After a long three months in lockdown, Monday 15th June will finally see the reopening of many of London’s major Auction Rooms and commercial galleries, according to a recent announcement by the Society of London Art Dealers. Social distancing measures are to stay in place, with galleries operating on a pre-booked basis to avoid crowding and booking systems varying from gallery to gallery.

The threat posed by coronavirus is far from gone, so all reopening galleries will be taking steps to ensure the safety of their staff and visitors. Many will be making use of systems like hand sanitiser distribution points, shorter opening hours, timed visit slots and designated routes.

Among the first major galleries to open will be Gagosian, which will open all three of its London spaces, with the similarly blue-chip White Cube opening both if its spaces. A number of the reopenings will be clustered in Mayfair, including the likes of Goodman Gallery and Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac. Also in Mayfair, fans of large sculptures can book slots for the last chance to see Sprüth Magers’ Peter Fischli and David Weiss exhibition, Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair? The exhibition is only running until 19th June, with the gallery’s next show, Sign of the Times / Times of the Sign, opening on 9th July. Like all the art spaces that are reopening, Sprüth Magers have set out specific social distancing measures:

With the health and safety of our visitors and staff in mind, there is a maximum of 2 visitors per 30 minute time slot. Attendees must be known to each other if not from the same household.

We follow all government guidelines and safety regulations, maintaining social distance and request that all visitors to the gallery bring their own mask. Sprüth Magers Gallery, London.

Sarabande Foundation

Another reopening to look forward to is that of Sarabande Foundation, which opens its doors again from 22nd to 26th June with a new series of events, Shapeshifting: Innovation with a Creative Mind. This series will revolve around Kristina Walsh’s new exhibition, Architecture of Autonomy, and will include a panel discussion, digital exhibition, art film and behind-the-scenes footage.

Kristina Walsh is an artist and creative director working across design, sculpture and moving image, molding research with emotion to initiate discussion about social personal perspectives of the human body. Architecture of Autonomy shows the evolution of Kristina’s project and focuses on the creation of beautiful prosthetic legs for performance: from a design series including new accessories, sculptures and prosthetics, through to photos and footage showing the collaboration of ten women.

Visitors to Sarabande Foundation will be expected to book a 20-minute time slot, use hand sanitiser, wear masks and follow a designated route to maintain social distancing.

The Net Gallery had the pleasure of recently scanning at Sarabande, with a focus on its studio spaces. You can view the virtual walkthrough on Sarabande’s website, at:

We will be following up by scanning the Architecture of Autonomy exhibition, so watch out for the virtual walkthrough coming soon.

Article by Toby Buckley.

Image credit: Installation view, Peter Fischli David Weiss, ‘Should I paint a pirate ship on my car with an armed figure on it holding a decapitated head by the hair?’, Sprüth Magers, London, 17 January – 19 June, 2020. Courtesy of Sprüth Magers. Photography: Stephen White.