Culture in Every Corner of a City
The art world is always shaping and changing with galleries popping up and closing down, emerging artists, auction highs and lows and new areas of cities becoming cultural hubs to name just a few points. That’s why we at the BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors find it important to keep our content fresh.
Here, we present the newly updated London shorty that tells you exactly where you should know where to go. Made up of 236 collections in 39 countries, the third edition of the BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors features a number of short texts that take a closer look into the vast world of collecting with new texts from Venice, Barcelona and Basel.
The exclusive center, the elegant West, the hip East, or the up-and-coming South: in London, contemporary art has developed its own urban coordinates, according to which you can plan your art escapades. In the West, long distances must be traversed between institutions, such as the Serpentine Galleries in Hyde Park, the Saatchi Gallery, and the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA). But in Mayfair and St James’s—within the vicinity of the Royal Academy of Arts (RA)—the most prominent auction houses and galleries, such as Pace, Hauser & Wirth, David Zwirner, and Sprüth Magers, are huddled between designer boutiques and grand hotels that offer high tea. Super-dealer Larry Gagosian established an impressive exhibition hall near King's Cross station, in addition to his gallery in Mayfair, while north of Oxford Street, around Eastcastle Street, you can find another hotspot for contemporaries: the Fitzrovia district, which is now home to more than twenty-five galleries, including Alison Jacques and Carroll/Fletcher. The East End of London is not solely a hipster and media hub: from the Old Street Roundabout, near where Victoria Miro and Modern Art are located, galleries like Maureen Paley and scores of artists' studios spread from Shoreditch to Hackney Wick. Any visit to the East should include the Whitechapel Gallery, with its cutting-edge exhibitions. In the Southeast, with the exception of White Cube Gallery, on Bermondsey Street, close to the iconic Tate Modern, there are few commercial galleries. There are, however, the art schools Camberwell College of Arts and Goldsmiths, which feature graduate shows each summer. In between these is the non-commercial South London Gallery. Following a visit there you can round off a fine summer evening at Frank's Bar, surrounded by art students, on the roof of a parking garage in Peckham, overlooking the annual sculpture exhibition Bold Tendencies—and the London skyline.
Anne Reimers is a London-based art historian and journalist, reporting since 2006 on art auctions, fairs, and exhibitions in the British capital. She is also Senior Lecturer for Visual Culture and Fashion Theory at the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) in Rochester, England.