Serpentine Galleries

The Serpentine Galleries are two contemporary art galleries in Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, Central London. Comprising the Serpentine Gallery and the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, they are within five minutes' walk of each other, linked by the bridge over the Serpentine Lake from which the galleries get their names. Their exhibitions, architecture, education and public programmes attract up to 1.2 million visitors a year. Admission to both galleries is free.

Serpentine Galleries
Location within Central London
Established1970 (1970)
LocationKensington Gardens
London, W2
United Kingdom
Coordinates51.50466°N 0.17505°W / 51.50466; -0.17505
Visitors1,187,621 (2016)[1]
DirectorHans-Ulrich Obrist
Public transit access Lancaster Gate; South Kensington

The Serpentine Gallery was established in 1970 and is housed in a Grade II listed former tea pavilion built in 1933–34 by the architect James Grey West.[2] Notable artists whose works have been exhibited there include Man Ray, Henry Moore, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Paula Rego, Sondra Perry, Bridget Riley, Allan McCollum[3], Anish Kapoor, Christian Boltanski, Philippe Parreno, Richard Prince, Wolfgang Tillmans, Gerhard Richter, Gustav Metzger, Damien Hirst, Maria Lassnig, Jeff Koons and Marina Abramović. On the ground at the gallery's entrance is a permanent work made by Ian Hamilton Finlay in collaboration with Peter Coates, and dedicated to Diana, Princess of Wales, the gallery's former patron.

In 2013 the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, with an extension designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, was opened to the public, giving new life to The Magazine, a Grade II* listed former gunpowder store built in 1805.[4] Located five minutes' walk from the Serpentine Gallery across the Serpentine Bridge, it comprises 900 square metres of gallery space, restaurant, shop and social space. The Magazine Restaurant adjoins the gallery space.

At a preview of her show at the Serpentine Gallery, Hito Steyerl spoke out against the Gallery's funding by the Sackler family, members of which own Purdue Pharma which is behind the painkiller OxyContin. The Gallery subsequently put out a statement that concluded: “Donations to the Serpentine from the Sackler Trust are historic and we have no future plans to accept funding from the Sacklers.”[5]


Every year since 2000 the Serpentine Gallery has commissioned a temporary summer pavilion by a leading architect. The series presents the work of an international architect or design team who has not completed a building in England at the time of the Gallery's invitation. Each Pavilion is completed within six months and is situated on the Gallery's lawn for three months for the public to explore. Cecil Balmond has been a creative force behind Serpentine Pavilion programme.

See also


  1. "Visitor Figures 2016" (PDF). The Art Newspaper Review. April 2017. p. 14. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  2. Historic England. "Serpentine Art Gallery (1217605)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
  3. Liam Gillick, "Allan McCollum at the Serpentine", Artscribe, Summer 1989
  4. Historic England. "The Magazine (1278154)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
  5. Walters, Joanna (12 April 2019). "Serpentine Gallery shuns Sacklers after artist likens family to a 'serial killer'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 12 April 2019 via
  6. Jonathan Glancey (8 July 2002). "Now you see it: Toyo Ito's pavilion in Hyde Park". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  7. Jonathan Glancey (25 June 2003). "Oscar Niemeyer's Serpentine pavilion". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  8. ludwig abache & Carolin Hinne,, "Eduardo Souto de Moura-Álvaro Siza pavilion". 0lll. Archived from the original on 27 October 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2013.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  9. Steve Rose (3 July 2006). "Steve Rose on Rem Koolhaas's Serpentine Pavilion". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  10. Sibley, Fiona (13 July 2007). "Pavilions mushroom thanks to Hadid's magic". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  11. Fernando, Shehani (4 September 2007). "Olafur Eliasson pavilion". London: Guardian. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  12. The Guardian: Serpentine Pavilion 2008: Frank Gehry, 22 July 2008
  13. Jonathan Glancey: Sanaa unveils enchanting Serpentine pavilion in The Guardian, 2 April 2009
  14. "Jean Nouvel's Serpentine gallery pavilion". London: The Guardian. 6 July 2010. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  15. Jonathan Glancey: Swiss-made Serpentine pavilion presents garden of tranquility in The Guardian, 27 June 2011
  16. Fortnam, Joanna (29 June 2011). "Piet Oudolf's garden at the Serpentine Gallery pavilion". The Telegraph. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  17. "BBC News ''Ai Weiwei to create underground design for Serpentine ''". 7 February 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  18. "Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2013 by Sou Fujimoto" 1 June - 20 October 2013
  19. Wainwright, Oliver: "Chilean architect Smiljan Radic to design 2014 Serpentine pavilion" in The Guardian, 12 March 2014
  20. Wainwright, Oliver: "Magic mushroom maze: this summer's Serpentine pavilion will be a psychedelic trip" in The Guardian, 25 March 2015
  21. "Serpentine Galleries Pavilion 2016 by Bjarke Ingels" 10 June - 9 October 2016
  22. Wainwright, Oliver (21 February 2017). "Francis Kéré becomes first African architect of Serpentine pavilion". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  23. Wainwright, Oliver: "Serpentine Pavilion 2018 review – cement tiles, shade and a paddling pool" in The Guardian, 11 June 2018
  24. Serpentine Galleries: "Serpentine Pavilion 2019 designed by Junya Ishigami" 27 February 2019
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