in Frieze London | 04 OCT 23

London According to: Will Hine from GRIMM

Celebrating one year in London, GRIMM Gallery fosters community between artists. Its director gives a gallerist’s eye view of London

in Frieze London | 04 OCT 23

Originating in Amsterdam, GRIMM Gallery found its London home one year ago, on Bourdon Street, Mayfair. With a mission to give a platform to emerging and overlooked mid-career artists, GRIMM’s roster has more than 30 names from across the world, including Anthony Cudahy, Caroline Walker and Angela Heisch. Director of GRIMM London Will Hine offers his take on the city, including his south London highlights and being wary of over-saturation

Favourite restaurant/café in your area? 

I’m happy to endorse the Georgian cafe Entrée on Bruton Place for their coffee and selection of baked goods. My friend Guy also works at Noble Rot and my partner and I popped in to their new location on Shepherd’s Market a few weeks back to sample their intimidating wine list and delicious bar snacks. Highly recommend.

Noble Rot exterior
Noble Rot exterior. Image courtesy of GRIMM. 

Best pub near the gallery?

I’ve tried a lot of the pubs nearby but none yet distinguish themselves as the best. We’ve been frequenting The Iron Duke on Avery Row recently, which is fast becoming our regular. A very honourable mention must go to The Burlington Arms, too. I’ve got a lot of fond memories from nights out at the Burly. I’m also told the Scotch Eggs are top notch.

The Iron Duke interior
The Iron Duke interior. Image courtesy of GRIMM. 

Your most recommended local business?

Lee’s Carpentry. Lee has done the fit out for a few local galleries including our own when we took over our Bourdon St premises last year. We couldn’t have asked for a better builder to work with and I know that a lot of other local businesses rely on his handiwork.

Burlington Arms
The Burlington Arms exterior. Image courtesy of GRIMM.

Favourite museum or gallery in London?

I live in Camberwell so definitely gravitate towards what is on offer locally. I’m fortunate to have institutions like Goldsmiths CCA, South London Gallery, Gasworks and Dulwich Picture Gallery all relatively close to where I live. I’m also very happy to see the return of The Drawing Room at its new premises in Bermondsey.

In terms of galleries, we are spoiled for choice in London. Close to home I like to visit The Sunday Painter, Corvi Mora, Sim Smith and Hannah Barry. I’m also excited about the wave of newer galleries opening across the city and have seen some really strong exhibitions at Ginny on Frederick, Rose Easton and Vardaxoglou. 

South London Gallery exterior. Image courtesy of GRIMM. 

Favourite exhibition in London at the moment and the last exhibition you went to?

The last exhibition I went to was Xavier Robles de Medina’s solo show at Alice Amati, one of Fitzrovia’s great new galleries to keep an eye on. I also went with our gallery artist Claudia Martínez Garay to the wonderful Odotores Ricardo de Ozias exhibition at David Zwirner, which we both loved, so that is certainly another one of my favourites at the moment. 

Installation view of Xavier Robles de Medina ‘I will go away into the wild wood, and never come home again.’ at Alice Amati, London. Photo by Tom Carter.
Installation view of Xavier Robles de Medina ‘I will go away into the wild wood, and never come home again.’ at Alice Amati, London. Photo by Tom Carter. 

Which emerging art trend and/or artist excite you at the moment?

I’m wary of weighing in on emerging ‘trends’ but would say I’m usually excited by artists who evidence their appreciation of art history and the love of their craft within the work, maybe through a subtle quotation of a great artwork that inspired them or a flourish of something that is technically virtuosic that stops you in your tracks. We’re bringing a new work by Tommy Harrison to Frieze London this year which I think is a brilliant example of an emerging artist that loves the history of painting and shows great awareness of its lineage while also being attuned to the contemporary moment he is working in. I’m really looking forward to his solo show at our Amsterdam gallery in 2024. 

Tommy Harrison  For The Troops, 2023  Oil on canvas  200 x 270 cm | 78 3/4 x 106 1/4 in
Tommy Harrison, For The Troops, 2023

Oil on canvas, 200 x 270 cm | 78 3/4 x 106 1/4 in

Image courtesy the artist and GRIMM. 


What’s great about your gallery’s location?

It’s so centrally located. If you’re doing the rounds in Mayfair you can’t miss us.

Tell us about the concept behind your gallery and the kind of artists you look out for

I feel very privileged to be representing Jorg and the gallery’s roster of artists in London. We opened here as we have a lot of incredible UK and Ireland based artists we can show, as well as some of the most important contemporary Dutch artists working today. So our priority first and foremost is to our existing artists but of course we look out for new artists, too. Something I find really refreshing about our program is the sense of community within it. Many of our artists came as recommendations from other artists we already represent or curators with whom we have longstanding relationships and whose opinion we really value and trust. 

What changes have you seen in your local area since the gallery opened? What changes would you like to see in the future?

GRIMM’s first London space opened just 12 months ago so I suppose we are amongst the change in the area as a new arrival in the neighbourhood, as far as galleries are concerned anyway. More broadly, though, it’s been encouraging to see how collaborative galleries across the city are becoming. 

We’re actually going to be co-hosting the first UK solo exhibition by Anthony Cudahy in collaboration with Hales Gallery, opening this October. He’ll have a new body of work on view across our space in Mayfair and their space in Shoreditch. So I’m looking out for more of these inter-gallery collaborations and platforms. I always loved visiting Condo each January and have to say London Gallery Weekend was a big success for us last year. Also, how great is The Shop at Sadie Coles HQ?

Anthony Cudahy  Arthur Russell on the shore, 2023  Oil on linen  182.9 x 152.4 cm | 72 x 60 in
Anthony Cudahy, Arthur Russell on the shore, 2023

Oil on linen, 182.9 x 152.4 cm | 72 x 60 in

Image courtesy the artist and GRIMM.


What sets the London art scene apart from that of other cities (your local art scene in particular)?

I think it’s hard to have perspective from inside of it, sometimes! London undoubtedly has everything going for it in terms of the calibre and prestige of its museums, galleries, art schools and universities, not to mention its art market and so forth, but these things can also make it slightly oversaturated. 

I’m not from London so I think I have a healthy degree of scepticism about it and try to make the most of visiting other places in the UK and further afield. I’m regularly back in my hometown of Manchester as we have artists including Louise Giovanelli and Tommy Harrison based there, and I’ve enjoyed getting (re)acquainted with what’s going on there. 

Why would you recommend this area to art lovers new to London?

You’ll get to see a lot of great gallery shows and also some masterpieces at the auction previews if that’s your bag. Everything is incredibly close together so it’s very convenient. Just make sure you save some time to explore. 

Drawing Room
Drawing Room Bermondsey. Image courtesy of GRIMM.


Best thing about London?

There’s so much to do!


Worst thing about London?

There’s so much to do…


GRIMM, 2 Bourdon St, London W1K 3PA, @grimmgallery


Main image: Exterior shot of Letha Wilson’s ‘Fields of Vision’, 2023 by Rob Harris

Thumbnail image: Anthony Cudahy, Violent echo / rumination, 2023. Diptych - Left: Oil, acrylic, and pencil on canvas, oil on linen, 121.9 x 213.4 cm | 48 x 84 in