London is well known for being one of the most cultural cities in the world thanks to its range of museums, theatres and of course art galleries.
Often, when people think of the different art houses and exhibitions that are on in the city, their mind immediately goes to places like the National Portrait Gallery and the Tates – both Britain and Modern.
These are absolutely worth your time, as the collections are impressive and there are always guest exhibitions that change frequently to pique your interest. This is what makes London a perfect place to come to over and over again, due to the ever-changing range of things that you can go to see in the galleries alone.
However, there are lots of excellent underground art shows and collections that come to the city and are found in lesser-spotted but still excellent museums and galleries throughout the Big Smoke.
Why not have a look around at something slightly different for a change? Here are some of the best exhibitions on this summer that we recommend you to try.
But first, somewhere to stay
If you’re interested in looking at modern and conceptual art, and seeing some out of the ordinary exhibits at art galleries and museums then we recommend that you stay somewhere different during your time in London too.
M by Montcalm Shoreditch London Tech City hotel is one of the grandest of modern hotels in the city, fitting in perfectly with the digital district it calls its home.
Floor to ceiling glass gives the hotel a stunning outside facade and the hotel itself prides itself on high-quality furnishings, food, beverages and a seriously luxurious spa.
Conceptual Art in Britain 1964–1979, Tate Britain
The first collection we recommend you try is Conceptual Art in Britain 1964-1979, which you will find in the Tate Britain on the bank of the River Thames.
One of London’s most famous galleries – which is also perfectly positioned to find somewhere for lunch and an afternoon drink – the Tate Britain is currently running this exhibition until 29th August. Explore 15 years of British art history that have changed the ways we think and preserve art today.
M by Montcalm Shoreditch London Tech City hotel is just 34 minutes from Tate Britain, take the Northern line from Old Street station to Euston where you’ll change to the Victoria line and head to Pimlico.
New Tate Modern building
The new ten-floor Tate Modern building opened earlier in June and it is dedicated to live art, film and installations. It was designed in response to the chimney, which houses the existing Tate Modern building and was originally designed as a power station by Giles Gilbert Scott in the 1950s.
Whether or not you come to see the Tate Modern’s vast array of new exhibitions, or just come to scale the building for its amazing view, you really won’t be disappointed.
The Tate Modern is ever so slightly closer to the Tech City hotel, you can take the Northern Line from Old Street straight to Borough for seven minutes and you’re just a quick walk to the gallery from there.
While you’re in the area, you should definitely stop off at Borough Market, to have lunch or even just to browse.
This Is A Voice, Wellcome Collection
The Wellcome Collection is in Euston Square and is across the street from University College London.
Regarding This Is A Voice, it looks inside vocal tracts, restless minds and speech devices to capture how the human voice is produced and projected. It’s on from now up until 31st July – during which time you can examine how the unique grain of our voice locates us socially, geographically and psychologically and how the voice is utterly flexible and can be altered with treatment and training.
It also looks at how important non-verbal forms of communication are and how powerful they can be when you don’t have a voice.
To get to the Wellcome Collection, take the Northern line from Old Street to Euston for ten minutes and it’s just a three-minute walk from there.
Keith Sonnier: Light Works, Whitechapel Gallery
This exhibition is the longest-running on our list, as it started on 10th of June and will run until the 11th September.
During this time, the Whitechapel Gallery will be showcasing three-dimensional drawings with neon by Keith Sonnier, artist and visionary from America. According to the gallery itself, the exhibition will “immerse spaces and bodies in the radiance of coloured light”.
This is a very abstract collection but one that is fascinating, particularly if you take part in one of the curator’s tours, which run sporadically throughout the week.
If you particularly enjoyed the neon examples, you can buy some of Keith’s limited edition prints from the gallery itself.
To get to the gallery, walk two minutes to the Moorfields Eye Hospital Tube station and take the Central line for 15 minutes to Aldgate East, which will see you practically on top of Whitechapel itself!