We are Unit London

Founded on our beliefs.
Driven by your passion.

Our history

September 2013

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...
October 2013

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.
September 2014

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.
May 2015

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.
August 2016

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.
January 2017

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.
New headquarters
June 2018

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.

Our mission

Unit London was born from a determination to overcome the barriers of elitism and to facilitate a stronger discourse between artists and audiences around the world.

Unit London is committed to generating mass engagement with the most exciting, talented and culturally-relevant artists of our time. Using new technologies and pioneering approaches to digital media, the gallery is recognised for diversifying and expanding contemporary art audiences. "Most commercial gallery spaces operate on the ideals of exclusivity and elevated social status - but we want to act as a narrator (with a megaphone), telling the story of today’s most gifted artists to a global, mainstream audience. The approach to our audience is totally indiscriminate and authentic, and the selection of the artists is not based on false constructs, pretensions or reputations  - only the work itself." - Joe Kennedy

"We were aware of so many incredibly talented young artists who were being ignored by big galleries because they didn’t have the reputation, commercial viability or educational background that they were looking for."

 

Since its inception in 2013, Unit London has strived to provide a unique and experimental platform for the world’s most distinctive emerging talent, showcasing their work to a culturally curious audience across the globe. The gallery is responsible for the rise to prominence of numerous important contemporary artists, and remains firmly committed to nurturing, championing and developing the most exciting emerging talent - regardless of their age, background, or status.

Our founders

"We were both in the same art class, were both obsessed with the same artists, and would always spend overtime in the art studio. We were both painters so we’ve always had a real appreciation for artists working in that medium."

At the age of 23, feeling disenfranchised and disillusioned with the art world, longtime friends Joe Kennedy and Jonny Burt decided to stage an art exhibition. In the years since, they built a gallery which is anything but traditional - garnering a global audience of millions of art collectors, curators and enthusiasts, and becoming amongst the youngest gallerists in London in the process.

Adopting progressive communication strategies, and with no prior experience in selling art, Joe and Jonny have never identified with the traditional art world, setting out with a belief in operating "their own way" and striving to innovate the ways in which contemporary art is culturally perceived, acquired, and engaged with. 

Reflections on our founders from the curators of 21st Century Women

Photo: Fru Tholstrup, Joe Kennedy, Jane Neal and Jonny Burt (from left to right).

“Unit’s team are young and forward-thinking in their attitudes to women as well as to the art world. They have embraced the opportunity to host an exhibition of all female artists, curated by two women, as a means to highlight the imbalance within the art world.” - Fru Tholstrup 

“Though significantly more women than men enter art school in Britain, only a fraction of these women continue to actively practice as artists beyond the age of 30. Nonetheless, a growing number of this minority of female artists are responsible for breaking new ground and contributing to the pioneering movements of today. It is high time that women artists attained greater visibility in the art world - and there is no excuse for discrepancy in price points between men and women in the primary or in the secondary markets. 21st Century Women is making a stand.” - Jane Neal

We believe in creating mass engagement with contemporary art and culture

Joe Kennedy & Jonny Burt, 2018

Joe Kennedy

Prior to founding Unit London, Joe moved to Sydney, Australia after completing his degree where he channeled his creative flair into brand strategy at advertising agency Leo Burnett. In his role there he married his understanding of human behavior with his love for creativity, launching multiple national and international brand campaigns for brands like Samsung, Smirnoff and Johnnie Walker. 

Jonny Burt

Prior to founding Unit London, Jonny balanced his two passions for acting and fashion - becoming a menswear designer for Bolangaro Trevor and later Sons of Heroes. He also embarked on a successful ongoing film career flying between his management in LA and his UK agent. Roles in Worried About the Boy (2010), 400 Boys and Una Noche (2012) soon followed. Leaving his role as fashion designer in 2012, Jonny decided to pursue his love of fine art and revert to his roots. Collaborating with Bolangaro Trevor, Jonny provided original art for their mens’  T-shirt collection.  

Our locations

Unit London

Our brand new London site packs a punch.

We have always believed that the future of contemporary art lies in the seamless union of digital and analogue. Our new Mayfair gallery opens at the end of June. It has been designed in exact detail by the founders, provides a stunning platform for our artists to tell their stories to the world. We are thrilled to welcome you to Unit London, Mayfair and we hope to see U very soon...

3 Hanover Street, Mayfair; W1S 1HD.

 

Unit 6

A project space dedicated to group exhibitions and interdisciplinary events.

Conveniently located in the heart of Covent Garden, just one minute's walk from the tube station, Unit 6 is an immersive event and exhibition space, dedicated to experimental projects and programming. A grade I listed building with stunning exposed brick and industrial steelwork, the space is totally unique. We love to hear new ideas, so please contact us for more information or enquiries about the events and exhibition programming at Unit 6.  

6a Langley Street, Covent Garden; WC2H 9JA.

Unit 6

A project space dedicated to group exhibitions and interdisciplinary events.

Conveniently located in the heart of Covent Garden, just one minute's walk from the tube station, Unit 6 is an immersive event and exhibition space, dedicated to experimental projects and programming. A grade I listed building with stunning exposed brick and industrial steelwork, the space is totally unique. We love to hear new ideas, so please contact us for more information or enquiries about the events and exhibition programming at Unit 6.  

6a Langley Street, Covent Garden; WC2H 9JA.

Unit London

Our brand new London site packs a punch.

We have always believed that the future of contemporary art lies in the seamless union of digital and analogue. Our new Mayfair gallery opens at the end of June. It has been designed in exact detail by the founders, provides a stunning platform for our artists to tell their stories to the world. We are thrilled to welcome you to Unit London, Mayfair and we hope to see U very soon...

3 Hanover Street, Mayfair; W1S 1HD.

 

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