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. Before, London was hemmed in by its more culturally a lot more significant neighbours on whichever side: Paris along with New York – whose art markets ended up being notoriously either more wealthy, much more experimental, or perhaps both. However, after the increase in early nineties of the notorious YBAs, London has stood firmly at the epicentre of the artistic world, with both a massive array of fledgling galleries run by pupils and artists scattered throughout the ex industrial east; and the ludicrously moneyed galleries and auction houses of the glittering west.
Any website visitor to London will be wise to start off along with the usual and also welcoming – and where better for that than Tate Modern. Its is remit, location, and architecture of delivering informative and approachable displays of modern and contemporary art has proved a major success with guests and, along with Tate Britain across the river, provides a great launch pad for appreciating London’s artistic heritage.
More contemporaneously however, The ICA is a great place to see something genuinely new. With an ever changing roster of exhibitions across 3 floors, The ICA has a recognition for applying tough exhibitions, along with some respite in the form of a decent little bar and a pretty good bookshop.
An equivalent to The ICA is going to be Whitechapel Gallery by Aldgate East: another place that, since the sixties, has provided a venue for several of the most enjoyable artists from around the planet.
Once you’re feeling warmed-up by these institutions (or maybe completely frazzled), you might want to delve a little deeper into the little, commercial gallery world of East London. Generally a much more thrilling experience than going to the shows at the identified venues, trying to find the good things can be a daunting as well as occasionally unrewarding experience. However, persistence will be rewarded with some likely awesome sights, as well as the smug awareness that, unlike the other five million-odd London sight seers, you have realized something kind of unique.
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