The making of modern art through commercial art galleries in 1930s London: the London Gallery (1936 to 1950)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colleges, School and Institutes


This article explores the London Gallery as a disseminator of modern art. So far, the London Gallery has been considered as a gallery for surrealism only, as its longest-serving director, E.L.T. Mesens, promoted Surrealism all his life (1903–1971). By considering particularly its early exhibition history and activities in the 1930s, this article will show first that the London Gallery supported any avant-garde art contemporary to its showing, and second that commercial art galleries were the driving force behind the dissemination of modern art in London, using a number of marketing strategies that also included a claim to education.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-176
Number of pages32
JournalVisual Culture in Britain
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2020


  • the London Gallery, E.L.T. Mesens, surrealism, commercial art galleries, modern art dealership, The London Gallery, E.L.T. Mesens