Got a space on the wall that needs filling? Head down to one of our favourite commercial galleries and pick up a piece of original art.
So you want a great piece of art that will impress and hopefully increase in value, but you don’t (yet) have the couple of million spare to drop on Sotherby’s latest Picasso.
Here’s our pick of the pack of London’s best commercial galleries – starting with the downright thrifty to the slightly more costly, from fine art to photography, video to street art.
1. Up to £1,000: The London Print Studio
The London Print Studio is a small not-for-profit organisation that provides a number of different services. Importantly for us, it has a large gallery of prints for perusal and purchase at very reasonable prices.
The London Print Studio is an artist’s studio complex where artists go to make prints. The late Lucian Freud worked there. Artists who use the studio range from huge international stars to smaller emerging talent. Definitely the place to hunt for a bargain – the prices range £20 – £1000.
2. Up to £10,000: The Hannah Barry Gallery
The Hannah Barry Gallery is at the heart of Peckham’s emergence as London’s hottest cultural quarter. The gallery was established in a disused warehouse in Peckham three years ago, and now has a second space on New Bond Street.
Employee Benjamin Eastham explains: “We specialise in promoting emerging artists. I think our commitment to and faith in young artists is what sets us apart to some degree. We’ve always worked very closely with artists, and have given them solo shows early in their career that have provided a springboard for their development.”
The gallery is also behind the Bold Tendencies sculpture park on the roof of a multi-storey car park in Peckham – the epicentre of the trendy South East London art scene.
The majority of works sell for less than £10,000.
3. Up to £15,000: Paradise Row
Paradise Row was founded in October 2006 by ex-Evening Standard critic Nick Hackworth. His aim was to exhibit and support the work of a group of closely aligned London-based artists including Shezad Dawood, Diann Bauer, Margarita Gluzberg, Douglas White and Eloise Fornieles.
The gallery has since taken on a number of new artists, but the magic ingredient remains the same: Hackworth and his team’s close work with artists to develop their practices.
There isn’t much you won’t find here in terms of mediums, with painters, sculptors, photographers, video artists and performance artists all on the books.
Pieces can be anywhere from a couple of hundred up to £15,000 for the larger works.
4. Up to £20,000: The Wapping Project Bankside
For those more interested in the fruits of the lens than the paintbrush, The Wapping Project Bankside might just be the destination for you. It deals exclusively in photography and video.
Sister gallery to The Wapping Project, north of the river, the Bankside project is a stone’s throw from Tate Modern.
Talking about her new venture, director Jules Wright has said: “Photography is a medium I understand well and I am consistently delighted by the passion for it in the USA, France, Switzerland, Japan and Belgium. And yet it remains underrepresented in the UK and I want to test that gap.”
Classic fashion photographers Deborah Turbeville and Lilian Bassman have recently been featured. The gallery also showcases new talent such as Edgar Martins, whose urban landscape images have caught the attention of critics.
Prices start at £2,000 – £20,000.
5. Up to £1m and beyond: Haunch of Venison
Haunch of Venison is a contemporary, international gallery, with spaces in London and New York. Founded in 2002 as a commercial gallery, Haunch of Venison represents some of the most important and exciting artists in the world.
Three years ago, the gallery moved from its eponymous space to the Royal Academy in Burlington Gardens while the space in Haunch of Venison yard off Brook Street and Bond Street was re-designed.
The new space is due to open in early September with a dramatic show of work by the young Romanian artist Adrian Ghenie.
Matt Carey-Williams, International Director, Haunch of Venison London, said of the redesign: “The newly renovated building opens up a range of new and exciting exhibiting possibilities for our artists.” We can’t wait.
The prices for artworks are diverse, but as a guideline, expect £4,000 to £1m+.