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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

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Art
  • Mayfair

Welcome to goth Blockbuster. South African artist Candice Breitz’s installation at Goodman Gallery is row after row of VHS tapes, all painted pitch black, their covers buried in thick, patterned, tar-coloured plastic, except for one single verb nicked from the film’s title, left behind in gleaming white. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Art
  • Fitzrovia

Rachel Maclean does Disney for the Instagram age. The main film installation in the Scottish artist’s brutally bright, saccharinely coloured new exhibition is a fairytale about a young blonde Disney princess/beauty vlogger called Mi.

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  • Art
  • Hyde Park

Hervé Télémaque saw the political potential of Pop, and pushed it to bursting. Born and raised in Haiti, Télélmaque spent a few years immersed in the abstract expressionism of New York before settling in Paris in the early 1960s. There, he set about building a visual language that would fuse pop aesthetics, found imagery and abstraction, all with a singularly political purpose. 

 

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Art
  • New Cross

Eugenio Dittborn was making lockdown art long before Covid. The Chilean artist spent years of his life under Pinochet’s brutal dictatorship. Travel, communication, life in general, all were tightly, suffocatingly controlled. So he turned to airmail. Using huge sheets of paper and fabric that could be folded down into envelopes, he created works that obsess over and explore ideas of movement, oppression and freedom. 

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Art
  • Contemporary art
  • Vauxhall

Photorealist painting is a bit like parkour or putting your whole fist in your mouth: just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Because at its worst, the ability to paint photorealistically is the ultimate expression of skill over taste. 

So why are so many of American artist Rachard Estes’ hyper-precise paintings so good? 

  • 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. 

 

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