at the Newport Street Gallery, contains over 3,000 works from Bacon, Banksy, Emin and even Picasso.    

WHAT’S ON

Martin Eder: Parasites | Until 13th January 2019

Eder’s work is like stepping inside the internet – expect sparkling rainbow collages of cats; surreal, eye-catching paintings, and relentless mash-ups of the squalid and the sublime.

Address: Newport Street, SE11 6AJ |  Opening Hours: Tue-Sun 10am-6pm | Entry: Free

South London Gallery

South London Gallery - art galleries in London

Camberwell’s contemporary art gallery has always been at the forefront of the South London art scene. Originally the gallery of a local working men’s college, it has always sought to celebrate current artists. That trend continued and, in 1995, it was the first venue to showcase Emin’s infamous “tent”. It now houses a number of permanent exhibits with revolving temporary installations.

WHAT’S ON

Revisiting Women & Work | Until 17th February 2019

A free exhibition revisiting an original collection first shown in 1975.

Address: 65-67 Peckham Road, SE5 8UH | Opening Hours: Tue 11am-6pm, Wed 11am-9pm, Thurs-Sun 11am-6pm | Entry: Free

White Cube Bermondsey

Europe’s biggest commercial gallery has come under its fair share of criticism. Owned and run by an old Etonian and known for displaying works in a cold and clinical manner, it’s easy to see why. But representing the likes of Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst, you can guarantee that the stars of British contemporary art will shine bright on any visit. The whitewashed walls, and strip lighting, can make it feel like a bit like a trip to the hospital (or asylum depending on your view of the work), but this institution of the ever fractious art scene is well worth a wander.

WHAT’S ON

Christine Ay Tjoe Black, kcalB, Black, kcalB | Until 20th January

A dramatic collection of monochrome paintings from Indonesian artist Christine Ay Tjoe, exploring the darkness within the self.

Darren Almond Time Will Tell | Until 20th January

New works from artist Darren Almond inspired by the way time is used to structure our lives. What does that mean in practice? Only time will tell…

Address: 144-152 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3TQ | Opening Hours: Tue-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 12pm-6pm | Entry: Free

 

EAST / THE CITY GALLERIES

Chisenhale Gallery

Sat inside a 1930s veneer factory, Chisenhale Gallery produces and commissions contemporary art in the heart of the East End. Its focus is on emerging and under-represented artists so expect the new and the different in this champion of the people.

WHAT’S ON

Lawrence Abu Hamdan | Until 9th December

Beirut-based artist and ‘private ear’ Abu Hamdan unveils two installations exploring the political effects of listening, and how voices can be heard, using a mix of audio-visual media.

Address: 64 Chisenhale Road, E3 5QZ | Opening Hours: Wed-Sun 12am-6pm | Entry: Free

Guildhall Art Gallery

Guildhall Art Gallery - art galleries in London

Established in 1886 as ‘a collection of art treasures worthy of the capital city’, the Guildhall Gallery is exactly that – a sumptuous assembly of art that you’d expect the captains of industry from centuries past to have amassed. Big sexy frames, portraits of gentlemen with enormous wigs, and an impressive number of Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces are the mainstay of their throng which seeks to show off in telling the story of London town.

WHAT’S ON

Victorian Landscapes

A collection of 19th century painted panoramas, including Constable’s Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows.

Address: Guildhall Yard, EC2V 5AE | Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 12pm-4pm | Entry: Free

Maureen Paley

Paley was a bit of a pioneer in the contemporary art scene, being the first to exhibit in London’s East End. Now representing over 40 individuals, her gallery showcases their work and makes for a varied stroll through some of the UK’s most exciting and decorated contemporary artists. There are two Turner prize winners and even more nominees on show. Which should turn heads.

WHAT’S ON: Main Gallery Only

Address: 21 Herald Street, E2 6JT | Opening Hours: Wed-Sun 11am-6pm  Entry: Free

Whitechapel Gallery

Founded in 1901, this gallery set out to give great art to the masses. Since then it’s had some pretty impressive mates round for tea. Picasso’s Guernica popped by; Pollock, Hockney, and Lucian Freud all logged stays; and currently it displays a mix of modern and contemporary masters.

WHAT’S ON

Mikhail Karikis: No Ordinary Protest | Until 6th Jan

A new commission for Mikhail Karikis; this time a film, telling the well known tale of a female superhero with basic touch based oral power that resonates with the howl of creatures affected by pollution. A bit like Al Gore – if he was a badass broad, instead of a bore.

Surreal Science | Until 6th Jan

A collection of over 200 objects, curated from unexpected materials related to scientific study.

Address: 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, E1 7QX | Opening Hours: Tue-Sun 11am-6pm | Entry: Free

 

WEST LONDON ART GALLERIES

Design Museum

Design Museum Kensington - art galleries in London

Nominated for European Museum of the Year in 2018, the Design Museum is, as you’d expect, very well put together. In the bustling cultural quarter of Kensington, its three floors and two basements serve up permanent exhibitions, learning centres, glass-walled design studios and temporary gallery spaces. The permanent gallery is the only one in the UK to be dedicated completely to contemporary design.

WHAT’S ON

Beazley Designs of the Year 2018 | Until 6th January

Have a mooch around 87 of the most innovative designs from the last 12 months, from fashion to transport.

Address: 224-238 Kensington High Street, W8 6AG | Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 10am-6pm | Entry: Free/£16 temporary exhibitions

Graffik Gallery

Street art off the street is the focus of this gritty and urban gallery. Derived from the Italian to scratch, this ancient form of expression has taken on a new lease of life in our modern times. Whether it’s a growing art form or just an aberration on our city streets, it certainly packs a punch and this collection gives you a vast overview of the city’s strongest pieces – without ever making you step outside.

WHAT’S ON: Main Exhibition Only.

Address: 284 Portobello Road, W10 5TE | Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 11am-6pm | Entry: Free

Leighton House Museum and Art Gallery

Leighton House Museum - art galleries in London

When a noted painter and lord of the realm commissions you to design his house, you’d better bring your A-game. Well, George Aitchison did just that and his creation is now a Grade II listed building, widely revered for its Orientalist and aesthetic interiors – and the home of the Leighton House Museum. The permanent gallery, predictably, contains numerous works from Leighton himself; so expect to cast your eye over lavish oil panoramas of Greek myths, lords and ladies, and ecclesiastical scenes.

WHAT’S ON: The main collection sits alongside a revolving selection of one-off events including live music, art classes, and kite workshops.

Address: 12 Holland Park Road, W14 8LZ | Opening Hours: Wed-Mon 10am-5:30pm | Entry: £9/£7 (Concessions)

Saatchi Gallery

A controversial centre headed by a controversial curator, the Saatchi Gallery has always sought to challenge. Thankfully, viewing its collection is no such thing – it’s the only completely free contemporary art gallery of its size in the world. Its guiding principle has always been to operate as the quirkier B-side to places like the Tate Modern – so expect to find new and unknown works from artists all hoping to be the Hockney of tomorrow.

WHAT’S ON

Black Mirror: Art As Social Satire | Until 13th January

A completely bonkers collection – from an entire shrink-wrapped boat to a room full of wooden gravestones – collating politically charged pieces from some of the most eclectic artists around.

Address: Duke of York’s HQ, Kings Road, SW3 4RY | Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 10am-6pm | Entry: Free

Serpentine Galleries

These two contemporary galleries connect thanks to a snaking bridge that crests the Serpentine – hence the name. In celebration of their idyllic, Eden-esque setting, every summer the gallery commissions a temporary structure to fill its outdoor pavilion.

WHAT’S ON 

Atelier E.B: Passer-by | Until 6th January 2019

Part art exhibition (featuring specially commissioned works from international artists), part shopping emporium (where you can try on the clothes on show), Atelier E.B is a collaboration between designer Beca Lipscombe and artist Lucy McKenzie.

Pierre Hughye: Uumwelt | Until 10th February 2019

I don’t want to exhibit something to someone, but rather the reverse: to exhibit someone to something.Pierre Huyghe. Better bring your A-game, then.

Address: Kensington Gardens, W2 3XA | Opening Hours: Tues-Sun 10am-6pm | Entry: Free

V&A

V&A Museum - art galleries in London

Like the Queen whose name it bears, the V&A is imposing, vast, and spans decades. With 145 galleries and over 5,000 years of art in its collection, it really is an encyclopaedia of design. Since its inception in 1852, the museum has always adopted a policy of “wide art”; attempting to inspire, dazzle, and entertain with its eclectic collection. Today is no different and you can travel the world and back without ever leaving the building (except to look at the courtyard).

WHAT’S ON

Fashioned From Nature | Until 27th January 2019

A catwalk from 1600 to the present day, focussed on the relationship between fashion and nature. Which you’d probably already cottoned on to.

Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt | Until 24th February 2019

Find out how iconic video games were designed through prototypes, sketches and immersive installations.

Address: Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL | Opening Hours: Sat-Thurs 10am-5:45pm, Fri 10am-10pm | Entry: Free / Exhibitions from £12

 

Main image: Hayward Gallery


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