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Regarding Forests, Chrystel Lebas 2021; Tranquillity, Wellcome Col…to Steven Pocock.jpg
Regarding Forests, Chrystel Lebas 2021; Tranquillity, Wellcome Col…to Steven Pocock

Free art in London

See great free art in London without splashing the cash on an admission fee

Written by
Time Out London Art
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Looking at great art needn't cost the same as buying great art. With a shed-load of free art exhibitions in London, wandering through sculptures, being blinded by neon or admiring some of the best photography in London needn't cost a penny. Here's our pick of the best free art exhibitions this week and beyond.

RECOMMENDED: explore our full guide to free London

Free art exhibitions in London

  • Art
  • Bank

It’s like Trigger’s Broom down in the London Mithraeum. The ancient Roman Temple of Mithras was discovered in the 1950s, moved about a bit, covered in crazy paving, moved into storage and then moved back a few metres from where they first found it, reassembled piece by piece each time. If you move a building from where it was built, is it still the same building? If you rebuild it, is it still itself? That’s one of the questions Korean artist Do Ho Suh is contending with upstairs, where he’s built his own recreation of an ancient temple: the long lost Sach’onwang-sa from the city of Gyeongju. 

 

Book here.

Oscar Murillo: Frequencies
Oscar Murillo/Artangel

Oscar Murillo: Frequencies

Turner Prize-winning Oscar Murillo returns to his old school for this immense installation of stacks of canvases filled with scribbles and doodles and love hearts and skulls. That's not because he's had a teenage turn, but because all 40,000 of these works were made by school kids around the world as part of Murillo's 'Frequencies' project. It's big, impressive, immersively teenage and oddly touching stuff.

At Cardinal Pole school until Aug 30. Details here.

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  • Art
  • Euston

Happiness isn’t hip. We like tortured artists, not happy ones. Think of the countless millions of sad songs about loneliness, heartbreak and misery. Then think of the happy ones. It’s ‘Walking on Sunshine’ and that’s it. Well, the Wellcome Collection doesn’t care, it absolutely loves Katrina and the Waves, and its new shows are all about happiness.

At the Wellcome Collection until Feb 27 2022. Details here.

Rosie Gibbens: 'Soft Girls'
Rosie Gibbens, Death Becomes Her, 2021. Digital collage. Courtesy the artist

Rosie Gibbens: 'Soft Girls'

Darkly humorous, very strange and full of nudge-nudge-wink-wink sensuality, young English artist Rosie Gibbens' work is as funny as it is unsettling. This show is made up of severed limbs and household appliances, mashing together ideas of domesticity, horror and sexuality. 

At the Zabludowicz Collection until Aug 15. Details here.

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Christina Quarles: 'In Likeness'
Christina Quarles, For a Flaw / For a Fall / For the End, 2018. Courtesy the artist and Pilar Corrias, London. Photo: Damian Griffiths

Christina Quarles: 'In Likeness'

American painter Quarles is the modern master of the body: the figures in these images all twist and distend and morph in neons and fleshy colours. It's gorgeous, clever stuff, touching on ideas of intimacy, queerness and the history of painting.

At the South London Gallery until Aug 29. Details here

Imagining Landscapes: Paintings by Helen Frankenthaler, 1952–1976
Helen Frankenthaler, Untitled, 1958 © 2021 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Rob McKeever

Imagining Landscapes: Paintings by Helen Frankenthaler, 1952–1976

There are just fourteen paintings in this show of the late great American abstractionist's work, but each one is a treat. Frankenthaler is one of the most important abstract painters ever, and getting a chance to lose yourself in her world of colours and wobbly lines is all too rare on this side of the Atlantic.

At Gagosian Grosvenor Hill until Aug 27. Book here.

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American painter Jennifer Packer's art is all about diving deep into the history of portraiture and still-lifes, while keeping politics right at the centre of her focus. This is visceral painting.

Jennifer Packer: 'The Eye Is Not Satisfied With Seeing' is at the Serpentine Gallery until Aug 22. Book here.

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After plonking a giant ice cream on the Fourth Plinth, Phillipson has now taken over the whole central bit of Tate Britain with an enormous, overwhelming, immersive installation filled with mutants and abandoned technology. No idea what it's all about, but it looks great. 

Tate Britain, until Jan 23 2022. Book here

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