Championing new ideas in contemporary art since it opened in 1970, the Serpentine has presented pioneering exhibitions of 2,263 artists over 45 years, showing a wide range of work from emerging practitioners to the most internationally recognised artists and architects of our time.
The Serpentine is two exhibition spaces situated on either side of The Serpentine lake in London’s Kensington Gardens: the Serpentine Gallery and the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects. Open Tuesday to Sunday 10am-6pm, the Galleries offer free admission throughout the year.
In addition to a seasonal exhibitions programme of eight shows per year, the Serpentine presents its annual Serpentine Pavilion during the summer months, the first and most ambitious architecture programme of its kind in the world. These programmes are complemented by a series of outdoor sculpture projects, special artist commissions, digital commissions, public and educational programmes, and major outreach projects including the renowned Edgware Road Project.
The Serpentine's Pavilion commission, conceived in 2000 by Director Julia Peyton-Jones, has become an international site for architectural experimentation and has presented projects by some of the world's greatest architects. Each Pavilion is sited on the Serpentine Gallery's lawn for four months and the immediacy of the commission – taking a maximum of six months from invitation to completion – provides a unique model worldwide. The selection of the architects, chosen for consistently extending the boundaries of architecture practice, is led by the Serpentine’s core curatorial thinking, introducing contemporary artists and architects to a wider audience. The brief is to design a 300-square-metre Pavilion that is used as a café by day and a forum for learning, debate and entertainment at night.