Championing new ideas in contemporary art since it opened in 1970, the Serpentine has presented pioneering exhibitions of 2,263 artists over 45 years, showing a wide range of work from emerging practitioners to the most internationally recognised artists and architects of our time.
The Serpentine Gallery, a Grade II listed former tea pavilion was opened by the Arts Council of England on 1 May 1970. The Gallery was originally conceived as a place to show the work of emerging artists, particularly from the UK and its regions.
The Serpentine Sackler Gallery, designed by Pritzker Architecture Prize laureate Zaha Hadid, opened to the public in September 2013. Situated a five minute walk from the original Serpentine Gallery, the Serpentine Sackler Gallery has brought this 1805 Grade II listed former gunpowder store into public use for the first time in its 208 year history.
Gallery, Artist studio or collective
Gallery open daily from 10am to 6pm
The Serpentine Gallery offers a range of Education Programmes for all audiences, including family activities, education previews, workshops for schools and colleges, film screenings, projects, artist residencies, and publications. Information/bookings:
Sally Tallant, Head of Education Programming: 0207 298 1514
Eleanor Farrington, Education Organiser: 0207 298 1516
Underground Knightsbridge, Lancaster Gate, South Kensington
Buses 9, 10, 12, 52, 24
Parking meters in Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park now
operate on Sundays and on Bank Holidays.
The Serpentine is right at the heart of contemporary culture in London and is one of the country's most popular public galleries, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors a year. The Serpentine organises up to six exhibitions annually and is the only publicly funded gallery in London to consistently maintain free admission.
Architecture, Decorative and Applied Art, Film and Media, Fine Art
Speak: Tania Bruguera, Douglas Gordon, Laure Prouvost, Cally Spooner
- 2 March — 21 May 2017 *on now
Speak, at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, brings together four artists – Tania Bruguera, Douglas Gordon, Laure Prouvost, Cally Spooner – and coincides with the Serpentine Gallery’s survey of the late British conceptual artist John Latham.
The artists in Speak each extend and update Latham’s radical world view with their own sense of urgency. The Sackler has become a transformed space with an installation of video, light, sound and sculpture in the Powder Rooms, and, in the gallery, a bid for Cuban presidency and a composition of drawings, sound and a single live body. Each artist explores language as a medium for action, exchange and disruption. Together, they reveal how Latham’s ideas continue to resonate: from taking an unconventional approach to the reception and transference of knowledge to prioritising the role of the artist in society as an agent for change.
Tania Bruguera directly addresses political and humanitarian issues in her native Cuba through performance and long-term social engagement projects. Her interventions parallel the ambitions of the Artist Placement Group (APG), co-founded by John Latham, which positioned the artist inside industry with the potential to effect change. For this exhibition, Bruguera has made a video that builds on her recent announcement to run for presidency in Cuba.
Douglas Gordon was first introduced to John Latham in his years as a student at Glasgow School of Art (1984–8), and Latham remained an influential figure on Gordon’s work. He has responded to the architecture of the Serpentine Sackler Gallery by creating a new site-specific text installation incorporating Latham’s text works, drawing out their shared interest in the relationship between language and time, alongside a new video work which revisits and fragments a conversation between Gordon, Latham and the Serpentine’s Artistic Director Hans Ulrich Obrist from 1999. Gordon also presents two games: The Latham (Variations) redefining the Game of Freda and Ping Pong where objects collide in space and time.
Laure Prouvost takes an intuitive and bodily approach to knowledge, drawing on the everyday and domestic as events merging life and art, and exploiting the slippages of translation and language to confuse fact with fiction. Her experience working as John Latham’s assistant in the early 2000s has provided a rich and playful resource for her work. For this exhibition, she has created a multi-sensory immersive environment that combines synchronised lights and a sound narrative with sculptural objects and video.
Cally Spooner’s diverse practice includes film, audio, hired bodies, drawing, writing, and live events. She presents a constellation of sound, drawing, data and a live body. Her wall drawing wraps around the gallery, bringing together different streams of data – metabolic, professional and economic – extracted from the artist and her environment. Warm Up is a proposal for continuous restlessness and rehearsal – a warm-up for our position as individuals facing an uncertain political future. Warm Up appears daily, unannounced between 12-5pm. Carried by: Alice MacKenzie, Nefeli Skarmea, Alice Tatge, Rosalie Wahlfrid and Margarita Zafrilla Olayo. Spooner has written new texts Early Research Methods 9 – 10 for the exhibition catalogue, John Latham: A World View.
Speak takes its title from a 1962 film by John Latham, in which the artist experiments with pulsating sound and image. A series of screenings, performances, study evenings and symposia at venues across London has been programmed alongside the exhibitions Speak and A World View: John Latham.
- Family friendly
A World View: John Latham
- 2 March — 21 May 2017 *on now
As a pioneer of British conceptual art, John Latham (1921-2006) has exerted a powerful and lasting influence, not only on his peers but on generations of younger artists. This spring, the Serpentine hosts a new exhibition that encompasses all strands of Latham’s extraordinary practice, including sculpture, installation, painting, film, land art, engineering, found-object assemblage, performance and the artist’s theoretical writings.
Central to the world view that Latham spent a lifetime developing, was his proposed shift towards a time-based cosmology of events away from a space-based framework of objects. In Latham’s eyes, ‘flat time’ expands across and beyond individual disciplines, aligning social, economic, political, psychological and aesthetic structures. He saw the artist as holding up a mirror to society: an individual whose dissent from the norm could lead to a profound reconfiguration of reality as we know it.
Since he started exhibiting in the late 1940s, Latham has been associated with several national and international artistic movements, including the first phase of conceptual art in the 1960s. He was an important contributor to the Destruction in Art Symposium of 1966, and also a co-founding member of the Artist Placement Group APG (1966-89), along with Barbara Steveni, Jeffrey Shaw, David Hall, Anna Ridley and Barry Flanagan, an initiative that was to expand the reach of art and artists into wider society through organisations of all kinds, at all levels and on a basis equivalent to any other specialist.
Adopting a holistic approach, the Serpentine exhibition spans Latham’s career to include the artist’s iconic spray and roller paintings; his one-second drawings; films such as Erth (1971) and Latham’s monumental work, Five Sisters (1976) from his Scottish Office placement with APG.
Over the course of the exhibition, Flat Time House, John Latham’s studio home in Peckham, south London, will open to the public, hosting a programme of workshops and events. In 2003, Latham declared Flat Time House a living sculpture. Since 2008, it has been a gallery, residency space and centre for experimental events and research into Flat Time. It is also home to the John Latham archive.
- Family friendly
Teachers' Notes for Jeff Koons Exhibition
A free resource, designed to support your visit to the Serpentine Gallery. Teachers Notes include images, key themes, ideas to explore and suggestions for discussion and practical activities at the Gallery and in the classroom.
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