London Weekend Gallery: Friday Guide | Central London
We are so excited about the London Gallery Weekend! You may have heard about it through the grapevine as this new initiative for people to visit the wonderful galleries of London again. But also, you may not have heard much about it as it is the first time running. To help make this event more accessible and support your discovery, we’ve put together something special for you.
The pandemic has hit us all, no doubt. The art world, in particular, has struggled, with galleries closed and art fairs cancelled. For many galleries, art fairs are one of the main highlights to display and sell their art. As these events have continuously been postponed during the past year and a half, galleries needed a shift to accommodate their needs. One of those initiatives that brought a new outlook to the London galleries as restrictions finally ease has been the London Gallery Weekend.
As London is the home to thousands of art galleries and is a key global spotlight for the art scene, it is a delight that Londoners and its visitors now can roam around the capital and still enjoy this art fair experience with tailored exhibitions and events. More than a sale opportunity for galleries, this is an exciting event that will bring London back to life with tourists and art enthusiasts.
From the 4th to the 6th of June, London Gallery Weekend will focus on three geographical areas of London: Central London on Friday, South London on Saturday and East London on Sunday.
We want to help you make the most of your day while wandering throughout London's vibrant art scene. The last thing you want to do is lose time understanding which exhibitions are interesting, right? There are 151 of them! No need to worry, you can count on Artscapy as your art best friend - we’ve done the work for you.
Find a seat and let us help you sketch your perfect route through the London Gallery Weekend. This article is a guide through Central London and is part of a mini-series of three. Excited? Let's go.
1. FOLD Gallery
158 New Cavendish Street
First things first, wake up and recharge yourself with a delightful breakfast. Grab a cup of coffee around Fitzrovia and get ready to wow yourself with "Clinamen" at Fold Gallery. This three-artist exhibition is your starting point to intriguing conversations with your fellow art lovers throughout the day. "Clinamen" explores ideas of materiality and abstraction through a mix of paintings, sculptures and ceramics. Each artist explored the "free will" of the material while embracing the process of making. You can expect to see some unusually visceral-looking combinations of materials in organic shapes.
2. Frith Street Gallery
17-18 Golden Square
Moving towards the south, we will now see the Frith Street Gallery exhibition: "Jaki Irvine: Ack Ro'". This exhibition may seem super fun with bright pink neon signs but don't let yourself be fooled. "Ack Ro" is an immersive multimedia installation with an "ambitious 13-channel video piece" that explores displacement feelings that Alzheimer and dementia provoke. More interestingly, this exhibition will bring you ambient sound as part of the concept. Expect to be haunted with layered percussive elements and mournful vocals! So far, an intense but enjoyable morning of deep discussions and intriguing experiences. Maybe it's time to grab lunch or a refreshing drink.
3-5 Swallow Street
This next exhibition is lighter in concept, but it is full of energy and intensive mark making. Huxley-Parlour presents "John Copeland: Heavy Reverb". On display, you will find six paintings that are very representative of Copeland's artistic style. Using different techniques, tools and mediums, the artist reinterpret narratives through the appropriation of found imagery. With a mix of abstractions and figuration, Copeland's paintings are emotive and full of life. The artist mentions that he does not want his process or paintings to look dull, too nice or pitch-perfect. The playful aspect of this exhibition is indeed going to level up your mood!
4. Jack Bell Gallery
13 Mason's Yard
A couple of streets away, you will find "Marc Padeu: All The Light on Me" at the Jack Bell Gallery. And after John Copeland's exhibition, this feels like the cherry on top of the cake! Pursuing more figurative and complex compositions, the emerging artist Marc Padeu finds the perfect balance between colour and texture. In unforgettable blues, yellows, greens and reds, the artist paints the daily lives of people around him, choosing to portray the real emotions of the individuals depicted. This exhibition will remind you how important it is to be grateful for every little moment of life, no matter how mundane it may appear.
5. Goodman Gallery
26 Cork Street
Goodman Gallery presents us with "Kapwani Kiwanga: Cache". In this exhibition, you will encounter a mix of installations, sculpture and paintings that explore ideas of power and resilience. The theme is stronger than the previous two exhibitions. Still, it is a pleasant addition to keep your art experience dynamic and varied- art should challenge you! "Cache" is an exhibition that shows the artist's fascination with the materials and the meanings that they carry historically and geographically. One of the highlights from this exhibition is the hairy sculptures that contrast against a black metal structure. This is an intriguing exhibition with an unusual approach to materials.
6. David Zwirner
24 Grafton Street
Meters away, you will find David Zwirner and, indeed, you will not want to miss this one! A perfect excuse to experience Bridget Riley's exhibition: "Past into Present". In this exhibition, you will see Riley's latest works from the series "Measure for Measure" and "Intervals". Riley has over 60 years of continuous practice and investigation in the field of perspective and colour. She is truly a master of the Op-Art movement and a must-see! We promise an immersive experience.
7.Cardi Gallery London
22 Grafton Street
Cardi Gallery is your next stop. Here you will find an exhibition by Paolo Canevari titled "Self-Portrait". The title of the exhibition seems pretty straightforward, right? It kind of guides you to already have an idea of what to expect. Though, it may surprise you. "Self-portrait" displays work from the past 30 years of the artist's career and explores, through a mix of sculptures, installations and drawings, ideas of the self. To give you a hint of what to expect, think about Art Povera or American Minimalism. This means you will find some very common materials manipulated into minimalist settings. Curious?
8. Almine Rech Gallery
Broadbent House, Grosvenor Hill
Last exhibition of the day! We bet you will be exhausted by now but hold on a second. The last exhibition is a promising one. This Larry Poons exhibition, opening on the 3rd of June, brings you a mix of works created during the past decades along with more recent works that celebrate the historical legacy of Larry Poons. With a virtuous, colourful and energetic aesthetic, Poons was inspired by great artists such as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning. And now, with a career spanning over 50 years, Poons is still showing us the possibilities of Abstract Expressionism in Contemporary Art.
We hope you enjoyed this suggestive and exciting route through Central London. As you finish the gallery crawl near Hyde Park, what about grabbing a refreshing drink and meeting some friends to talk about your favourite shows? We surely will do that.
Artscapy would love to see your pictures! So, if you visit these exhibitions, make sure you share them with us using the hashtag
#ArtscapyLondon on your social media.
Our last note is to not forget to book your slots for each exhibition ahead of time. We are still in Covid times, and booking is therefore a requirement for most galleries. Find the links throughout the article to book your favourite exhibitions.
Click here for South London guide.
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