WanderlustWhere to buy contemporary art in London

Find the perfect piece in the city’s galleries, auctions and art fairs

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From leading international artists, to emerging new talent, London’s dynamic creative scene has cemented the English capital as one of the world’s leading centres for art. If you’re looking to invest, our guide on where to buy contemporary art will help you navigate your way across the city’s galleries, auctions and art fairs.

 

Auction houses

London’s auction houses are rooted firmly in the 21st century and these days it’s just as easy to pick up a Banksy as it is a Botticelli. If your budget is limitless, make the capital’s auction houses your first port of call for works by contemporary art’s major players.

Located on New Bond Street, Bonhams holds contemporary and street art auctions, where you can buy statement works from the likes of Anish Kapoor and Urs Fischer. A couple of minutes’ walk down the road, Sotheby’s runs contemporary art days and evenings. Sale highlights include illustrations by Keith Haring and Andreas Gursksy’s large-scale photography. Over on Berkeley Square at Phillips you can bid on sculptures from KAWS and colourful spin paintings by Damien Hirst. 

 

Galleries

Mayfair is the beating heart of Central London’s contemporary art scene, with galleries grouped in the area around New Bond Street. Representing everyone from digital pioneers teamLab to David Hockney, the influential Pace Gallery showcases a variety of leading international contemporary artists. Visit to browse and purchase prominent pieces or look at their website for the latest exhibitions. Another trailblazer is Hauser & Wirth on Savile Row. With a roster of homegrown heavyweights such as Martin Creed, the prestigious gallery has a revolving door of great exhibitions from the likes of Matthew Day and Anj Smith.

To seek out up-and-coming contemporary talent, venture east to Shoreditch. The neighbourhood that birthed young British artists like Tracy Emin and the Chapman brothers, is a creative hotspot. A pioneer of the East London art scene, Maureen Paley was one of the first gallerists in the area to showcase emerging artists, and at her eponymous gallery you’ll find work from the likes of Wolfgang Tillmans and Gillian Wearing.

Housed in a former Hoxton furniture factory, Victoria Miro Gallery is the best place to purchase the work of Turner Prize-winning artists such as Grayson Perry and Chris Ofili. Expect unique installations and captivating paintings.

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Art fairs

With a glittering arts calendar, London is never short of art fairs, perfect for picking up a show-stopping contemporary piece. The annual Masterpiece London at the Royal Hospital Chelsea is among the best known. Offering the opportunity for new and established collectors to purchase works across a range of price points, it features over 150 international exhibitors from every major market discipline.

START Art Fair at the Saatchi Gallery is a London launchpad for emerging artists, allowing rising talent to come into contact with an art-loving audience. Here you’ll find progressive painting, sculpture and many other mediums.

However, the highlight on every art aficionado’s agenda is the world-renowned Frieze London in Regent’s Park. A must-see celebration of works from over 160 galleries across the globe, this a great place to seek out big names and discover emerging ones alike.