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Mayfair: London’s art neighbourhood

December 04, 2020

Home to historic institutions, independent galleries and world-leading auction houses, the breadth of Mayfair’s art scene is truly extraordinary. From old masters to dynamic new names, this exclusive neighbourhood has it all.

Cork Street

Mayfair’s celebrated Cork Street has been at the heart of London’s art landscape for decades. Lined with prestigious galleries spanning a diverse catalogue of genre, the first gallery to open here in 1925, The Mayor Gallery, cemented the street’s international reputation by showcasing emerging artists like Francis Bacon, Max Ernst and Paul Klee. A couple of doors down at number 19 Cork Street, you’ll find Browse and Darby, which presents a carefully curated selection of Modern British paintings, drawings and prints. Sandwiched between these two heavyweights is The Redfern Gallery, where the focus is on contemporary works across a range of medium, including pieces by David Hockney and Bridget Riley. Messums London, meanwhile, celebrates the craft and creativity of artists across a range of forms, while Waddington Custot exhibits an impressive selection of prominent 20th century European artists.

Cork-St-credit-Waddington-Custot
© Waddington Custot
Christie's London
© Christie's London

The Auction Houses

Any art lover will be familiar with Mayfair’s world-leading auction houses. Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips all call this exclusive neighbourhood home, attracting the world’s most prolific collectors. Founded in 1744 by bookseller Samuel Baker, Sotheby’s grew to become a global destination for the sale of fine art, decorative arts and jewellery. Sotheby’s primary competitor, Christie’s opened its doors in 1766 and was soon negotiating sales in the upper echelons of society and even among royalty. Phillips followed Sotheby’s and Christie’s in 1796 (though its original auction house was located in Westminster) and found fame selling paintings from Marie Antoinette’s estate and items belonging to Napoleon. Today, these auction houses still sell much of the world’s most important art.

Sothebys-ExteriorNewBondStreet-credit-Sothebys
© Sotheby's

Sotheby’s
34-35 New Bond St
Mayfair W1A 2AA
020 7293 5000
sothebys.com

Christie’s
8 King Street
St. James’s
London
SW1Y 6QT
christies.com

Phillips
30 Berkeley Square
London W1J 6EX
+44 20 7318 4010
phillips.com

Hauser & Wirth

Founded in Zurich in 1992 by Iwan Wirth, Manuela Wirth and Ursula Hauser, Hauser & Wirth has represented many major 20th and 21st century European and American artists across its global galleries. Opening its London outpost in 2010 with the acclaimed ‘Louise Bourgeois. The Fabric Works’ exhibition, Hauser & Wirth’s glamorous Mayfair gallery runs a fantastic programme of exhibitions, events, artist talks, workshops and screenings across its two exhibition spaces, the North Gallery and the South Gallery. Representing some of the most exciting names in the international contemporary and modern art worlds Hauser & Wirth’s shows are a must-see.

23 Savile Row
London W1S 2ET
0207 287 2300
hauserwirth.com

The-Mayor-Gallery-credit-The-Mayor-Gallery-1200x1200
© The Mayor Gallery
© Unit London. The Medium Is The Message, curated by Azu Nwagbogu

Unit London

With its flagship gallery located in Hanover Square, Unit London is dedicated to developing and promoting innovative emerging artists from around the word. Founded by friends Joe Kennedy and Jonny Burt, Unit London was born out of a desire to disrupt art world elitism and provide talented artists with a platform to showcase their work based purely on merit. Given its exciting mission statement, you can expect to encounter boundary-pushing art here from the next generation of contemporary artists.

3 Hanover Square
Mayfair W1S 1HD
020 7494 2035
theunitldn.com

Royal Academy of Arts

One of London’s premier art institutions, this grand academy welcomes millions of visitors each year. For over 250 years, the RA has dedicated itself to nurturing and exhibiting artistic talent and is run by the Royal Academicians; a select group of artists and architects elected for the excellence of their work. Home to the longest established art school in Britain (the RA Schools), the gallery also hosts the Summer Exhibition – one of the most anticipated events in the city’s summer calendar. The variety of art on offer here is truly astounding, from ancient sculpture to Romantic painters and Contemporary icons.

Burlington House, Piccadilly
Mayfair W1J 0BD
020 7300 8090
royalacademy.org.uk

Gagosian-credit-Gagosian-square
© Gagosian

Gagosian

The brainchild of Larry Gagosian, this global gallery has outposts across America, Europe and Asia and specialises in modern and contemporary art. With a roster of artists that reads like a Who’s Who of the art world from the last 100 years they have become, closely followed by Hauser & Wirth, the leading global art gallery brand. Visitors can expect dynamic exhibitions featuring a wide array of celebrated artists, as well as a packed cultural programme of events, screenings, talks and performances.

17-19 Davies St
Mayfair W1K 3DE
020 7493 3020
gagosian.com

From independent galleries to grand institutions, discover Mayfair’s dynamic art scene with a stay at The Dorchester or 45 Park Lane.

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