5 Places to Experience London Modern Art

Written by Mary Charlebois

January 28, 2020
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London is one of the world’s important art centers. The visual and performing arts thrive in the city. For centuries, every style—from classic to contemporary—has enjoyed exhibitions in public and private. Modern art lovers enjoy a dynamic scene in galleries, museums, parks, gardens, and neighborhoods. These are five of our favorite places to experience London modern art.

Modern Art Gallery at the Tate Modern

The shadowy opening at the base of the Tate Modern bears a bright-orange sign, “WELCOME TO TATE MODERN.”

London modern art - entrance to Tate Modern

London modern art is spectacular at Tate Modern. Photo by Mary Charlebois

Under the sign, a wide entrance slips down and out of sight. Descending into the concrete and steel maw of Tate Modern, you feel ant-sized. The building itself is a massive sculpture filled with art.

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London Modern Art

The exterior of the Tate Modern is a work of modern art itself. Photo via Pixabay

Located on the Thames, Tate Modern is the sixth most visited museum in the world. It is Britain's national gallery of international modern art and part of the Tate Group.

Tate exhibits Britain's national art collection. Acquisitions include art from about 1500 A.D. to the present day. Galleries exhibit work from around the globe, including Africa, Asia Pacific, South Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.

London Modern Art at the Tate Modern

London Modern Art at the Tate Modern. Photo by Annie Bridie via Pixabay

The London skyline, viewed from the Tate Modern, is itself a work of modern art. Contemporary architecture dots the city's skyline. Innovative and fanciful modern designs stand side by side with classic and historic.

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London Modern Art

The London skyline from the Tate Modern. Photo by TeeFarm via Pixabay

For the best skyline views in the city, visit the museum's Level 9 Restaurant. This dining venue is a contemporary space displaying art and sculpture. The menu features European cuisine, made with fresh and seasonal British ingredients. The views of the skyline are exceptional.

Modern Art in the East End

London has phenomenal street art. The East End is home to contemporary works on buildings, walls, fences, and signs.

London modern art in the streets of East End

London East End Street Art. Photo by Mary Charlebois

One of the best ways to tour the area’s busy streets is with an East End of London Food Tour from Eating Europe. You’ll devour East End food, history, and street art on one of the best designed cultural tours you will experience.

London Modern Art

Get great street art in London's East End. Photo by Kerstin Herrmann via Pixabay

Take a Modern Art Walk Along The Line

The Line is London's first dedicated modern and contemporary art walk. The project opened to the public in May 2015. There are nine works on the line, with more coming soon.

London modern art in the streets of East End

London East End Street Art. Photo by Mary Charlebois

The route runs between Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and O2 Arena. It follows waterways and the line of the Greenwich Meridian, the starting point of every time zone, and the separator of east and west.

Explore Cork Street Galleries

Cork Street, a short street packed with art galleries, is to the commercial art world what Bond Street is to jewelry. The Mayor Gallery was the first gallery to open on Cork Street in 1925, selling avant-garde works by artists like Paul Klee.

After nearly a century of fostering talents such as Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud, Cork Street’s 22 commercial galleries are still going strong.

Sleep Surrounded by London Modern Art

Spend a weekend exploring the newest art trends while home-based in Central London at Artist Residence London. Only minutes from Victoria Station, the 10-room boutique hotel welcomes visitors with a blend of quirky furnishings and modern art. If you love eclectic luxury, you'll feel right at home here in Artist Residence London.

London modern art at Artist Residence

London modern art at the Artist Residence Hotel. Photo courtesy Artist Residence Hotel

Cambridge Street, the house eatery, serves three meals a day, open from breakfast until late evenings. Contemporary art fills the café, cocktail cellar, club room, and terrace.

You can immerse yourself in the modern art world during a visit to London. As you explore these five, you’ll discover so many more. I discovered pop-up galleries, unexpected art fairs, and special exhibitions, all perfect for experiencing the London modern art scene. Be sure to check out more suggestions from Wander writers about things to see and do during your visit to England.

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London is one of the world’s important art centers. The visual and performing arts thrive in the city. Modern art lovers enjoy a dynamic scene in galleries, museums, and neighborhoods. These are five of our favorite places to experience London modern art. #London #ModernArt #Art #StreetArt #England


Note: As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with a tour for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.

Written by Mary Charlebois

Mary Charlebois recalled that her mom called her Mary Go. One had only to mention 'going' and she would be waiting at the door. Today, her life as a travel writer/photographer suits her well. Her favorite travel destinations are 'off the beaten path', 'not well-known', and 'in the shadow of' locations. There she delves into art, music, food, libations, architecture, museums, parks, well-curated tours, history, agriculture, and the unexpected in micro-towns and big cities, domestically and internationally. Mary has been a photographer since the age of nine when she received a Brownie camera for her birthday. Photography is one of the biggest reasons she travels. She has begun tackling video the last few years—something describes as the perfect skill for an OCD person such as herself.

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