Contemporary Key

Contemporary Key is a monthly insight into the contemporary art world, drawing on specialist contemporary art knowledge and experience. We aim to provide an opportunity for those involved to meet others with similar interests and learn about contemporary art and its many dimensions.

PINTA Art Fair, 12-15 June

We have tickets to Pinta Art Fair for Contemporary Key clients. Pinta showcases galleries and artists from Latin American, Portugal and Spain. The fair hosts a variety of talk and a dedicated Pinta Photo section. 

Contact for more details!

Angel Islington June Tour with Contemporary Key

Saturday 28th June, 2-5pm

The galleries that Contemporary Key will be visiting on our Angel tour are unrivalled in terms of architecture, light and multi-disciplinary approach. Victoria Miro and Parasol Unit create a hub in North London, drawing  crowds of art lovers across London to see internationally renowned artists. Similarly, Cubitt Gallery and studios offers a hub of education, production and multimedia exhibitions within its variety of spaces and artistic directions. The tour will end at Candid Arts Centre, a beautiful building situated in two Victorian warehouses, offering artist studios, art classes and exhibition spaces, as well as one of the most tranquil cafe’s in North London.

Our Itinerary will be:

Meet: Shoreditch Grind

Parasol Unit: Jimmie Durham

Victoria Miro: Secundino Hernandez

Cubitt Gallery and artist studios: Dena Yago & Laurie Spiegel

End: Candid Arts Centre

Tickets are £18.

Please contact us for more information

[Image: Secundino Hernandez at Victoria Miro]

Contemporary Key Bloomsbury Gallery Tour - Saturday 31st May

Artist studio visits in an old cockerel fighting arena, a collector’s exhibition space in a former milk factory and a contemporary art gallery set in a private house. Bloomsbury this May will be a tour with a difference!

We are heading to Bloomsbury for our May tour to discover some particularly interesting gallery spaces that are steeped in history. The Dairy Art Centre used to be a working milk factory and and Cockpit Arts was a Cockerel fighting arena back in the 17th century. We will see a major retrospective of Julian Schnabel’s work before meeting artists working in studios at Cockpit Arts. We will then finish at Domo Baal for Rachel Adams’ show who explores the intersection between art and design.

Our Itinerary will be:

The Dairy Art Centre: Julian Schnabel

Cockpit Arts artist studio visits

Domobaal: Rachel Adams

Tickets are £18

Please contact us for more information on

imageImage: Julian Schnabel courtesy The Dairy Art Centre

Contemporary Key April tour around SOHO

Saturday 26th April, 3-5pm

We are heading to central London for our April tour to discover the international importance of London’s contemporary art scene. You will have walked past these galleries many times and not known that the unique gallery spaces existed next to your favourite clothes shop, restaurant or bar. This tour has a feminine and an international outlook as we will be looking at artworks from female artists from Iran, China and United States of America.

Our Itinerary will be:

Sprovieri Gallery: Avish Khebrehzadeh

Pippy Houldsworth: Francesca DiMattio, Mickalene Thomas, Rosson Crow

Sadie Coles: Andrea Zittel

Pace Gallery: Liang Yuanwei

We will be ending in one of the best gin bars in London where cocktails are served in paint pots and graffiti artworks line the walls.

Tickets are £18

Please contact us for more information on

[Image: Andrea Zittel courtesy Sadie Coles]

Kings Cross March tour

This March we are exploring Kings Cross area of London and visiting a combination of young and established galleries. Gagosian has been in their Brittania Street Location since 2004, whereas Maria Stenfors and Work Gallery have opened up in the last 2 years, reflecting the regeneration of the area and the buzz surrounding all the cultural development.

Our Itinerary will be:

Gagosian Gallery: Georg Baselitz

Work Gallery: Phil Bergson

Maria Stenfors: Astrid Svangren 

We will be starting with coffee and ending with cocktails as usual.

For more information, please contact

[Image: Georg Baselitz, Ill wam ruch nichtet mehr (Ill bar fe well), 2013]

Contemporary Key Shoreditch Tour

Saturday 22nd February.

For our February tour we are returning to Shoreditch where we will visit four particularly noteworthy galleries whilst walking through the area and stopping by a number of graffiti works. Shoreditch is the most creative and culturally rich area of London with the densest concentration of galleries. It is synonymous with the cutting edge British art scene where galleries hope to uncover the next big thing.

Our itinerary will be as follows:

START: Coffee and pastries at Shoreditch Grind
Mummery + Schnelle: Marek Piasecki
Rivington Place: Congo Diaries
Kate MacGarry: Josh Blackwell
Hales Gallery: Basil Beattie
END: Cocktails at Shoreditch House

Tickets are £18. Contact for tickets and more details.

[Image: Basil Beattie, Ascent, 2012]

Visit to Phoebe Unwin’s Studio on Thursday 30th January

As part of Contemporary Key Quarterly we host four artist in conversations a year. Our next will be with the world renowned contemporary painter Phoebe Unwin in her Hackney studio. Phoebe’s paintings shift between figuration and playfully bear tribute to particular places and events. Her materials are varied from oil and acrylic paint to pastel and graphite which are usually applied on canvas. Phoebe has been represented by Wilkinson Gallery and her works are collected by many prestigious collectors worldwide.

Amanda Wilkinson, Co-Director of Wilkinson Gallery, will be hosting the in conversation with Phoebe and discussing her artistic practice as well as looking as some of her works. This will take place on Thursday 30th January 7 – 8.30pm.

For more information please see Phoebe’s work here:

Tickets are £15 and include glass of wine.

Image: Phoebe Unwin, Day, 2007

Tour of Art Projects at London Art Fair

Our next tour will be a curator-led tour around the Arts Projects section of London Art Fair. Art Projects is a curated showcase of contemporary art from across the globe, featuring large-scale installations, solo shows and group displays, alongside an extensive Film Programme presenting a selection of experimental film and video work.

Curator Pryle Behrman will lead us around this young galleries section. Exhibiting galleries include:

Ceri Hand Gallery

Eagle Gallery

Galerie E.G.P


Maria Stenfors

Patrick Heide Contemporary Art


The Sunday Painter

London Art Fair is the UK’s premier destination for Modern British and contemporary art. The 26th edition takes place at the Business Design Centre, Islington, from 15 – 19 January 2014.

For more information please see:

Tickets are £18 and include entrance to the fair.

Candle-lit studio tour

This December we are embracing Christmas with a candle lit visit to the studio of Henrietta Abel Smith.

Tuesday 17th December, 7pm

Henrietta studied at the Charles Cecil Studios, Florence where she learnt the merits of painting from life using the sight-size technique, a method used by artists such as Velazquez, Reynolds, Lawrence and Sargent.

Based in a beautiful studio in Baron’s Court, London, we will be looking at her incredible work with a glass of Prosecco.

Price: £15

See her website:

Get your ticket here

Nino, 2012, Henrietta Abel-Smith

Clerkenwell tour this November 30th

Clerkenwell is one of the most historic, creative and culturally rich districts in London. It is synonymous with design agencies and architecture practices and falling between the cracks of East and West means that it has become the choice for a new group of young and ambitious gallerists. Its typical historical buildings play host to some very interesting gallery spaces.

We have an exciting tour on the 30th, looking at how artists are responding to the external pressures of the 21st Century - made manifest in Tom de Freston’s tortured canvases and the feminist reactions of Boa Swindler to the pressures placed on women by the media. Additionally, Reto Pulfer’s canvas installation work looks into how language and moods inform and define characteristics and the geometric studies of Kes Richardson make parallels with man’s relationship with nature.

Our Itinerary will be:

Start: coffee and pastries at Workshop Coffee.

WW Contemporary - Chiara Williams and Debra Wilson aka Boa Swindler aka Boa Swindler
Hollybush Gardens - Reto Pulfer
FOLD Gallery - Kes Richardson
BREESELITTLE - Tom de Freston

End: Cocktail Lounge at the Zetter Townhouse

Please contact us for more information and to reserve your place. We are continuing to fill up quickly so book early to avoid disappointment!

Tickets are £18.

Contact for more information and to reserve your place. 


Image: Tom de Freston, Splitfall, 2013, oil on canvas, 200 x 300 cm