There are some great galleries in London and we enjoy going to as many as we can in order to see some of the best art around. In particular those galleries that showcase new and emerging artists as well as more general art from what could be described as the street and urban scene.
So in this post we’ve picked out our top go-to galleries for fresh urban artwork. Naturally because of our own East London location there’s a bit of a bias towards this neck of the woods but then that’s where some of the best urban art in the country can be found so I suppose that’s just about right.
So here they are, the best galleries to see street and urban art in London…
1963 Gallery, Various locations – 1963gallery.com
Formerly situated in Dalston, the 1963 Gallery has now rebranded as a roving gallery space. Curated by the 1963 but utilising different spots around the city in which to showcase the work of its artists. It’s a new direction for the gallery and one not without risks but it means that the reliance is no longer there in terms of having to manage an actual fixed spot. Instead the challenge is around finding innovative locations which might suit the work best. With their track record so far, the gallery can certainly pull off a show so it’s going to be exciting to see where they go next. You can read an interview with the galleries founder Ema Marinova here.
Ben Oakley Gallery, Greenwich – benoakleygallery.com
A gallery we just keep going back to. The Ben Oakley is a big favourite of ours and we’ve featured many of the artists on the gallery’s roster including the work of the galleries owner Ben Oakley himself. Nestled in a tiny street off Greenwich Market, the gallery has an earthy authentic feel and a loyal group of artists who work with it, no doubt inspired by Ben himself who builds great relationships and who will often hand over the curation process to the artist themselves so that they can have as much creative control as possible. Here’s a secret too, if you do visit then ask to see the first floor, it’s an aladdin’s cave full of great art.
BSMT Space, Dalston – bsmt.co.uk
The BSMT Space gallery in Dalston has really shaken up the urban art scene. With just a big idea, a lot of passion and a basement in need of a lot of TLC. Lara and Greg built a gallery which became known for being able to spot up and coming street art talent. It’s also earned a stellar reputation in the street art scene for its promotion of artists, particularly new ones and its willingness to give these new and emerging artists a try. The gallery specialises in solo and group shows and doesn’t have a permanent collection so there is always something fresh and exciting about the work coming up.
Curious Duke Gallery, Whitecross Street – curiousdukegallery.com
A gallery we’ve spent a lot of time in. The Curious Duke Gallery, recently expanded outfit and now also includes a framers on Whitecross Street. We’ve been following the journey of the gallery and it’s founder Eleni Duke for a good while now and we have regularly featured their artists on the blog. That in itself is a good sign for us, we keep getting drawn back to the gallery because the artists are good, often local and often starting out. It ticks all the boxes for us.
Pure Evil Gallery, Leonard Street – pureevilclothing.com
An icon of the gallery scene in the East End, the Pure Evil on Leonard Street promotes heavily the work of Pure Evil himself, an iconic artist who has worked on the streets of Shoreditch for many years. In addition to his own work however, the gallery showcases street and urban artists from around the world although again, these tend to be established on the scene. The gallery is more traditional in that the work does change but there is a core permanent collection of art and artists with not much scope for the promotion of new work through solo shows which is important for us here on Inspiring City.
Stolen Space, Osborne Street off Brick Lane – stolenspace.com
A list like this can never be complete without Stolen Space, the gallery owned by D*Face, himself a hugely popular street artist. The gallery itself tends to feature some of the very best street and urban artists from across the world and it can’t be denied that here is a gallery with a constantly strong body of work but then with that comes an equally high price point. We of course have a bias towards new and emerging artists so we don’t tend to feature Stolen Space much. However in saying that, the work is always top draw and it is always worth wandering into the Stolen Space gallery if you are passing along Brick Lane.
Well Hung Gallery, Hoxton Street – wellhung.co.uk
The ambitious little gallery in Hoxton has burst onto the scene over the past few years with a number of ambitious shows. Run by a brother and sister team it’s another space who seem to be focusing on local talent and who are prepared to take risks by devoting the space for good periods of time with quality exhibitions. The space also contains a framers in the basement.
For more features about the best place to see street art in London check out: