But, while we love the Tate Modern and co., a weekend visit can sometimes feel more stress-fest than cerebral day out. The solution to this troubling issue: The city's excellent alternative art spaces. Here, we present the definitive guide to our favourite secret spots. Some are right off the beaten track, while others are smack-bang in the centre of town, but all miraculously manage to stay unscathed by the hoards. Read and learn...
The gallery has its own landscaped garden that overlooks the Regent’s Canal, making it a true sanctuary— and it’s just a stone’s throw from the City. Victoria Miro represents high-rolling artists like William Eggleston, Yayoi Kusama and Grayson Perry, as well as many emerging names, ensuring you’ll always be in for a treat whenever you pay her a visit.
Where: 16 Wharf Road, London N1 7RW; 020 7336 8109
At the end of a quiet terrace of houses in Mile End right by Victoria Park, this single-room exhibition space is just the job if you’re in the market for seeing art’s next big thing. Chisenhale is a place where art is not just collected for presentation, but where it is actually created, and the gallery prides itself on commissioning new works from up-and-coming names like Helen Marten. The upshot means you will always stumble across something utterly new.
Where: 64 Chisenhale Road, E3 5QZ; 020 8981 4518
Behind an inauspicious frontage in Camden Town lies a humungous former furniture factory that has been gutted and painted white to house the impressive art swag collected by property developer David Roberts. He set up the David Roberts Art Foundation (DRAF) back in 2007 — the non-profit organisation is responsible for a collection of more than 1800 works, spanning more than 700 international artists. DRAF has recently upped sticks from Fitzrovia to Camden so that some of the larger works in the collection can be accommodated. The space is genuinely jaw-dropping, as is the Camden gallery’s inaugural exhibition "House of Leaves", which allows Roberts to truly flex his art collection’s muscles with pieces from Man Ray, Gerhard Richter and Louise Bourgeois. Perfect if you’re in the mood for a bit of mental ping-pong.
Where: David Roberts Art Foundation, Symes Mews, NW1 7JE; 020 7383 3004
With Goldsmiths just around the corner, it’s perhaps no surprise that this unassuming shop front on Deptford High Street is the place to find works by the city’s hotter-than-now talent. True, the total gallery space is only marginally larger than the average living room, but Bearspace makes every inch count by working with the freshest emerging artists, and displaying a mix of medias. They even manage to fit in a killer gallery shop.
Where: 152 Deptford High Street, SE8 3PQ; 020 8694 8097
No summer should be complete without a trip to this fabulous Peckham multi-storey-cum-seasonal-art-space. The disused car-park has become a true hipster hang, and the endless (and slightly eerie) floor space makes for the perfect place for showing large-scale installations. When you've had your share of culture, you can always head to Frank’s Campari Bar on the top floor and take in one of the best views of London.
Where: Levels 7-10, Peckham Multi-Story, 95A Rye Lane, SE15 5ST; check the website for seasonal opening hours
Photos courtesy of Bearspace, Bold Tendencies, DRAF and the Chisenhale Gallery.
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