Since the gallery’s inception in September 2013, Unit London has established itself as a global artistic platform for the world’s most distinctive talent. In an often opaque and unaccommodating art market, Unit London has sought to identify, cultivate and expose works of art on a meritocratic basis. The gallery has successfully launched and advanced the careers of numerous important contemporary artists and remains firmly committed to its driving principles of equity, innovation and accessibility.
The gallery is forthright in its dedication to be an open and transparent institution at the forefront of an expanding and diversifying art industry. As a consequence of its boldly independent approach to the gallery model, Unit London has become synonymous with a pioneering use of social media and digital content. The gallery endeavours to act as a platform; a stage upon which the stories of today’s most gifted artists can be told, whilst bridging the gap between the physical and virtual spheres of modern experience; connecting people with the art they love.
In actively engaging with its growing audience of millions worldwide, the gallery hopes to carve out a more significant role for the creative and visual arts in the future of our societies – firmly believing that mass engagement with art can play a critical role in cultivating creative thought. A more creative world will be better placed to solve the significant challenges it will face in the future. Championing art and creativity to the broadest possible audience is, and will continue to be, the gallery’s core, driving mission.
“We were both painters, so we’ve always had an appreciation for artists working in that medium.”
Unit London was founded on the enterprising spirit of close childhood friends Joe Kennedy and Jonny Burt. Frustrated by the prohibitive and confounding industry mechanisms that restrict broad access to the art world for artists, enthusiasts, and would-be collectors alike, Joe and Jonny opened a small pop-up gallery space in an empty charity shop at the ages of 22 and 23, determined to build a business that encouraged access, engagement and opportunity for committed and talented artists. As young gallery owners initially showing their own paintings, they set out to develop a roster of international artists that embodied a shifting global culture of information sharing and global connectivity. The pair were, and are, uniquely placed to influence the evolution of the art industry and play a significant part in realigning its ingrained value systems through the relentless and purposeful championing of exceptional artist talent.
Today, Joe and Jonny lead a diverse and multi-talented team of individuals in their London gallery who share in the mission of supporting the world’s most exciting artists, and making their work accessible to the widest possible audience – in the ultimate pursuit of making art a more practical and valuable aspect of our world’s cultures and societies.
At the end of our first full year in the Mayfair space, Unit London could be a place of quiet repose. However, as 2019 saw the gallery host 18 shows, establish Unit Uncovers – our programme for emerging artists – and introduce the brand abroad with a show in LA, the bar is set high for 2020. Work is well underway to bring U another amazing year of shows.
New Mayfair headquarters
Unit London launches a flagship 6,000 sq. ft space in the heart of Mayfair, on Hanover Square. Designed by the founders, the space offers an incredible platform for us to write the next chapter of our story. The first exhibition in the new site will be a show of new works by Ryan Hewett.
New York Times feature
In a year of astounding global media coverage, Unit London headline the New York Times culture pages, alongside art world figures Brett Gorvy, Stefan Simchowitz and Matt Carey-Williams.
Gallery moves to Soho
Having set up pop-up galleries in more than 5 different empty spaces in Covent Garden, the gallery entered into a longer-term 2 year lease on Soho’s iconic Wardour Street, where we hosted some of our finest exhibitions to date.
Our first solo show
Having moved gallery spaces again at the end of 2014 – our fourth pop-up – we decided to stage our first solo exhibition, with South African painter Ryan Hewett. The show was widely acclaimed and was entirely sold out before the doors were open.
One year anniversary
With undying belief in the potential of the gallery, our founders decided to move the gallery to Central London, where they could reach a wider audience.
Our first exhibition
In October 2013, we hosted our first ever exhibition – a group show titled Looking For U, which featured paintings from our two founders, alongside works from 12 other emerging artists.
It started with U…
The Unit London journey started in 2013, and originated as a concept. We wanted to put “you” – the people – back at the heart of the art experience. Setting up in an empty charity shop in West London, the journey begun…