The Serpentine Galleries are located in two buildings in London's Kensington Gardens. Blending in with the massive green area that is Hyde Park, the Serpentine buildings are a peaceful oasis in a beautiful setting.
Focusing on contemporary art, the Serpentine presents eight seasonal exhibitions each year. Over the years, the exhibits have included works from more than 2,500 artists including emerging artists as well as internationally known artists and architects such as Henry Moore. These exhibits are complemented by outdoor sculpture projects, digital commissions and special commissions. The Serpentine also conducts educational programs.
The Serpentine Gallery opened in 1970 in a former tea pavilion built in the 1930s. It was renovated in 1998 under the patronage of Diana Princess of Wales. The building is divided into a series of exhibit rooms, some of which benefit from the natural light that flows through floor-to-ceiling patio-style doors.
Across the Serpentine Bridge about a fine minute walk from the Serpentine Gallery is the Serpentine Sackler Gallery. It is housed in the Magazine, which was originally constructed in 1805 to store munitions during the Napoleonic Wars. In 2013, it was restored and expanded in order to be brought into public use as an art gallery.
Reflecting the building's original use, the main exhibit area in the Sackler Gallery is windowless. Thus, it does not have the natural light that marks the original Serpentine Gallery. However, this enclosed space is conducive for focusing on the exhibits and the unbroken stretches of wall make it possible to display large works without crowding.
Each summer, the Serpentine Galleries invite an internationally renown architect to design a temporary structure called the Serpentine Pavilion. The structure must be that architect's first built structure in England. The stated aim of the program is to present “architects who consistently expand the boundaries of contemporary architectural practice and to introduce these practitioners to a wider audience.” Each pavilion stands on the grounds by the Serpentine Gallery for three months. The 300 square-foot structures are used as a cafe and meeting space by day and a forum for learning, debate and entertainment by night.
For more information on visiting, see the Serpentine's website
Above: The Serpentine Gallery.
Below: The Serpentine Sackler Gallery.
Above: The 2017 Serpentine Pavilion designed by Francis Kere.
Places to see art - - London - - Serpentine Galleries