London is known for housing some of the world’s most exciting young galleries, from Ginny on Frederick, to Guts Gallery and Rose Easton, we are lucky to have such a buzzing scene with plenty of unmissable openings every night and new gallery spaces opening up all the time. Just this month, two exciting new spaces presented their inaugural exhibitions – Hector Campbell’s Soup Gallery and Maribelle Bierens’ Night Café. From the small and scrappy to the gargantuan and polished, here’s a guide to some of the best new London galleries to follow.
Gathering | Soho
Gathering opened with a bang during Frieze London 2022, presenting a monumental show by Turner-prize-winning artist Tai Shani. Their inaugural opening felt more like an underground rave than a private view; the 3000 square foot industrial space buzzed with energy, bathed in a hazy pink light and crowded full of anticipation.
Co-founded by Alex Flick and Trinidad Fombella, the gallery showcases an upcoming generation of emerging voices alongside established artists – Wynnie Mynerva’s solo show ‘Bone of my Bones, Flesh of my Flesh’ stands out as a highlight of 2023. Fusing the finesse of a blue-chip gallery with the interdisciplinary and experimental nature of a project space, the gallery tows a delicate line with ease. They are currently presenting a solo exhibition of new textile sculpture by Korean artist Soojin Kang titled, ‘To Be You, Whoever You Are’.
Berntson Bhattacharjee | Fitzrovia
Founded in 2020 as a nomadic gallery presenting exhibitions in London and Stockholm, the duo behind Berntson and Bhattacharjee have just opened their first permanent space in London with a sell-out solo exhibition of works by Georg Wilson titled ‘What Mad Pursuit’.
The gallery founders Lovisa Berntson and India Bhattacharjee plan to utilise their new 2,200 sq ft headquarters in Fitzrovia to hold more exhibitions per year, participate in established art fairs, and dedicate themselves to the long-term goals of the artists they work with while maintaining their satellite programme and residency in Sweden. The London gallery will foster a slower paced environment driven by quality over trend, presenting thoughtful exhibitions of noteworthy local and international emerging artists.
Night Café | Fitzrovia
Founded by art historian and curator Maribelle Bierens, Night Café opened its inaugural exhibition earlier in May; a group show titled ‘Fluidity’ and featuring the work of five London-based emerging artists: Hettie Innis, Hawazin Alotaibi, Marc-Aurele Debut, Johannes Bossios and Theresa Weber.
Based in Fitzrovia, the gallery was established with the intention of provoking conversation around the salient issues of our times through multidisciplinary exhibitions of work by emerging artists. Its title gives away a little of its goal – to reactivate Parisian café culture in contemporary London by promoting interdisciplinary connection and collaboration. Across its programming, the gallery will prioritise mediums that are often underrepresented in the emerging art world, while mobilising art as a provocative vehicle to activate conversation and disrupt convention.
Alma Pearl | Haggerston
A new gallery to join the exciting bunch in East London, Alma Pearl opened earlier this spring with a group exhibition curated by the gallerist’s partner writer and critic John Slyce.
Founded by Celeste Baracchi, Alma Pearl intends to platform the artists who it believes deserve greater exposure and to reposition a gallery as a supportive conduit for community building, both amongst artists and at levels local and global with a reach across generations. Named after Baracchi’s Weimaraner, the gallery based in Haggerston foregoes pretension in place of a warm and welcoming atmosphere and a desire to nurture inclusive and equitable communities based on mutual appreciation of art. Find out more: almapearl.com | @almapearlgallery
Project Space by Kane Le Bain | Hackney Wick
Based in critically-acclaimed British artists Tim Noble and Sue Webster’s Hackney Wick studio, Project Space is a new London-based gallery founded by Kane Le Bain (aka Samuel Shelby). A building with a rich history, before becoming Project Space, the studio was also home to Jack and Dinos Chapman as they created their iconic installation work Hell.
The gallery’s ethos is inherently tongue and cheek; the building is set to be sold, making its time at its current location finite. An unconventional space of artistic invention, Project Space shamelessly acknowledges the financial improbability of its long-term sustainability in the context of an ongoing financial crisis. Resisting the white-walled, perfectly manicured atmosphere of most galleries, Kane Le Bain goes against the grain. His workspace in the gallery mirrors the mess of a teenage bedroom – complete with vintage porn, a worn-to-death rug, a spiderman poster and the conspicuous absence of a desk.
Unshackled by commercial concerns, Le Bain is able to host high-energy, mixed-media shows focussed on experimental works – he opened with a group exhibition titled ‘22 Artists’ including art-world heavyweights such as Jake Chapman, Palace Skateboards founder Lev Tanju and emerging names to know like Jamiu Agboke and Ruby Eve Dickson. Up next, Jaya Twill’s debut solo show ‘The Power to Extend Your Life’ opening on the 24th May and including a performance (it looks like the artist will lie in some form of bath?) and a painting show featuring five New York artists in June.
Find out more: @projectspace___