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Free art in London

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

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

Sarah Howe 'Consider Falling' (2018) © the artist
Art

On Edge: Living in an Age of Anxiety

icon-location-pin Science Gallery, Borough and London Bridge
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Anxiety sucks. It’s pointless, debilitating and, often, very boring. This multi-artist exhibition is about the condition in all its nail-biting, bile-rising, dizzying forms. 

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Mona Hatoum 'Quarters' (2017) Installation view at Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig © Mona Hatoum. Image courtesy of the artist and MdbK Leipzig (Photo: dotgain.info)
Art

Mona Hatoum

icon-location-pin White Cube Bermondsey, Bermondsey
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Mona Hatoum’s world is filled with cages and concrete, charred homes and inescapable prisons. It’s not just her world that’s like that, obviously, it’s all of ours. Because written through the Palestinian artist’s work is all the conflict, oppression, violence and degradation that’s so rife in modern society. 

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Studio Danh Vo Güldenhof, 2019. Photo: Nick Ash
Art

Danh Vo: Untitled

icon-location-pin South London Gallery, Camberwell
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Sex, violence and religion: Danh Vō’s new exhibition isn’t shy about getting into life’s nitty gritty. And that might kind of be the point. The Danish artist seems like he’s tired of cranking out the monumental, critically engaged sculptures he’s known for and has opted instead to try another tack and just make everyone a little uncomfortable. 

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Courtesy the artist & Zabludowicz Collection. Photo: Tim Bowditch
Art

Shana Moulton

icon-location-pin Zabludowicz Collection, Kentish Town
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Anxiety is at epidemic levels. The painful agoraphobic stress of contemporary life is everywhere, and we’re all looking for a mindful way to escape it. American video artist Shana Moulton uses a character called Cynthia as an avatar for all of that modern angst. 

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Photo by Damian Griffiths.
Art

Rhys Coren: Shape of Story

icon-location-pin Seventeen, Haggerston
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The worst people on earth are the ones who take the tube from Covent Garden to Leicester Square. They have no idea what they’re missing. London is a walking city. These damp, polluted streets are built for trudging down; you’re meant to slap your feet on the pavement and make the city your own. Young English artist Rhys Coren knows that. 

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Peter Doig 'Lion in the Road: Sailors' (2019) © Peter Doig. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2019. Courtesy Michael Werner Gallery, New York an d London.
Art

Peter Doig: Paintings

icon-location-pin Michael Werner Gallery, Mayfair
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After decades of fuzz, fug, fog and gloom, there’s some clarity peeking out of Peter Doig’s work. The Trinidad-based Scottish painter has built a massively influential career out of clouding his works in a haze of dreamlike mist. He paints visions of childhood, nature and obsession that are barely there, like half-forgotten memories. 

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Photo by Ulrich Ghezzi
Art

James Rosenquist: Visualising the Sixties

icon-location-pin Thaddaeus Ropac, Mayfair
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Imagine viewing the world through a blob of transparent jelly and you’ll come close-ish to recreating what 1960s America looks like in the art of James Rosenquist. The artist isn’t an especially familiar name to British art fans, but he’s normally scooped up into the pop art bucket. His art ticks a lot of those boxes but he also has an aesthetic of his own.

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Courtesy: Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Corvi-Mora, London and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York
Art

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

icon-location-pin Corvi-Mora, Lambeth
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Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s paintings are stuck in the middle; caught between the past and the present, reality and fiction, freedom and constraint. The British artist captures black figures at rest and at play. A white-shirted couple reads, one in silence, the other speaking out loud. Three characters sit at tables, another lies in bed, a group moves in a line. Everything is quiet, dark, sombre, frozen in twilight.

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Jo Spence 'A Picture of Health: Property of Jo Spence?' (1982) Collaboration with Terry Dennett © The Estate of the Artist. Image courtesy of Richard Saltoun Gallery, London
Art

Jo Spence and Oreet Ashery: Misbehaving Bodies

icon-location-pin Wellcome Collection, Euston
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Walking into ‘Misbehaving Bodies’, the Wellcome Collection’s free exhibition of artworks by Jo Spence (1934-1992) and Oreet Ashery (b. 1966), you first notice two giant, bright pink teddy bears with extra-long arms. The terror-inducing teds sit on the floor under draping canopies of the same intestinal colour. 

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copyright the artist, courtesy the artist and massimo de carlo
Art, Contemporary art

Jamian Juliano-Villani

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You can’t call the RSPCA for crimes against toys, apparently, but one look at Jamian Juliano-Villani’s art and you’ll desperately want to. I mean, if hammering a dildo into a toy tiger’s mouth over and over again isn’t abuse, then what is? 

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