An Art Tour of London

Today, London’s art scene is infamous the world over. Be it lining the grand rooms of The National Gallery, or jutting from the floorboards of a derelict squat in Hackney Wick – art is everywhere in London. Previously, London was hemmed in by its a lot more culturally much more significant neighbours on either side: Paris along with New York – whose art markets had been notoriously either more affluent, more experimental, or even both. Nevertheless, since the increase in the early nineties of the notorious YBAs, London has stood firmly at the epicentre of the artistic world, with both an immense array of fledgling galleries run by pupils and artists spread out throughout the ex industrial east; and the ludicrously moneyed galleries and auction houses of the glittering west.

Any visitor to London will be smart to start with the familiar as well as welcoming – and where better for that than Tate Modern. Its is architecture, location, and remit of delivering informative and approachable displays of contemporary and modern art has demonstrated a huge success with guests and, along with Tate Britain across the river, provides an incredible launch pad for appreciating London’s artistic heritage.


More contemporaneously however, The ICA is a great place to see something truly new. With an ever changing roster of exhibitions across three floors, The ICA has a reputation for putting on tough exhibitions, on top of some respite in the form of a decent small bar and a really good bookshop.

An equivalent to The ICA is going to be Whitechapel Gallery by Aldgate East: another put that, since the sixties, has provided a venue for some of the most enjoyable artists from around the earth.

As soon as you’re feeling warmed up by these institutions (or perhaps completely frazzled), you may wish to delve slightly deeper into the small, commercial gallery world of East London. Frequently a much more thrilling experience than participating in the shows at the identified venues, seeking the great stuff could be a challenging and sometimes unrewarding experience. Nevertheless, determination would be rewarded with a number of potentially wonderful sights, not to mention the smug awareness that, unlike the other five million-odd London sight seers, you have realized something relatively special.
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