Modern art galleries in London, which one should you visit?

When one thinks of modern art galleries in London, the Tate Modern will immediately come to mind , fair enough, but London offers so much more. You won’t find much modern art at the National Gallery , British Museum much less the Science Museum of London, but London has not only these museums.

In addition to permanent collections such as those that can be found in several museums, you will always find a variety of temporary exhibitions of modern art. Of course we need to define the concept of modern art, whether or not we are to include Cubism or Expressionism or just include abstract paintings and installations.

When it comes to temporary exhibitions, another important distinction must be made. The exhibitions held in traditional public or private museums and art galleries and those held in the many private art galleries usually created for sales purposes. The latter are almost always free.

Modern Art Galleries in London

The Hayward Gallery is an iconic contemporary art gallery in London, England. It was founded in 1968 and was a landmark on the south bank of the Thames since its opening. It specializes in  contemporary visual arts, with a particular focus on innovative new media works and sculptures.

The Whitechapel Gallery was born as an art gallery in 1901 and has since become one of the leading institutions for contemporary art in London. The gallery is now located on the north side of Mile End Road, near Whitechapel Station.

The Courtauld Gallery is a London art gallery that features a fine collection of paintings or. It houses works by artists such as Botticelli, Rubens, Claude Monet, Van Gogh and many others. The founder of the gallery is Samuel Courtauld who was a textile manufacturer. He donated his entire collection to the nation in 1901 provided it kept his name. It also has exhibits that include expressionist and cubist art. It is located inside Somerset House. It’s not free but it’s well worth a visit.

The  Saatchi Gallery is located on King’s Road, Chelsea Embankment, SW3. It was opened in 1985 by Charles Saatchi as a  venue to exhibit his private collection of contemporary art. It is the first gallery in Great Britain to dedicate an entire building to the exhibition of works by contemporary artists, from Warhol and Hirst to Emin and Murakami. It hasn’t been without controversy, but it remains one of London’s most influential artistic venues. It’s also free.

The Royal Academy of Arts was founded in 1768 by George III. It is a non-profit institution and has been a key player in promoting the arts. The Academy was initially founded to promote, develop and support artistic education and awareness. It often has temporary exhibitions of modern art and emerging artists.

Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art as the name implies, it is an Italian contemporary art gallery. There are temporary exhibitions also not of Italian artists, but somehow connected to Italy.

The Serpentine Gallery is a state-of-the-art gallery located in Hyde Park . It was founded in 1970 as a non-profit art organization.The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion – designed by award-winning architect Zaha Hadid – first opened to the public on 17 July 2010. The building was designed to create intimate moments and has an undulating shape that echoes the serpentine shape of the Serpentine. Some of the temporary exhibitions in recent years have been: “Ai Weiwei: Second What?”, “Richard Serra Sculpture”, “Tadao Ando: the first person in history with a museum dedicated exclusively to his work “and” Sketches for New Work “.

The  Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) is located on The Mall in central London. It is located on the north side of the road, facing the National Gallery and next to the hall of Queen Elizabeth II. ICA promotes contemporary art through exhibitions, a cinema and various artistic media. It also provides educational programs for adults and youth.

Other places that can have contemporary art exhibits are Somerset House and the Barbican Art Gallery.

Then there are the modern art galleries in London that organise exhibitions to sell the works of artists. We are in London and therefore there are also exhibitions of many great artists. These are almost always free. We can’t list them all but the major places where you can find these exhibits are:

There Gagosian gallery is one of the most influential modern art galleries in the world. They are known for their solo exhibitions and collaborations with artists such as Jeff Koons, Andy Warhol, and Takashi Murakami. It originally opened in New York in the ’70 as an alternative to the traditional tunnel system. It was founded by Larry Gagosian who wanted to represent artists who had been marginalized by the largest galleries at the time.

The White Cube was one of the first galleries to establish a non-residence policy. They began accepting contemporary art from new and unknown artists in the 1970 in their exhibition space. This was a big step forward for artists who did not have the time and money to spend on creating a body of work that would qualify them for acceptance by other galleries that had special requirements.

Halcyon Gallery is a gallery with an eclectic mix of established and emerging contemporary artists, such as: Nuri Kambam, Tessa Paul, Jonti Roos, Chris McQueen, Kathryn Andrews

The  Hauser Wirth Gallery is a privately owned gallery showing exhibits temporary with the work of contemporary artists. The gallery was founded in 2006 by Michael Hauser and Andrea Wirth. The Hauser Wirth Gallery has three locations: one in the Swiss town of Meggen, another in London in Bruton Place and a third on the island of Saint Barthélemy.

The  Lisson Gallery was founded in 1967 to bridge the gap between commercial galleries and curatorial institutions. The founders were looking for something in the middle: a place where artists can show work without curators or dealers, without the need for an expert to approve or reject their work.

Gasworks located in Kennington is an organization that helps and promotes new artists, here you can see temporary exhibitions.

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