Feeling Overwhelmed By the 150-Strong Roster of London Gallery Weekend? Here Are 3 Tips to Help You Navigate the Mammoth Event

We broke down how to make your way around this sprawling metropolis while seeing as much as art as possible.

Sunset view from east with Tower Bridge. View Pictures/Hufton+Crow/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Sunset view from east with Tower Bridge. View Pictures/Hufton+Crow/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The second edition of London Gallery Weekend, a city-wide spree of openings at 150 galleries across town, is here. The largest of its kind, the decentralized event gives a snapshot of what is happening in the art world, from blue chip big hitters to emerging talents at non-profit spaces. The catch: it is enormous! To help you out, we broke down how to navigate your way around the city this weekend and what highlights to look out for.

London’s galleries exist in pockets across its many neighborhoods—so don’t wander. Map it out.

  • Follow one of the curated routes on London Gallery Weekend’s website: film star Naomi Harris, pop musician-turned-artist Robbie Williams, and designer Simone Rocha have shared their plans as a guide. One of Rocha’s picks is Rhea Dillon’s series of sculptures at Soft Opening at Bethnal Green—we second this.
  • Start at your furthest destination and work your way back to where you’re based. Are you staying in Mayfair? In that case, cross the river and head to Corvi-Mora to see new paintings by Ethiopian artist Jem Perucchini; work your way home via Fitzrovia for Nicola L. at Alison Jaques. Don’t miss Addis Fine Art, which is showing artist Nigatu Tsehay, and Arcadia Missa‘s exhibition of Melike Kara. Take your time to see Hauser & Wirth‘s two shows by legends Luchita Hurtado and Larry Bell.
  • Keep an eye on your watch! Events like Mandy El-Sayegh’s performances take place at specific times at 2pm at Peckham Library on Saturday and at 2pm at Allen Gardens on Sunday there of her work The Minimum. El-Sayegh, who recently joined Thaddaeus Ropac, will be doing three performances in total.
  • Artlogic’s map tool, which allows you to sort your route by filtering and pinning destinations and then downloading the plan onto your phone, is a fantastic way to make the weekend manageable.
your words will be used against you by Mandy El-Sayegh at Frieze Live. Courtesy Frieze London.

your words will be used against you by Mandy El-Sayegh at Frieze Live 2020. Courtesy Frieze London.

Seek out discoveries and emerging artists across London’s dynamic landscape of smaller galleries.

  • The inaugural Artlogic Young & Emerging Gallery Initiative is focusing on new, interesting spaces in the capital. Gossamer Fog, for example, is a new space founded in 2021 in Depford South East London. The gallery, which is focused on “creative technologies and new media methodologies” including VR and gaming, will open a show of Rustan Söderling.
  • Sadie Coles HQ is hosting four galleries from India this year: Vadehra Art Gallery, Kolkata’s Experimenter, Jhaveri Contemporary, and Chemould Prescott Road will take over its Mayfair space in a collaborative show called “Conversations on Tomorrow”. This is great chance to see work by Mrinalini Mukherjee whose work drew gasps in “The Milk of Dreams” at the Venice Biennale.
  • Head to the far-flung corners of the city that are still up-and-coming. Get on the overground to South East London to take a look South Parade, a new gallery showing Ukrainian artist Siggi Sekira’s “Parties to Cover the Silence.” After that, head to the edgy Harlesden High Street in the North West for Wawazin Al-Otaibi’s “Soft Whispers.”

Plan your route to catch some of Gallery Weekend’s screenings and performances.

  • Head to Piccadilly on Sunday at 2 p.m. to catch art films on the legendary huge screen with Circa.art:  enjoy works by Caroline Walker and Ghada Amer, among others. Walker’s portraits of domesticity and motherhood are especially poignant, and Amer’s erotic embroidery is both aesthetic and political.
  • Selfridges on Oxford Street also has a film program screening, and tickets are free (you need to book via their website). Participating artists include duo Hannah Quinlan and Rosie Hastings, as well as Prem Sahib and TJ Wilcox.
  • Multidisciplinary artist Lonnie Holley will be performing The Edge of What at Stone Nest on Shaftesbury Avenue at 9 p.m. n Saturday May 14 in a collaboration with Artangel. To create this experimental sound work the Alabama artist travelled to Orford Ness, an atmospheric peninsula on the North Sea in Suffolk.

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