United Kingdom

City Guide: London and its Contemporary Art Spaces and Exhibitions

London's most anticipated commercial art event is, arguably, the annual Frieze Art Fair. Featuring curated sections, talks programmes, and more than 160 of the world's most outstanding galleries, the week-long fair in October is the Frieze brand's prized flagship, even with editions in New York and Los Angeles. Over at Somerset House, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair takes place over five days. Recent editions have included a series of special projects, a forum, and a talks programme.

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But, of course, London is more than a pit stop for mega-collectors and star curators: it is home to countless artist-run initiatives and not-for-profits that have long formed the beating heart of the city's arts ecology. In South London, 198 Contemporary Arts & Learning focuses on supporting BAMER (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic, and Refugee) artists and curators in breaking through the art-world's racial and socio-economic barriers. For over 30 years, their aim has been to foster sustainability and an enduring sense of community. Turf Projects, the first contemporary art space run by artists in Croydon, has a similarly communal ethos behind its dynamic programme of exhibitions and public events. Founded in 2013 and located in two former retail units, Turf showcases the work of emerging and established, as well as local and international, artists.

Meanwhile, the itinerant b.Dewitt Gallery—a self-described 'entry point to the international art scene for U.K. based artists'—combines the responsiveness of an artist-run initiative with the ambition of a bricks and mortar gallery. In Islington, Cubitt fosters critical, peer-led activity including a locally-focused art education programme, while South London Gallery's collection and history, dating as far back as the 19th century, has proved no impediment to staying as relevant as its non-collecting counterparts.

In East London, Chisenhale Gallery has made its name over the years as a bellwether of contemporary art, commissioning new works by the likes of Rosalind Nashashibi, Ed Atkins, Amalia Pica, Park McArthur, and Hannah Black, during the formative stages of their careers. Similarly, Gasworks in Vauxhall is best-known for its solo exhibitions and public events—but its residency and studio programmes are just as worthy of acclaim. A half-hour away from Gasworks, you can experience Auto Italia's commissioned collaborations with emerging artists, many of whom go on to exhibit all over Europe. And across the city, in northwest London's Waterlow Park, LUX—Europe's largest distributor of artists' film and video—showcases the best in moving-image, including the work of several Turner Prize winners and nominees. Check out their latest offering before strolling through Waterlow Park en route to the nearby Highgate cemetery, where you will find the tombs of Karl Marx, George Eliot, and Malcolm McLaren.

For those in London from January through February, the international gallery exchange CONDO—where host galleries share their spaces with visiting galleries—brings together some of the world's most talked about artists. Founded in 2016 by Vanessa Carlos of Carlos/Ishikawa in Whitechapel, whose own roster of artists includes art stars Oscar Murillo and Korakrit Arunanondchai, CONDO has expanded to include Mexico City, New York, Shanghai, Athens, and São Paolo. Its list of participants—all worth visiting at any time of the year—reads like a veritable roll call of London's most exciting small- to mid-scale private galleries: Southard Reid, Arcadia Missa, Rodeo, Pilar Corrias (all in West London); Project Native Informant, Hollybush Gardens, Kate MacGarry, Emalin, Union Pacific, Modern Art, The Approach, Maureen Paley (all in East London); Green Grassi and The Sunday Painter (both in South London).

The annual Serpentine pavilion commission is possibly the trademark London art event, for which the gallery invites renowned architects to design temporary structures in Hyde Park. With collaborators like Herzog de Meuron, Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, and SANAA, it is no surprise that the pavilion attracts as much international attention.

London's larger galleries and museums exert their own force with a revolving programme that ranges from early career to blue-chip. Head to The Photographers' Gallery to see the best in lens-based art, the Royal Academy for its crowd-pleasing exhibitions and annual summer show, or stop by The Barbican and experience the surrounding brutalist complex that is one of London's great architectural marvels. At Southbank Centre's Hayward Gallery, give yourself several hours to see one of its large-scale exhibitions before heading to the Institute of Contemporary Art, which has recently emerged as London's home of cutting edge film programming.

An experience of London's art world would be incomplete without a trip to Tate Britain or, the most popular modern art museum in the world, Tate Modern. For smaller crowds but no less stimulating shows, visit Camden Arts Centre, Serpentine Gallery, Whitechapel Gallery, or the recently inaugurated Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art (designed by Turner Prize-winning architects, Assemble). Finish with a trip to see the National Portrait Gallery's storied collection and Victoria & Albert Museum—home of epoch-making blockbusters such as Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty and David Bowie Is.


Current Exhibition | London
29 June–14 August 2020
David Batchelor

NEW WORK: David Batchelor

Waddington Custot View Exhibition
Courtesy Waddington Custot. 
NEW WORK: David Batchelor
Current Exhibition | London
26 June–19 September 2020
Group Exhibition

Back to London. A journey through image, time, word and space

Mazzoleni View Exhibition
Courtesy Mazzoleni.
Back to London. A journey through image, time, word and space
Current Exhibition | London
25 June–8 August 2020
Justin Caguiat

Permutation City 1999

Modern Art View Exhibition
Exhibition view: Justin Caguiat, Permutation City 1999, Modern Art, Helmet Row, London (25 June–8 August 2020). Courtesy Modern Art.
Permutation City 1999
Current Exhibition | London
22 June–31 July 2020
Damien Deroubaix
HdM GALLERY View Exhibition
Exhibition view: Damien Deroubaix, HdM GALLERY, London (22 June–31 July 2020). Courtesy HdM GALLERY.
Damien Deroubaix
Current Exhibition | London
18 June–1 August 2020
Peter Peri

Course

Almine Rech View Exhibition
Peter Peri, Super Topology (2019). Marker pen and spray paint on canvas. 190 cm x 280 cm. © Peter Peri. Courtesy the Artist and Almine Rech.
Course
Current Exhibition | London
18 June–1 August 2020
Ewa Juszkiewicz

The Grass divides as with a Comb

Almine Rech View Exhibition
Ewa Juszkiewicz, Untitled (after Joseph Wright) (2020). Oil on canvas. 160 x 125 cm. © Ewa Juszkiewicz. Courtesy the Artist and Almine Rech.
The Grass divides as with a Comb
Current Exhibition | London
15 June–11 July 2020
Gabriel de la Mora

Neornithes

Timothy Taylor View Exhibition
Gabriel de la Mora, 1,590 I  (2018) (detail). Pigmented turkey feathers on museum cardboard. 60 x 60 cm. Courtesy Timothy Taylor. 
Neornithes
Current Exhibition | London
15 June–31 July 2020
Group Exhibition

Crushed, Cast, Constructed: Sculpture by John Chamberlain, Urs Fischer, and Charles Ray

Gagosian View Exhibition
John Chamberlain, Untitled (1967). Galvanised steel. 36 x 28 1/2 x 27 1/2 inches / 91.4 x 72.4 x 69.9 cm. © 2020 Fairweather & Fairweather LTD / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy Gagosian. Photo: Peter Schälchli, Zurich.
Crushed, Cast, Constructed: Sculpture by John Chamberlain, Urs Fischer, and Charles Ray
Current Exhibition | London
15 June–31 July 2020
Piero Golia
Gagosian View Exhibition
Piero Golia, Untitled (lightning) (2020) (still). 35mm film (colour, silent, 1 minute 57 seconds) and projector, overall dimensions variable. © Piero Golia. Courtesy Gagosian. Photo: Martin Lisius, StormShock.
Piero Golia
Current Exhibition | London
11 June–14 August 2020
David Annesley

NEW WORK: David Annesley

Waddington Custot View Exhibition
David Annesley, Mirror (2019). Painted aluminium. 219 x 219 x 62 cm. Courtesy Waddington Custot.
NEW WORK: David Annesley
Current Exhibition | London
27 May–18 September 2020
Cecil Beaton
Huxley-Parlour View Exhibition
Cecil Beaton, Baba Beaton (1926) (detail). Stamped with sotheby's cecil beaton studio ink stamp on reverse. Silver gelatin print. 11 3/4 x 7 1/2 inches. Courtesy Huxley-Parlour.
Cecil Beaton
Current Exhibition | London
10 March–24 July 2020
Ella Kruglyanskaya

This is a Robbery

Thomas Dane Gallery View Exhibition
Ella Kruglyanskaya, LA Mugs (2019) (detail). Oil on linen. © Ella Kruglyanskaya. Courtesy Thomas Dane Gallery.
This is a Robbery
Current Exhibition | London
6 March–31 July 2020
Paul Klee

Late Klee

David Zwirner View Exhibition
Exhibition view: Paul Klee, Late Klee, David Zwirner, London (6 March–31 July 2020). Courtesy David Zwirner. Photo: Jack Hems.
Late Klee
Current Exhibition | London
6 March–31 July 2020
Bridget Riley

Studies: 1984–1997

David Zwirner View Exhibition
Exhibition view: Bridget Riley, Studies: 1984–1997, David Zwirner, London (6 March– 31 July 2020). Courtesy David Zwirner. Photo: Anna Arca.
Studies: 1984–1997
Current Exhibition | London
2 March–31 July 2020
Mimmo Rotella

Beyond Décollage: Photo Emulsions and Artypos, 1963-1980

Cardi Gallery View Exhibition
Exhibition view: Mimmo Rotello, Beyond Décollage: Photo Emulsions and Artypos, 1963–1980, Cardi Gallery, London (3 March–31 July 2020). Courtesy Cardi Gallery. 
Beyond Décollage: Photo Emulsions and Artypos, 1963-1980
Current Exhibition | London
14 February–30 July 2020
Rose Finn-Kelcey
Kate MacGarry View Exhibition
Exhibition view: Rose Finn-Kelcey, Kate MacGarry, London (14 February–30 July 2020). Courtesy Kate MacGarry. Photo: Angus Mill. 
Rose Finn-Kelcey
Current Exhibition | London
12 February–12 September 2020
Group Exhibition

Morandi, Balla, de Chirico and Italian Painting 1920–1950

Tornabuoni Art View Exhibition
Exhibition view: Group Exhibition, Morandi, Balla, de Chirico and Italian Painting 1920–1950, Tornabuoni Art, London (12 February–12 September 2020). Courtesy Tornabuoni Art. 
Morandi, Balla, de Chirico and Italian Painting 1920–1950
Current Exhibition | London
11 February–14 August 2020
James Turrell
Pace Gallery View Exhibition
Exhibition view: James Turrell, Pace Gallery, London (11 February–14 August 2020). © James Turrell. Courtesy Pace Gallery. Photo: Damian Griffiths.
James Turrell
Current Exhibition | London
7 February–1 August 2020
Alina Szapocznikow

To Exalt the Ephemeral: Alina Szapocznikow, 1962 – 1972

Hauser & Wirth View Exhibition
Exhibition view: Alina Szapocznikow, To Exalt the Ephemeral: Alina Szapocznikow, 1962 – 1972, Hauser & Wirth, London (7 February–1 August 2020). © ADAGP, Paris. Courtesy the Estate of Alina Szapocznikow / Piotr Stanislawski / Galerie Loevenbruck, Paris / and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Alex Delfanne.
To Exalt the Ephemeral: Alina Szapocznikow, 1962 – 1972
Current Exhibition | London
7 February–1 August 2020
Isa Genzken

Window

Hauser & Wirth View Exhibition
Exhibition view: Isa Genzken, Window, Hauser & Wirth, London (7 February–1 August 2020). © Isa Genzken / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy the artist, Hauser & Wirth and Galerie Buchholz Cologne / Berlin / New York. Photo: Alex Delfanne.
Window
Upcoming Exhibition | London
9 July–15 August 2020
Group Exhibition

A Relationship of Parts: Christy Matson and Taylor Kibby

Timothy Taylor View Exhibition
Courtesy Timothy Taylor.
A Relationship of Parts: Christy Matson and Taylor Kibby
Upcoming Exhibition | London
9 July–11 September 2020
David Goldblatt

Johannesburg 1948 – 2018

Goodman Gallery View Exhibition
David Goldblatt, Cup final, Orlando Stadium, Soweto (1972). Courtesy Goodman Gallery. 
Johannesburg 1948 – 2018
Upcoming Exhibition | London
13 July–8 August 2020
Sophie von Hellermann

A Missummer Night's Dream

Pilar Corrias View Exhibition
Courtesy Pilar Corrias. 
A Missummer Night's Dream
Upcoming Exhibition | London
6 October–17 November 2020
Fabienne Verdier

The Vortex Paintings

Waddington Custot View Exhibition
Courtesy Waddington Custot. 
The Vortex Paintings

Current Exhibitions In London

View All Past Exhibitions (642)
Contemporary art exhibition, David Batchelor, NEW WORK: David Batchelor at Waddington Custot, London
29 June–14 August 2020 David Batchelor NEW WORK: David Batchelor Waddington CustotLondon
Contemporary art exhibition, Justin Caguiat, Permutation City 1999 at Modern Art, London
25 June–8 August 2020 Justin Caguiat Permutation City 1999 Modern ArtHelmet Row, London
Contemporary art exhibition, Damien Deroubaix, Damien Deroubaix at HdM GALLERY, London
22 June–31 July 2020 Damien Deroubaix HdM GALLERYLondon
Contemporary art exhibition, Peter Peri, Course at Almine Rech, London
18 June–1 August 2020 Peter Peri Course Almine RechLondon
Contemporary art exhibition, Ewa Juszkiewicz, The Grass divides as with a Comb at Almine Rech, London
18 June–1 August 2020 Ewa Juszkiewicz The Grass divides as with a Comb Almine RechLondon
Contemporary art exhibition, Gabriel de la Mora, Neornithes at Timothy Taylor, London
15 June–11 July 2020 Gabriel de la Mora Neornithes Timothy TaylorLondon
Contemporary art exhibition, Piero Golia, Piero Golia at Gagosian, London
15 June–31 July 2020 Piero Golia GagosianBritannia Street, London
Contemporary art exhibition, David Annesley, NEW WORK: David Annesley at Waddington Custot, London
11 June–14 August 2020 David Annesley NEW WORK: David Annesley Waddington CustotLondon
Contemporary art exhibition, Cecil Beaton, Cecil Beaton at Huxley-Parlour, London
27 May–18 September 2020 Cecil Beaton Huxley-ParlourLondon
Contemporary art exhibition, Ella Kruglyanskaya, This is a Robbery at Thomas Dane Gallery, London
10 March–24 July 2020 Ella Kruglyanskaya This is a Robbery Thomas Dane GalleryLondon
Contemporary art exhibition, Paul Klee, Late Klee at David Zwirner, London
6 March–31 July 2020 Paul Klee Late Klee David ZwirnerLondon
Contemporary art exhibition, Bridget Riley, Studies: 1984–1997 at David Zwirner, London
6 March–31 July 2020 Bridget Riley Studies: 1984–1997 David ZwirnerLondon
Contemporary art exhibition, Rose Finn-Kelcey, Rose Finn-Kelcey at Kate MacGarry, London
14 February–30 July 2020 Rose Finn-Kelcey Kate MacGarryLondon
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Morandi, Balla, de Chirico and Italian Painting 1920–1950 at Tornabuoni Art, London
12 February–12 September 2020 Group Exhibition Morandi, Balla, de Chirico and Italian Painting 1920–1950 Tornabuoni ArtLondon
Contemporary art exhibition, James Turrell, James Turrell at Pace Gallery, London
11 February–14 August 2020 James Turrell Pace GalleryLondon
Contemporary art exhibition, Isa Genzken, Window at Hauser & Wirth, London
7 February–1 August 2020 Isa Genzken Window Hauser & WirthLondon
Contemporary art exhibition, David Goldblatt, Johannesburg 1948 – 2018 at Goodman Gallery, London
9 July–11 September 2020 David Goldblatt Johannesburg 1948 – 2018 Goodman GalleryLondon
Contemporary art exhibition, Sophie von Hellermann, A Missummer Night's Dream at Pilar Corrias, London
13 July–8 August 2020 Sophie von Hellermann A Missummer Night's Dream Pilar CorriasLondon
Contemporary art exhibition, Fabienne Verdier, The Vortex Paintings at Waddington Custot, London
6 October–17 November 2020 Fabienne Verdier The Vortex Paintings Waddington CustotLondon

Ocula Member Galleries In London

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Almine Rech contemporary art gallery in London, United Kingdom Almine Rech Brussels, London, New York, Paris, Shanghai
Campoli Presti contemporary art gallery in London, United Kingdom Campoli Presti London, Paris
Cardi Gallery contemporary art gallery in London, United Kingdom Cardi Gallery London, Milan
David Zwirner contemporary art gallery in London, United Kingdom David Zwirner New York, London, Paris, Hong Kong
Gagosian contemporary art gallery in Grosvenor Hill, London, United Kingdom Gagosian New York, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, London, Paris, Le Bourget, Geneva, Basel, Rome, Athens, Hong Kong
Gagosian contemporary art gallery in Britannia Street, London, United Kingdom Gagosian New York, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, London, Paris, Le Bourget, Geneva, Basel, Rome, Athens, Hong Kong
Gagosian contemporary art gallery in Davies Street, London, United Kingdom Gagosian New York, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, London, Paris, Le Bourget, Geneva, Basel, Rome, Athens, Hong Kong
Gazelli Art House contemporary art gallery in London, United Kingdom Gazelli Art House Baku, London
Goodman Gallery contemporary art gallery in London, United Kingdom Goodman Gallery Johannesburg, Cape Town, London
Hauser & Wirth contemporary art gallery in London, United Kingdom Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong, Zurich, London, New York, Los Angeles, Somerset, Gstaad, St. Moritz
HdM GALLERY contemporary art gallery in London, United Kingdom HdM GALLERY Beijing, Hangzhou, London
Kate MacGarry contemporary art gallery in London, United Kingdom Kate MacGarry London
Lévy Gorvy contemporary art gallery in London, United Kingdom Lévy Gorvy New York, London, Hong Kong, Zurich
Lisson Gallery contemporary art gallery in Lisson Street, London, United Kingdom Lisson Gallery London, New York, Shanghai
Lisson Gallery contemporary art gallery in Bell Street, London, United Kingdom Lisson Gallery London, New York, Shanghai
Marian Goodman Gallery contemporary art gallery in London, United Kingdom Marian Goodman Gallery New York, Paris, London
Maureen Paley contemporary art gallery in London, United Kingdom Maureen Paley London, Hove
Mazzoleni contemporary art gallery in London, United Kingdom Mazzoleni London, Turin
Modern Art contemporary art gallery in Helmet Row, London, United Kingdom Modern Art London
Modern Art contemporary art gallery in Vyner Street, London, United Kingdom Modern Art London
Pace Gallery contemporary art gallery in London, United Kingdom Pace Gallery New York, London, Geneva, Palo Alto, Hong Kong, Seoul, Beijing
Paragon contemporary art gallery in London, United Kingdom Paragon London
Pilar Corrias contemporary art gallery in London, United Kingdom Pilar Corrias London
Simon Lee Gallery contemporary art gallery in London, United Kingdom Simon Lee Gallery Hong Kong, London, New York
Sprüth Magers contemporary art gallery in London, United Kingdom Sprüth Magers Berlin, London, Los Angeles
Thomas Dane Gallery contemporary art gallery in London, United Kingdom Thomas Dane Gallery London, Naples
Timothy Taylor contemporary art gallery in London, United Kingdom Timothy Taylor London, New York
Tornabuoni Art contemporary art gallery in London, United Kingdom Tornabuoni Art Florence, Milan, Lucca, Paris, London, Crans Montana
Victoria Miro contemporary art gallery in Mayfair, London, United Kingdom Victoria Miro London, Venice
Victoria Miro contemporary art gallery in Wharf Road, London, United Kingdom Victoria Miro London, Venice

Contemporary Institutions In London

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London In Ocula Magazine

View All (73)
Spotlight: Mike Silva’s London Paintings Ocula Insight Spotlight: Mike Silva’s London Paintings By Rory Mitchell, London

Silva's images are derived from photographs he took throughout his life in the 1990s and early 2000s in London, but were only transformed into paintings recently—a distance that imbues the work with a tenderness and vulnerability as we become witnesses to Silva's personal memories. Mike Silva, Kitchen Window (2020). Oil on linen....

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Tate Britain Announces Turner Prize Bursary Winners Ocula News Tate Britain Announces Turner Prize Bursary Winners London, 3 July 2020

Ten British or Britain-based artists will receive the £10,000 bursary.

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Justin Caguiat Blends Paint and Memory Ocula Insight Justin Caguiat Blends Paint and Memory By Tessa Moldan, London

The exhibition follows on from the artist's first solo show in 2018 at 15 Orient in New York, a crumbling, elegant apartment owned by Paul Gondry and Shelby Jackson in Brooklyn. Caguiat's large-scale paintings were pinned to white walls: rich yet muted tones containing pointillist patterns and organic forms, their stylistic references ranging...

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Maureen Paley: A Trailblazing Gallerist Ocula Conversation Maureen Paley: A Trailblazing Gallerist By Rory Mitchell, London

After moving to London from her native East Coast of the United States, Maureen Paley opened her first gallery in the front room of her Victorian terraced house in 1984. She gave numerous international artists, including Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Mike Kelley, Charles Ray, and Christian Marclay their first exhibitions in London, quickly...

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Recent Events In London

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Contemporary art exhibition, Art Basel Online at Ocula Private Sales & Advisory, London
19–26 June 2020 Art Basel Online

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