This October, St James’s and Wallpaper* are partnering up to take you on a tour like no other. The St James’s Art & Design Walk is back, giving you the opportunity to explore London’s home of contemporary art. Curated by the commissioning editor of Wallpaper*, the walk takes you through a selection of intimate, tucked away galleries such as Stern Pissarro and Thomas Dane, as well as larger spaces like Christie’s, where the walk begins. You’ll learn about everything from Anni Albers’ pioneering wall hangings at Alan Cristea, to José Yaque’s ‘Kind of Blue’ collection at David Gill, exploring the origin of colour.
This year’s galleries include Alan Cristea Gallery, Christie’s, David Gill Gallery, Institute of Contemporary Arts, Sims Reed, Stern Pissarro, Thomas Dane Gallery, and White Cube. Here’s a taste of what you’ll find on the walk:
First stop, King’s Street’s marvel, Christie’s. Art with expertise at the centre of everything they do. It is renowned globally by art collectors, art academics, institutions and art enthusiasts; or, if you’re simply looking to dip your toe into the art world, this curated walk could be the perfect way to start. At Christie’s you’ll find the work of Emily Young, who uses materials that have a deep connection to natural textures. Her selection process is driven by instinct – some pieces are salvaged from the hills around her home in the Italian countryside, others discovered discarded at the back of a quarry, but each piece of rock and stone is chosen because of its transformative potential.
Next, Stern Pissarro Gallery. Designed by British architect Rodney Gordon, the gallery’s building is an eye-catching bronze anodised aluminium cladding making it a pinnacle of modernist architecture and a landmark of St James’s Street. The gallery occupies a unique position in the global art scene from representing five generations of works by the Pissarro family. Stern Pissarro Gallery specialises in Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary art.
On the corner of Arlington Street and Bennet Street find Skarstedt Gallery; the gallery's unique relationship with artists allows it to present museum-quality exhibitions both on the primary and secondary markets, with the aim to create a dialogue between the generations.
White Cube’s contemporary styled island of a building is tucked away in Mason’s Yard. The gallery was the first to give one person shows to many of the Young British Artists (YBAs), including Tracey Emin and Marc Quinn. It is owned and run by the internationally known art dealer Jay Jopling and has a strong reputation for cutting edge art.
Around the corner, Sims Reed Gallery on Dukes Street St James’s is a compact treasure trove of modern, post-war and contemporary prints and works on paper. The gallery is currently focusing on British contemporary artist Derek Boshier, a pillar of the British Pop Art movement alongside David Hockney and Peter Blake.
Thomas Dane Gallery
From just opposite Sims Reed Gallery on Dukes Street St James’s, Thomas Dane Gallery has lit up the neighbourhood’s art scene with luminaries such as Michael Landy and Steve McQueen, and is often associated with 90s-era British artists. The gallery developed its distinctive position through a strong dedication to moving image. However it hosts a wide range of exhibitions from sculptures and paintings to video, film and photography.
David Gill Gallery
Back directly opposite Christie’s, King Street’s David Gill gallery celebrates cutting edge contemporary art and design created by leading international artists. Visit the gallery and be captivated by Cuban artist José Yaque’s paintings. The artist’s ‘Kind of Blue’ is a collection of large-scale works, exploring the origin of colour.
Alan Cristea Gallery
Alan Cristea Gallery lives right on the world famous Pall Mall, south of King Street. The gallery is “artist-led” - working with a range of upcoming and well-known artists to create work across a range of media, from paper, sculptures and paintings. Here you’ll encounter the work of Anni Albers, who is admired for her pioneering wall hangings, mesmerising prints and textile works.
Institute of Contemporary Arts
Since its beginnings on The Mall, overlooked by the 124ft Duke of York column, the ICA has contextualised contemporary culture within the socio-political conditions of the times. The institute’s vibrant programme of exhibitions, films, talks and events are designed to stimulate debate surrounding the arts. Among the exhibitions, you’ll find Metahaven’s ‘Version History’, the first solo exhibition in the UK by the experimental Netherlands-based artists, filmmakers and designers.
The walks will take place at 6.30pm on 17th October, and at 11am and 12pm on the 20th of October. Be sure to book now for this one of a kind Art & Design Walk.