Contemporary art:five places to source designs, prints and furnishings for your home

Find inspiration and buy something special while enjoying London’s contemporary arts.

1. Percussion in Peckham

The programme of events from Bold Tendencies is staged in a multi-storey car park reborn as an art space, with a rooftop terrace and the now-famous Frank’s Campari bar. But more than this, Hannah Barry curates exceptional art which makes you rethink the need for a traditional performance area.

Multi-Story, the resident orchestra, is simply committed to widening access to classical music. The musicians create “Living Programme Notes” to bring the music to life, devising interactive demonstrations which take place across four levels of the car park, before everyone gathers for the full performance.

Tickets are still available for Bartók’s Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion on August 28 at 8pm, and for percussion works next month. Standing tickets for other productions are available from the box office on the day (95 Rye Lane, Peckham SE15).


2. Dine with David Shrigley

Restaurant Sketch in Mayfair was as good as going to a gallery when it opened in 2002, from the hopscotch floor and taxidermy at the entrance, to the Moulin Rouge-worthy loos.

Restaurateur Mourad Mazouz is still supporting the arts with the latest installation from cult favourite David Shrigley. In total, 239 of Shrigley’s wry and thought-provoking drawings cover the dining room in the largest ever installation of his work.

Supporting the arts: Restaurant Sketch in Mayfair (Sketch)

The Turner-prize nominated artist created the tableware too, so that you’re eating from a work of art. The plates, cups and saucers are on view in glass cabinets in the lobby and available to purchase online from £65, while the drawings are available from the Stephen Friedman Gallery (9, Conduit Street, Mayfair W1).


3. Make a date with film nights at the RA

With its movie nights series —including Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love, on August 23, and David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, on September 4 — the Royal Academy supports a terrific private bar in the basement of The Keeper’s House restaurant. 

Private bar: basement of The Keeper’s House (Arcaid Images)

Open to non-members year-round from 4pm to 11pm, there’s also a charming outdoor terrace to inspire gardeners with limited space (Burlington House, Piccadilly W1).


4. Art of Eurostar

For those travelling via St Pancras International station, stop and look up at a new installation on the ceiling. For the fourth year, the “palace for trains” has worked with an artist to create a site-specific piece of art.

New installation: Thought of Train of Thought by Ron Arad (Getty)

Celebrated sculptor Ron Arad has just unveiled Thought of Train of Thought — a 60ft-long twisted blade of polished aluminium, rotating slowly along its axis (Euston Road N1).


5. YBAs at Fortnum’s

Über-collector Frank Cohen is putting his personal art collection on view from September 13 at Fortnum & Mason on Piccadilly. Works by Howard Hodgkin, Tracey Emin, Bridget Riley and Paula Rego, among others, will be displayed throughout the store.

Cohen has long been known as one of the most prolific collectors of modern British art, so to see these works on view for free will be a rare treat.

Art bookshop and interior design studio: Maison Assouline (Olimpia Castellini Baldissera)

Afterwards, pop into Assouline art bookshop - also on Piccadilly - which doubles as an interior design studio on the first floor, where custom furniture, lighting, carpeting and beautifully framed prints are on view and available to order.

Then fortify yourself with a Hemingway Daiquiri in preparation for London’s exciting new autumn season of art.


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