The London Art Galleries Not to Miss On Your Next Visit

The growing list of galleries in this thriving cultural hub attracts local and international art collectors alike.

Paintings on the wall of an art gallery with exposed ceilings
Saatchi Yates. Justin Piperger, courtesy Saatchi Yates

London is a capital city in more ways than one—not only the official capital of the United Kingdom, but also the beating heart of the country’s political establishment, its finance and business sectors and even its creative industries from bustling theaters to an internationally-renowned art scene.

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Many collectors will have attended the annual Frieze London Art Fair and Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition or browsed the renowned graduate art shows at the Royal College of Art, Goldsmiths and Central Saint Martins. And away from the established public-facing museums London is well known for amongst tourists—the V&A, Tate Modern or Serpentine, among others—there is a medley of commercial galleries where artists both established and emerging have their wares displayed for prospective collectors.

The United Kingdom accounts for around 18 percent of art and antique sales worldwide, second only to the United States, and we can barely scratch the surface of London’s sprawling network of commercial galleries—around 850, over half the number of total galleries in the U.K.—in a guide like this. However, we can still give a brief overview of some of the most significant art galleries worth a visit in the U.K.’s capital city, from new challenger ventures to century-old establishments.

The Best Art Galleries in London

Gagliardi Gallery

Gagliardi Gallery. Courtesy Gagliardi Gallery

One of the oldest contemporary art galleries in London, Gagliardi sits in the affluent borough of Chelsea, on the bustling and boutique-filled King’s Road. The gallery opened its doors in 1978 and has been serving collectors ever since, with a history of clients it says “range from local residents to Royalty.” It stocks a mix of painting and sculpture from both well-established artists (think Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst) and emerging stars, and has a hand in curating the London Art Biennale at Chelsea Town Hall every two years, alongside its involvement with exhibitions at the V&A Museum.

Tristan Hoare

Sculptures on square plinths in an art gallery with large windows
Tristan Hoare. Courtesy Tristan Hoare

The art dealer Tristan Hoare set up shop in Fitzroy Square, London, back in 2009, in a gorgeous 18th-century building that eschews the ‘white cube’ effect of many other contemporary galleries, allowing the high ceilings and decorative paneling to frame artworks with a quiet extravagance. 2023’s Kaori Tatebayashi exhibition saw the artist’s ceramic flowers embedded directly into the walls and paneling, or jutting from fireplaces, emerging from the structural environment in a way you won’t see elsewhere. Tristan Hoare gallery works with several leading contemporary artists, including Alessandro Twombly, and hosts occasional talks in its unique, multi-story space.

Whitechapel Gallery

A time lapse photo of people in an art gallery
Whitechapel Gallery. Dan Weill, courtesy Whitechapel Gallery

This central London gallery in Whitechapel is well known for promoting early-career artists who went on to garner great fame, such as Mark Rothko and Bridget Riley, and has been operating in London for well over a century, opening in its current location in 1901, before expanding its premises in the late noughties to the adjacent library. While ostensibly a public art gallery, exhibited artists often create exclusive artworks (‘Editions’) for sale alongside ongoing exhibitions. Whitechapel Gallery attendees can enjoy the attached Townsend restaurant or the Gallery Archive that looks back on a century of art curation in this historical spot.

Guts Gallery

A stark white art gallery space with sculptures and paintings
Guts Gallery. Courtesy Guts Gallery

The Guts Gallery in Hackney, East London, was set up to challenge the elitism and inequality of the art world. It was founded by working-class Northern artist Ellie Pennick, who turned down a place at the Royal College of Art during financial straits and resolved to set up a gallery that could champion traditionally excluded artists, taking a below-market commission while connecting queer, POC and working-class creatives with interested collectors. Notably, the gallery is wheelchair-accessible, with provision for “interpreters or lip readers.”

Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery

People mill around on the street in front of a modern looking art gallery
Rebecca Hossack. Courtesy Rebecca Hossack

The Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery has operated in London for the past 35 years, specializing in non-Western artistic traditions, and acting as an early European exhibitor (and champion) of Australian aboriginal painting – though you’ll find the occasional contemporary Western artist represented there. While you can see its artworks showcased often at Third Space gyms across London, you’ll need to go in person to Fitzroy Square to see the full impact of the gallery’s eclectic, uncompromising and outward-looking collection. Once or twice a year, the gallery will host creativity workshops, talks on aboriginal art or performance pieces.

Saatchi Yates

Paintings on the wall of an art gallery with exposed ceilings
Saatchi Yates. Justin Piperger, courtesy Saatchi Yates

You’ll likely recognize the name, but this gallery venture from Phoebe Saatchi Yates, daughter of Charles Saatchi, is carving out its own space in the art world… albeit with guidance from the famous art dealer, and around the corner from Christie’s in the heart of Central London. Saatchi Yates is focused on bold, early-career artists, who are often discovered by the curator scrawling through artist profiles on Instagram and TikTok. Saatchi Yates recent “Bathers” exhibition brought together Cézanne’s Satyrs and Nymphs, rural bathing landscapes and even sharks preserved in formaldehyde.

The London Art Galleries Not to Miss On Your Next Visit