Choosing the ten finest contemporary art galleries in Europe, a continent full of leading museums featuring thousands of the world’s masterpieces, is near impossible. Our list is a combination of famous institutions that fully deserve their impressive reputation and lesser-known museums for you to discover. With masterpieces by Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock, we explore the continent’s must-visit museums.
With no permanent collection to speak of, the Serpentine and the Serpentine Sackler maintain a reputation by constantly offering new, exciting and prestigious exhibitions. To gauge for yourself how successful they have been in this, consider that they housed Marina Abramovic’s epic 512 Hours installation, the follow up to her hugely successful The Artist is Present at MoMA, and that this exhibition followed on from major exhibitions from contemporary art giants like Yoko Ono and The Chapman Brothers. Its beautiful location in Kensington Gardens and its always cutting-edge summer architecture pavilion make this a welcome addition to South Kensington’s famous museums.
Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens, London, UK, +44 20 7402 6075
Serpentine Sackler Gallery, West Carriage Drive, London, UK, +44 20 7402 6075
One of the many emerging contemporary galleries in eastern Europe, the Kumu in Tallinn, Estonia sets itself apart from many with its excellent curation and fantastic new building. Exploring Estonian art from the 18th-century onwards, it is at its best when it shows the work made during its Soviet occupation, juxtaposing Soviet realism with non-comformist works to devastating effect. This combination of its Soviet history and its underground non-conformism is played out in its interesting contemporary section, detailing Estonian art now: a clearly fascinating history illuminating the work of many.
Kumu, Valge 1, Tallinn, Estonia, +372 602 6000