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Art that's free to see

Barcelona is bursting with galleries showing off photos, sculpture, paintings and more – all for free

Everywhere you go in Barcelona you're treated to free art, with Modernist buildings, especially those of you-know-who, dotted around town. Museums filled with collections of all kinds are also abundant. But don't miss out on the city's free galleries, where you can feast your eyes on photos, sculptures, paintings, furniture... And if you're tired of all this free stuff, you might even take home an original piece if the mood strikes.

ADN

ADN (DNA in English) favours less-established contemporary artists, half of whom are locally based. Collective shows can be hit and miss so far as quality is concerned, but good to check out if you're hungry for raw talent. (It once showed the video work of Alejandro Vidal, later swiped by posher gallery Joan Prats.) ADN supports the worthy social projects of young architect Sergio Cirugeda, who creates ingenious foldable homes that clamp to buildings or nestle in trees.

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Eixample

Joan Gaspar

One of the more traditional galleries of the city, Joan Gaspar has worked with young but strong artists, and in recent years has exhibited the works of artists from the Paris school from the first half of the 20th century, such as Gaston-Louis Roux and Suzanne Roger, whose works are rarely seen in Spain.

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Eixample

Trama

Petritxol is a tiny street near the Liceu known for its cafés and chocolate shops, but, despite its size there's room to share with shops and art galleries. One of them is the Galería Trama, set up in 1991 as a complement to Sala Parés and it's dedicated to the promotion of contemporary art. The gallery works with a group of established artists with a solid body of work as well as with emerging local and foreign artists.

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Ciutat Vella

Marlborough

The Marlborough galleries of Barcelona and Madrid work in cahoots to coordinate and organise exhibitions of the artists they represent in other galleries and private and public institutions. The Marlborough family of galleries was founded in London in 1946 and won prestige in the 1950s for being the first gallery to show the German Expressionists in London. By 1958 Marlborough was representing such artists as Oskar Kokoschka, Henry Moore, Francis Bacon, Victor Pasmore and Lucian Freud.In 1962 the New York gallery was opened, followed by Tokyo and Madrid. They also have spaces in Chile, Florida, Monaco, Chelsea and, of course, Barcelona, which was inaugurated in 2006.

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Galeria 3 Punts

What you'll mainly find in this Eixample gallery is contemporary art in its many facets (the gallery's 175 square metres makes it suitable for most formats). Special attention is dedicated to new artists as well as those with an already established career. Seven or eight individual exhibitions are programmed per year, and the 3 Punts also takes part in international fairs and collaborates with other national and international galleries.

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Eixample

Joan Prats

Ever since its inception in 1976, Joan Prats has been part of art fairs Arco, Art Basel and Art Basel-Miami Beach. The gallery was one of the city's pioneers in contemporary art and continues to promote the various forms these artists use to express themselves.

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Eixample

Galeria H2O

Local architect Joaquim Ruiz Millet and writer Ana Planella founded this friendly Gràcia gallery in 1989. Design and photography shows and book publications feature on the agenda.

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Gràcia

Àngels Barcelona

Hurrah to local gallery owner and entrepreneur Emilio Álvarez for keeping the Barcelona contemporary art world alive - and its various factions talking to one another. This smart space shows photography and video pieces, and hosts the occasional performance. Nearby Room Service (C/Àngels 16, 93 302 10 16), is dedicated to furniture design, while Álvarez's restaurant Carmelitas shows lo-fi video art at mealtimes (C/Doctor Dou 1, 93 412 46 84, www.carmelitasgallery.com).

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Ciutat Vella

Toni Tàpies

Owned by the son of the famous painter, Tàpies hosts a classy mix of locals and internationals, the excellent video work of Portuguese artist João Onofre and local artist Tere Recarens included. On a related note, visit the Fundació Antoni Tàpies.

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Eixample

Arts Santa Mònica

This multidisciplinary centre for art, science, thought and communication features exhibitions set in different spaces of the building on La Rambla, including an open-air venue, lecture rooms for training programmes, a large main foyer area for large-scale functions, three exhibition galleries and rooms for exhibitions and the creation of projects related to art, science and technology.

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El Raval
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