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London is home to perhaps the world’s greatest selection of art and galleries. TNT is here to help you discover some of the best.

WORDS: Daniel Landon and Robert Head

 

Modern Art – Picasso and his contemporaries

Tate Modern:

If you only see one gallery in London make it this one.

Tate Modern  opened in 2000 after it was converted from an old power station, and it has the world’s biggest collection of modern art.

The temporary exhibitions are compelling and enlightening, and the installations in the Turbine Hall are a must-see.

» Bankside, SE1 9TG (tate.org.uk). Free, £12.20 for some exhibitions

Whitechapel Gallery:

A newly renovated gallery in the heart of the East End with numerous and diverse exhibitions on at any one time.

It houses the best piece of art on show in London right now – a life-size tapestry of Picasso’s horror-of-war masterpiece Guernica (until April 18, 2010).

» Whitechapel High St, E1 7QX  (whitechapelgallery.org). Free

Estorick Collection:

Modern Italian art, focusing on the Futurists (whose art was all about being modern and functional), with fantastic temporary exhibitions.

» Canonbury Sq, N1 2AN (estorickcollection.com). £5

 

Old masters – the classics

National Gallery:

Home to European art dating from 1500 onwards, this is the gallery for those who like the famous names in art.

Gaze at works by Leonardo Da Vinci, Renoir, Rembrandt, Cézanne and the like, along with Van Gogh’s Sunflowers and Monet’s The Thames Under Westminster.

» Trafalgar Sq, WC2N 5DN  (nationalgallery.org.uk). Free

Tate Britain:

The collection of British art dating from 1500 onwards is enormous, but don’t miss out on the works by perhaps the greatest British artist, JMW Turner.

» Millbank, SW1P 4RG  (tate.org.uk). Free, £9.80 for special exhibitions

Courtauld Gallery:

Impressionist and post-impressionist works housed in Somerset House – a magnificent place for a quiet wander.

» Strand, WC2R 0RN (courtauld.ac.uk). £5

 

Contemporary art – brand new and out-there

Saatchi Gallery:

Since it opened in its stunning new home in October last year, the gallery has hosted impressive surveys of modern-day Arab and Chinese art, and is following those up with an excellent current show Abstract America.

» Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Rd, SW3 4SQ,  (saatchi-gallery.co.uk). Free

Barbican:

The temporary exhibitions at the Barbican are invariably leftfield and always thought provoking.

They’ll have you thinking ‘WTF’, but the thematic threads hold them together. The Curve art space hosts innovative, specially commissioned works.

» Silk St, EC2Y 8DS (barbican.org.uk). Free, £8 for some exhibitions

Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA):

Exhibitions here are just part of the ICA’s remit. There’s also films, workshops and music.

» The Mall, SW1Y 5AH, (ica.org.uk). Free


Serpentine Gallery:

Smack bang in the middle of Hyde Park/Kensington Gardens, the lush, tree-lined outlook of this gallery could hardly be more scenic.

If you’re a fan of conceptual, abstract art you’ll enjoy the exhibitions.

» Kensington Gardens, W2 3XA(serpentinegallery.org). Free

White Cube:

Exhibitions focusing on internationally acclaimed modern-day artists in thoroughly modern and striking buildings. Each of the two White Cube galleries is shaped – yep, you guessed it – like a white cube.

» Hoxton Sq, N1 6PB Old Street; and Mason’s Yard SW1Y 6BU (whitecube.com). Free

 

Best of the Rest

Victoria & Albert museum

The world’s most impressive collection of decorative arts, from jewellery to sculpture and art from around the world.

» Cromwell Rd, SW7 2RL   (vam.ac.uk). Free

Hayward gallery

The exhibitions of large-scale installations, such as current Walking In My Mind, until Sep 6, are astounding.

» Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX  (haywardgallery.co.uk). Free, £9 for some exhibitions

The Royal Academy of Arts

Founded back in 1768 to foster the visual arts, it hosts an eclectic range of exhibitions and permanent collections of British art.

» Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1J 0BD (royalacademy.org.uk). Free, £9 for some exhibitions

National Portrait Gallery

Portraits galore, from Shakespeare to Churchill and the lads from Blur.

» St Martin’s Pl, WC2H 0HE (npg.org.uk). Free, £5.50 for some exhibitions


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