The Most Interesting Contemporary Art Galleries in London

25 May 18
Visiting London

The Most Interesting Contemporary Art Galleries in London

25 May 18

London’s rich and ever-evolving contemporary art scene is known and revered throughout the world, as are the many galleries that showcase the city’s finest art. With so many to choose from, however, even the most dedicated art lover might feel out of their depth, which is why we’ve put together our must-visit list of the most impressive and intriguing contemporary art galleries that London has to offer.

With visitor numbers in the millions each year, the Tate Modern, housed within a gargantuan converted power station on London’s Bankside, takes the top spot for most-visited contemporary art gallery in the world. Its special exhibitions have created notable buzz in the city, and are always worth a visit, though the permanent collection open to the non-fee-paying public is just as impressive, including famous works such as Picasso’s Nude Woman With Necklace, Warhol’s Marilyn Diptych and Monet’s Water Lilies.

Opened in 1985 by Charles Saatchi to showcase his collection, the Saatchi Gallery  is the place to go if you want to catch a glimpse of the artists of tomorrow, today. Exclusively exhibiting works by previously unknown young artists, as well as international artists whose work has been rarely or never exhibited in the UK, visitors can stay ahead of the curve and experience the very beginning of what will inevitably be very bright careers in the industry.

With a rolling programme of several exhibitions every year, it’s impossible to get bored of the Whitechapel Gallery. Over the years, it has played host to a series of ground-breaking works – Picasso’s La Guernica, for example – as well as the first major David Hockney retrospective and the British premiere of Mark Rothko, earning its reputation as a true destination gallery and one of the best contemporary art spaces in London.

If modern photography is more up your street, it’ll be off to Soho and the Photographers’ Gallery for you. To champion photography for everyone is their mission, and it has certainly succeeded so far, having introduced such international photographers as Juergen Teller, Robert Capa, Sebastião Salgado, Andreas Gursky and Taryn Simon to British audiences.

Alternatively, for a dose of more radical art and culture, visit the Institute of Contemporary Arts on the Mall in St James’s, whose full calendar of discussions, exhibitions, debates and workshops has given it a reputation as the artist’s art gallery, not to mention the home of independent film and cinema.


With outposts in New York, Paris, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Rome, Athens, Geneva and Hong Kong, Gagosian is synonymous with high-quality, endlessly intriguing contemporary art. Its three London galleries are no different, and regularly play host to some of the biggest names in the industry.

If the beauty of the gallery itself is just as important to you as what is inside, the Victoria Miro Gallery in the Angel and Islington area will not disappoint. One of the city’s largest and most aesthetically pleasing commercial spaces, this gallery is home to 40 established and emerging artists, each represented by a true grande dame of London’s thriving art scene, Victoria Miro.


Feature images © Saatchi Gallery; Godrick; Whitechapel Gallery; IPA


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