Art Scene Insider: Getting to know the best Galleries in Mayfair
The blockbuster exhibitions start to close in August, so it's time to start snooping around the best London galleries: here's our guide
That said, at least you know where you stand with the blockbuster museum exhibitions and their steep ticket prices. With the snooty supermodel-cum-gallerista on the front desk, the uber trendy atmosphere and sterile white walls, the Mayfair galleries can feel a little intimidating to say the least.
But anyone can – and should – visit the galleries of the world's best art dealers. They provide a fantastic way to stay abreast of what's hot on the art scene – half of their visitors are art students themselves – and they're a great place for a first date.
Her's our insider's guide on the best galleries to visit in Mayfair this summer. While the museums hibernate - there is only one major exhibition opening (Matisse in the Studio at the RA) in August – it's worth seizing the opportunity to snoop around.
Hauser & Wirth
The gallery’s directors Manuela and Iwan Wirth frequently feature in list of the art world’s most influential figures and their galleries remain a staple of London’s commercial art scene.
Hauser & Wirth, 23 Savile Row, Mayfair, London W1S 2ET, Tuesday - Sunday 10am - 6pm
New York-based Pace Gallery opened their flagship Mayfair gallery in 2010. Located directly north of the Royal Academy of Art’s Burlington House, Pace London is one of London's most influential modern and contemporary art galleries.
Big-name artists on their roster include Hockney, Rothko, Picasso, Hepworth and Rauschenberg. Their current exhibition, From time to time, showcases new works by Milan-based French artist Nathalie du Pasquier, while their upcoming Jean Dubuffet exhibition, is set to be a highlight of the autumn season. It's definitely worth checking out, even if it's just in passing.
Pace London, 6 Burlington Gardens, London W1S 3ET, Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 6pm
Simon C. Dickinson
One of the world's foremost private dealers in Old Master & British Paintings as well as Impressionist & Modern Art, Simon Dickinson has recently expanded further into secondary market contemporary art.
As well as exhibiting at Masterpiece London this year, the prestigious London dealers took part in the recently rebranded London Art Week. Step inside to see an outstanding Old Master hang this summer, which currently includes an extremely poignant Anthony van Dyck oil on canvas with a remarkable restitution history.
Simon Dickinson, 58 Jermyn St, St. James's, London SW1Y 6LX, Monday - Friday 9am - 5.30pm
Mason’s Yard White Cube was designed by MRJ Rundell & Associates and opened in 2006. It is the first free standing building to be built in the St James’s area for over 30 years.
Inaugurating itself with a stunning Gabriel Orozco exhibition in 2006, Mason's Yard was the third site to open out of Jay Joplin's (now) international gallery powerhouse, White Cube. Today it has had to share London's attention with its gargantuan sister in Bermondsey, but we still have a firm place in our heart for Mason's Yard.
Constructed on the site of an electricity sub-station and designed by London based MRJ Rundell & Associates, it maintains a unapologetic, post-industrial chic that makes an interesting contrast to the surrounding historic buildings.
Expect to see big-name artists such as Gilbert and George, the Chapman Brothers, Tracey Emin, Mona Hatoum, Damien Hirst, Eddie Peake, Anselm Kiefer and Antony Gormley. Their current exhibition of works by Harland Miller is definitely worth a quick frisk if you're in the area.
White Cube, 25-26 Masons Yard, St. James's, London SW1Y 6BU, Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 6pm
Gagosian Gallery Davies Street
Californian Larry Gagosian is now widely considered to be the most powerful art dealer in the world. He has 12 galleries worldwide, two of which are in London; the Davies Street Gallery and the Grosvenor Hill Gallery. The Davies Street Gallery, designed by Caruso St John Architects, is a wonderful space - the huge glazed front floods it with light. Larry Gagosian has exclusively worked with the design studio to create spaces across Europe and Asia; their most recent project was Damien Hirst's Newport Street Gallery.
Gagosian specialises in Contemporary and Modern art exhibitions, and represents huge names including Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Damien Hirst and Pablo Picasso. In their current landmark exhibition showcasing Picasso's matadors and minotaurs – many of which are sourced from private collections – the gallery explores Corrida de toros, mythology and an ancient Iberian bloodlust in the context of the land of Picasso's birth.
Gagosian Gallery, 17–19 Davies Street, London W1K 3DE, Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 6pm
David Zwirner Gallery
The New York based gallery David Zwirner first opened its doors across the pond in London in 2012 with an inaugural exhibition of works by the Belgian painter, Luc Tuymans. Since then the gallery has gone from strength to strength, promoting a wide variety of artistic practices including minimalist works and large-scale installations. The gallery is also gaining a reputation for its historically researched exhibitions and publications which focus particularly on modern and contemporary artists.
David Zwirner's impressive roster includes Marlene Dumas, Yayoi Kusama, Sigmar Polke, Bridget Riley, Jeff Koons, and current darling of the art world Oscar Murillo.
David Zwirner Gallery, 24 Grafton St, Mayfair, London W1S 4EZ, Monday - Friday 10am - 6pm
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac opened its doors on Dover Street in April this year, as the London outpost of a prestigious dealership already established in Paris and Salzburg. Thanks to a sensitive refurbishment of the magnificent 18th century mansion Ely House, Ropac’s arrival couldn’t be more auspicious. Yet within, art on show includes some of the most revolutionary and anti-conservative pieces ever created. Expect the unexpected and feast your eyes on some of the best art on the market.
Galerie Thaddeus Roppac, Ely House, 37 Dover St, Mayfair, London W1S 4NJ, Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 6pm