The second volume of the BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors features a total of 217 art collections in 156 international locations, some of them quite off the beaten path in remote places. In this sense the guide comes in handy to discover some of the art world’s most hidden gems and to guarantee some sort of adventure.

On the other hand, this publication also gives a whole new and exciting perspective on international art metropolises by opening up private space to an art interested public. To supply the reader with some more background information on the most important art hubs worldwide and to give an impression of their unique dynamics, the guide dedicates seven Shorties (short texts) to metropolises such as Berlin, Buenos Aires, New York, Paris, Beijing, Istanbul.

This time we would like to take you on a tour through London’s vibrant art scene, so hop on!

A new and interesting basement opened during the Olympic Games in London. In summer 2012, the Tate Modern unbolted its old, underground oil tanks—imposing, impressive spaces—for the presentation of artworks. Not far from there begins the district of Bermondsey, where more and more galleries have been settling down in the shadow of the area’s vital art institutions, like the Design Museum. Among the pioneers in London’s Southeast is Jay Jopling, whose White Cube Gallery now counts two London branches. There’s only one Serpentine Gallery, of course, with its rich program, annual Summer Pavilion in Hyde Park, and Sackler Gallery, which was converted by Zaha Hadid and is still scheduled to open in 2013. With the Gagosian Gallery, Hauser & Wirth, the London branch of Pace, Sadie Coles, David Zwirner, or the Lisson Gallery one can visit all the big players—and still has time for the next generation. Or maybe for one of the classic “hop on, hop off” tours: ride the red double-decker bus through central London that will bring you within walking distance to a few young, exciting galleries. Herald St. is one of them, and then there is Josh Lilley, and Rokeby. In the former working-class borough of Hackney you will find Rivington Place, featuring not only a stellar building by star architect David Adjaye, but also a young institution totally devoted primarily to photography, featuring thematic talks and a multitude of publications. Additional, stimulating reading material is provided by Donlon Books in the Hackney borough. Last but not least, London’s museums await a visit. In addition to the National Gallery and the Royal Academy of Arts, of course, there’s the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Tate Gallery. The mandatory cultural program also includes a visit to the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), which has been showing art of the present since 1947.

Christiane Meixner has been working as a freelance art critic since 1986 for a variety of magazines and newspapers. Since 2008 she has also served as a freelance editor of Der Tagesspiegel’s „Art & Market“ section.

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