The Adventurous Weekender Guide to London

Artsy Editors
Jun 24, 2014 12:35PM

London is a city that requires a lot of stamina. Its many neighborhoods all have unique personalities and distinct communities; and the art community is no exception. For the adventurous weekender, I’ve put together a list of shows at my favorite London art destinations from East to West, and even a seaside escape for a break from the pace of the city.

A. “The Worshipper of the Image,” at Beers Contemporary | 1 Baldwin St., EC1V 9NU

“The Worshipper of the Image,” Venezuelan artist Lucía Pizzani’s first solo show in London, is a must-see. Beers Contemporary is located in the heart of Shoreditch, East London’s busiest art hub. This show is a perfect first stop on an afternoon adventure in the neighborhood. Pizzani’s slumped abstract sculptures give a hint of form but leave the rest up to the viewer. She works from the relationships between the natural world, gender identity, and feminine symbols, which relate back to the form of her work.

On view June 6th–July 26th, 2014.

B. “Primary Producers” at Hales Gallery |  Tea Building, 7 Bethnal Green Rd., E1 6LA

For a playful romp, check out emerging artist Rachael Champion’s site-specific installation at Hales. The pebbled, swerving landmass installation is integrated into the architecture of the gallery; its cavities house live algae, a statement from the artist about sustainable materials and the urgent need for their use in society. The gallery is located in the iconic Tea Building; be sure to grab a slice at Pizza East on the ground floor after working up an appetite at the gallery.

On view June 11th–July 26th, 2014.

C. “Flying Awareness”at Lazarides | 11 Rathbone Pl., W1T 1HR

“Flying Awareness” is an apt name for abstract painter Katrin Fridriks’ first solo show in London. Her work was previously shown at Lazarides in “BRUTAL”and “Fresh Paint,” where her dynamic, wild splatter and dripping techniques captivated viewers. Now, she continues in this colorful style with bold energy. This show is hard to tear yourself away from; I found myself lost in her gestures. If you have the energy after spending time with Fridriks’ work, head over to Soho (Walk South on Greek Street) to The Outsiders London, another Lazarides space focused on affordable prints and multiples (8 Greek St., W1D 4DG). The current Christy Lee Rogers show is worth seeing, and make sure to come back in August to view the work of British street artist Sickboy. Knowing his surreal technicolor work, the show is sure not to disappoint.

On view June 27th–July 24th, 2014.

D. “Mollino | Mapplethorpe” at Hamiltons Gallery | 13 Carlos Pl., W1K 2EU

This show is another summer must-see. The gallery, located in the heart of Mayfair, is the perfect compliment to a day of luxury in the area. Rare prints from both of the artists are on display, as well as chairs designed by Carlo Mollino. Known primarily for his design, Mollino stuns with his raw and private view of nature that was never shown to the public during his life. Paired with his flower polaroids are Robert Mapplethorpe’s rare, large-format “Flowers” series. Exquisitely sensual, they exude an uncharacteristically subtle eroticism.

On view June 23–Sept. 12th, 2014.

E. “Sean Scully: Kind of Red”at Timothy Taylor Gallery | 15 Carlos Pl., W1K 2EX

While you are still in the Central London neighborhood of Mayfair, head over to Timothy Taylor gallery to see the new exhibition of one of the UK’s most iconic abstract painters. With Sean Scully, I continuously find myself lost in the use of line, form, and color in his abstract compositions, but what struck me most was the focal point of this show: Kind of Red is a five-paneled aluminium installation and it is unlike any of Scully’s work I have previously seen. Primarily working on canvas, Scully’s change of medium is a bold one. This exhibition is worth seeing for that piece alone.

On view June 10th–July 12th, 2014.

F. Andreas Gursky & Leo Gabin at White Cube Mason’s Yard | 25-26 Mason’s Yard, SW1Y 6BU

G. Alex Da Corte, Jack Greer, Augustus Thomson at White Cube Bermondsey | 144 – 152 Bermondsey St., SE1 3TQ

You can’t conclude a tour of Mayfair galleries without stopping into the iconic White Cube space at 25-26 Mason’s Yard. Make sure to get to the stunning Andreas Gursky show before it closes on the 6th of July and the Leo Gabin show, which will be up until the 12th of July. The space itself is a sight to be seen and the summer shows are sure not to disappoint. For the adventurous art lover, head to the Tower Bridge neighborhood in South London (Accessible from the Northern and Jubilee tube lines) and visit White Cube’s Bermondsey location where a group show of emerging artists Alex Da Corte, Jack Greer, and Augustus Thompson’s work is currently up. Later in the summer (Opening July 18), make sure to catch Gilbert & George at the gallery for some brilliant contemporary British Pop. If you are lucky enough to be in Brazil for the World Cup, don’t forget to see Gary Hume and Daniel de Paula at White Cube’s Sao Paulo locations.

Both on view June 24th–August 23rd, 2014.

H. “The First Georgians: Art and Monarchy 1714-1760” at The Royal Collection | Little St James’s St., London SW1A 1BA 

After a long day of gallery hopping, I love to take a walk in St. James’s Park and relax. The Royal Collection is a fantastic way to see the Queen’s collection in a public setting. It is great for a family day out or for art history students such as myself. Currently on display is “The First Georgians: Art and Monarchy 1714-1760,”an exhibition showcasing royal patronage at a time when England was at its most liberal and modern in the 18th century. The museum is a valuable educational resource for English painting as well as English furniture, antiquities, and sculpture. Make sure not to miss The Royal Collection on your next visit to London.

Turner Contemporary | Margate, Kent, CT9 1HG

For a weekend with art by the sea, venture to Turner Contemporary and enjoy their stunning waterfront building and equally exciting collection of modern and contemporary art. This institution is currently showing several exhibitions, including “Mondrian and Colour” and “Spencer Finch: The skies can’t keep their secret.” Just about a two-hour drive from London or a short train journey from Kings Cross St. Pancras, Turner Contemporary exhibitions are definitely worth seeing. Enjoy!

Access the Google Map of my guide, here.

Portrait by Elliot Kennedy.

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Jenna Gribbon, Luncheon on the grass, a recurring dream, 2020. Jenna Gribbon, April studio, parting glance, 2021. Jenna Gribbon, Silver Tongue, 2019