White Cube Bermondsey opening night

White Cube Bermondsey opening night

Last night I went to the opening of White Cube Bermondsey, the giant south east outpost of Jay Jopling's other White Cube galleries; Mason's Yard in Piccadilly - which was his first in 1993 - and Hoxton Square in the East End.

In a converted 1970s warehouse on Bermondsey Street, the huge 58,000 square foot space is Europe's largest commercial gallery and is split into three exhibition spaces, with a wicked bookshop, private viewing rooms, a massive warehouse and auditorium which was showing artists' films.  We stumbled into Jake and Dinos Chapman's The Organ Grinder's Monkey featuring Rhys Ifans, a hefty dose of strong language and nudity.

The art gallery launched in time for the Frieze Art Fair, which means that the opening event was filled with minted, impossibly polished, impeccably dressed art collectors flown in for annual event; the glossy, moneyed art movers and shakers seem to be more into their labels than the fashion crowd because everyone looked slick as a seal.

Jay Jopling was joined by ex-wife Sam Taylor-Wood, her fiance Aaron Johnson, Damien Hirst, Tracy Emin, Gilbert & George, Lily Cole and, OMG, Michael Stipe.

The gallery exhibits lots of YBA big names; Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Marc Quinn, amongst others, and the inaugural show features a bunch of internationally-recognised artists and takes a fresh look at contemporary abstraction.

Structure & Absence runs 12 October - 29 November 2011
144 -152 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3TQ