A Note from the Founders
Unit London is a gallery and contemporary art platform built on the belief that art should be accessible to everyone.
The gallery was founded in 2013 when we launched a pop-up group exhibition in an empty storefront space in West London. In our first 5 years we were nomads, occupying seven different pop-up locations in vacant shop and office units across the West End, before eventually establishing Unit London’s first permanent premises in the former Citibank building at 3 Hanover Square, Mayfair in the summer of 2018.
With first-hand experience of feeling unwelcomed by the art world, we wanted to advance a more accessible and inclusive approach that would open the doors to new artists and audiences. We did this by practicing one simple rule: putting U at the heart of everything we do. The U in Unit London holds tremendous personal significance for us and is emblematic of our humanistic approach to inclusion and accessibility. We value conversation and connection with our visitors, and we strive to build real communities around our artists and their values.
From day one, the gallery has embraced change and resisted conformity. In a too-often opaque and inequitable art market, we seek to identify and cultivate artists on a purely meritocratic basis. As a result, our programme is diverse and non-linear – perhaps even non-conventional. Our vision is for Unit London to be more than just a gallery, but an artistic platform to empower the most gifted creative minds of our generation. We feel a strong sense of duty to articulate their stories to an ever-growing international audience, and to magnify their impact for individuals, cultures and societies around the globe. Since 2013, we are proud to have launched and advanced the careers of important contemporary artists whose work provokes, challenges and inspires, and we are passionate about bringing their work to the public consciousness.
We have always been excited by the idea of mass engagement and vast global reach for our artists, and our early adoption of digital storytelling is something for which the gallery has become reputable. Our ambition was, and is, to expand the audience for contemporary art and connect with as many people as possible, from museum curators to YouTubers, and everyone in between. The universal quality of art has always inspired us, and the accelerating role of technology in breaking down the geographical and ideological barriers that keep us separated has been, and will remain, a foundational component in our story.
Unit London represents a gallery model that does not bow to convention or tradition. We prioritise the needs and ambitions of the artists who define us and whose work reflects the ever-changing world around us; we serve our culturally-curious international community who share in our vision for a better art world; and we always put U at the heart of everything we do.
Joe Kennedy & Jonny Burt, Co-Founders