The Serpentine Gallery London
With around 750,000 visitors every year, The Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens is one of the must-see galleries in London, offering interesting modern and contemporary art exhibitions throughout the year. For over 40 years the gallery has been an attraction for Londoners as well as for tourists, not only because of its exhibitions, but also because of its architecture and educational programs.
Housed in a classical 1934 tea pavilion, The Serpentine Gallery exhibits contemporary photography and sculpture, as well as a lot of paintings. The gallery has built quite a reputation by showcasing fine contemporary art, having exhibited over the years the works of famous artists such as Andy Warhol, Henry Moore, Man Ray, Anish Kapoor, Gerhard Richter, Cindy Sherman, and Louise Bourgeois. The gallery’s temporary exhibitions have included shows that established the reputation of artists like Cornelia Parker or Damien Hirst.
But before you enter this rich gallery you’ll be greeted by Ian Hamilton Finlay’s tribute to the gallery’s former patron, Diana the Princess of Wales, a work featuring 8 benches, a carved stone circle, and a tree-plaque. Another outdoor attraction of the gallery is the pavilion that is built every summer on the gallery’s lawn, hosting film screenings and live art events. World-renowned architects have created pavilions for Serpentine, including Toyo Ito, Zaha Hadid, Ai Weiwei and Herzog & de Meuron, and Frank Gehry.
In September 2013 Serpentine Gallery increased its space by 900 square meters by opening the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, an innovative arts venue designed by world-renowned architect Zaha Hadid and housed in the The Magazine building, a former gunpowder store in the 19th century. The opening of the gallery has been an artistic highlight of 2013.
Admission is free.
Oh, and don’t worry about snakes. The gallery doesn’t exhibit any. The name comes from the peaceful and snakeless Serpentine Lake.