Serpentine Gallery and Serpentine Sackler Gallery ★☆☆
Pair of Hyde Park pavilions devoted to contemporary art, architecture, and design
There are two listed buildings in the heart of Hyde Park dedicated to showcasing the best of contemporary art, design, and architecture. Many top established and up-and-coming artists have been show in Serpentine exhibitions over the past four and a half decades.
You never know what will be on (check the website for current shows), but past exhibitions have included works by Gerhard Richter, Henry Moore, Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Man Ray, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Anish Kapoor, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, and Marina Abramović.
The original Serpentine Gallery was opened in 1970 in a 1930s-era teahouse in Kensington Gardens, just west of Carriage Drive and south of the Serpentine.
A few minutes' walk north, across the bridge, an 1805 gunpowder store known as The Magazine was in 2013 transformed into the Serpentine Sackler Gallery by the firm of the late Zaha Hadid, which expanded the blocky structure to include, among other things, a weirdly amorphous addition housing a restaurant.
The foundation also has architects erect often eye-popping temporary Serpentine Pavilions park each year.
As with all contemporary art—very much a matter of personal taste—depending on the show you might poke your head in and leave almost immediately, or you might wander, transfixed, for an hour.