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Enjoy an array of contemporary and modern art in London

Published: Friday 19th of November 2010

If you are a lover of culture and the arts, then one of the London attractions that you must visit on any trip to the capital is an art gallery - and the city is certainly not short of any for you to browse.

While there may be many art galleries, they are far from being all the same, with some showing pieces that are centuries old, while others focus on the modern and contemporary art that displays the creativity of today's artists.

If you are looking for the latter while in London, then you will find several galleries of international renown where you can happily spend an afternoon - or even an entire day - looking at works by a host of different artists.

One of the first places on your list in your search for contemporary art will certainly be the Tate Modern.

Established to showcase the best in international contemporary and modern art, you will find some of the foremost figures in the creative world have pieces on displays here.

Ranging from paintings and other traditional mediums of expression, to more conceptual works, you are sure to enjoy gleaning your own meanings from the installations you pass during a visit.

If you are visiting London in December or early January, you will be able to take in works by Gauguin, with an exhibition of his paintings running until January 16th 2011.

After you have sampled the delights of the Tate Modern, you may have had your fill of contemporary art but if you are still hungry for more, then you should head over to the Serpentine Gallery.

Founded in 1970, the gallery is set in the picturesque surroundings of Kensington Gardens and the pavilion that is home to its installations is full of modern wonders.

Another reason to visit the Serpentine Gallery when looking for things to do in London is that it is free - giving you a great way to spend an afternoon, while saving a bit of money.

One of the current exhibitions by artist Anish Kapoor sees the gardens around the gallery turned into a sculpture park with a large-scale display of pieces from the London-based artist.

Running until March 13th 2011, there is plenty of time to admire the sculptures that have been installed around the grounds.

The gallery is also home to the first solo UK exhibition of works by Parisian artist Philippe Parreno.

Using a combination of sounds and images, visitors are guided through a scripted space designed to heighten sensory awareness.

Audiences will also be treated to the first British showing of Parreno's latest film, Invisible Boy, which tells the story of a Chinese immigrant who conjures up monsters in his imagination.

If you time your visit to the Serpentine Gallery right, you can do more than just browse the installations - you can enjoy talks about the pieces and artists being displayed or you can even participate in creative workshops.

Every Saturday, visitors can look forward to a free seminar or discussion from an artist, a curator or an academic, usually related to one of the exhibitions currently on show.

And if you want to combine some modern art with something a little older, you will find plenty of locations - such as the Tate Britain - where you can indulge your passion for creativity.

Visiting some of the art galleries in the capital should be on anyone's list of things to do in London, whether they are visiting for a week or a weekend.

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