Savvy collectors of ArtKabinett network who are visiting London for all of the summer events should not miss The Serpentine -- an art gallery in Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, central London.
It focuses on modern and contemporary art. The exhibitions, architecture, education and public programs attract approximately 750,000 visitors a year. Admission is free. Established in 1970 and housed in a classical 1934 tea pavilion, it takes its name from the nearby Serpentine Lake.
Notable artists who have been exhibited there include Man Ray, Henry Moore, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Paula Rego, Bridget Riley, Allan McCollum, Anish Kapoor, Christian Boltanski, Philippe Parreno, Richard Prince, Wolfgang Tillmans, Gerhard Richter, Gustav Metzger, Damien Hirst, and Jeff Koons.
On the ground at the gallery's entrance is a permanent work by Ian Hamilton Finlay in collaboration with Peter Coates, dedicated to Diana, Princess of Wales, the Serpentine's former patron.
In 2006, Serpentine Gallery premiered a major exhibition of contemporary Chinese Art. Titled China Power Station: Part One, the exhibition was housed in Battersea Power Station in South London, offering a rare glimpse for the public of the interior of a well known landmark.
The gallery was set up by the Arts Council of Great Britain and for its first years was only open on a limited basis during the summer months.
The Serpentine Gallery annually commissions international architects of worldwide acclaim to design a pavilion on the gallery’s lawn that provides a unique showcase for contemporary architectural practice. The pavilion is host to a special program of film screenings, talks, the BBC proms and café.
Since 2000, each summer the gallery has commissioned a temporary pavilion by leading architects including:
2000: Zaha Hadid
2001: Daniel Libeskind
2002: Toyo Ito
2003: Oscar Niemeyer
2005: Álvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto de Moura
2006: Rem Koolhaas with Cecil Balmond and Arup
2007 pre-pavilion 'Lilias': Zaha Hadid and Patrik Schumacher
2007: Olafur Eliasson, Cecil Balmond, and Kjetil Thorsen
2008: Frank Gehry
2010: Jean Nouvel
2011: Peter Zumthor
2012: Ai Weiwei and Herzog & de Meuron