The arrival of top-flight galleries over the last few years sparked Fitzrovia’s renaissance.
Gallerist Alison Jacques worked as a curator for the British School at Rome before opening her first London space in a Mayfair town house in 2004, but three years later decamped to a roomier 3,600-square-foot space in Fitzrovia. Jacques’s stable of artists blends the media-savvy and controversial (Ryan McGinley and Robert Mapplethorpe, whose estate she has managed since 1999) with pop culture favorites like Jack Pierson (known for his letter sculptures) and collage maestro Paul Morrison.
This brand-new five-floor spread opened last May in a Georgian town house that was once a brothel. The notorious, headline-grabbing gallery is run by Steve Lazarides, the onetime art director of London’s now-defunct SleazeNation magazine. He was the first person to print a poster by media-shy graffiti artist Banksy and helped make him a global phenomenon. (Brangelina and Christina Aguilera have bought Banksy works from him.) Lazarides is also known for prankish, punk artists with a wicked wit, such as Jonathan Yeo, who makes detailed collage portraits of politicians using cutouts from vintage porn magazines.
London socialite and gallerist Pilar Corrias—who helped start Haunch of Venison gallery, a branch of which recently opened in New York City—opened her namesake 3,800-square-foot space to coincide with Frieze Art Fair just over a year ago. Her roster includes Scottish conceptual artist Charles Avery and Berlin-based Keren Cytter, known for her narrative film and video installations. Through Miuccia Prada, a client, Corrias tapped Rem Koolhaas to reimagine a leather showroom as a gallery with 16-foot ceilings and moveable walls that accommodate monolithic artwork.
East End mainstay Stuart Shave deserted the Vyner Street neighborhood in 2008 for this 6,500-square-foot gallery, designed by architect David Kohn. You’ll find works here by talent such as sculptor David Altmejd, Canada’s erstwhile Venice Biennale entry, and figurative painter Nigel Cooke.