The newly opened White Cube gallery on Bermondsey Street feels a lot more like a public space or a museum than a private gallery.
It’s housed in a 1970s former warehouse which has a large, open and inviting forecourt and inside the space is vast. With there being several large exhibition rooms, an auditorium for film screenings and artist talks, and a book shop, it’s not surprising some visitors were wondering whether they had a cafe too.
Though it opened with a group show in Oct of 2011, it was followed with a solo exhibition of Anselm Kiefer’s latest work, and now by an exhibition of new work by Gilbert & George - which will concurrently take place in every outpost of the White Cube. They are big names with a strong pull, however, with this new space the White Cube has also started a new initiative called ‘Inside the White Cube’ which will show the work of artists who haven’t exhibited with the gallery before and should be an interesting platform for new work by up and coming artists.
It’s an exciting new progression in more than one way; this gallery is reshaping the perception of a private gallery where works are for sale as it’s now probably the largest private gallery in Europe. Everything about it, such as the architecture and events and education programs reinforce it’s intention to be open to all, shaking off the intimidation factor of traditional galleries. It’s also exciting as it’s making this area and Bermonsdey High St. more of a destination than it has ever been and will no doubt have a similar effect on the area that the second White Cube gallery space did when it opened on Hoxton Square in 2000.