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Yinka Shonibare at Stephen Friedman Gallery
Yinka Shonibare at Stephen Friedman Gallery

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

© YAYOI KUSAMA Courtesy Ota Fine Arts and Victoria Mir0
© YAYOI KUSAMA Courtesy Ota Fine Arts and Victoria Mir0

Yayoi Kusama: 'I Want Your Tears to Flow with the Words I Wrote'

Art Contemporary art Victoria Miro, Islington

Possibly the world's most popular living artist, Yayoi Kusama is already the hottest art ticket in town with her Infinity Mirror Rooms at Tate Modern. While you're waiting for new tickets to be released for that, you can sate your Kusama hunger with this exhibition of new paintings, sculptures and her iconic bronze pumpkins. 

At Victoria Miro until July 31. Booking is essential, details here
Tala Madani at Pilar Corrias
Tala Madani at Pilar Corrias

Tala Madani: Skid Mark

This incredible show of paintings and an animation features Madani's latest character: a human woman made entirely of faeces called Shit Mom. She smears herself around bedrooms and sofas, slams herself into whirling ceiling fans, plays with oblivious children. It's vile, acerbic and very funny art. 

At Pilar Corrias until July 10. Book here

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Bridget Riley, courtesy David Zwirner
Bridget Riley, courtesy David Zwirner

Bridget Riley: 'Past Into Present'

The queen of op artis still going strong well into her eighties. This show of new dot and stripe works sees her continuing to explore the restrained, pastel-y palette of recent years (like in the National Gallery's forecourt) and it's totally lovely.

Bridget Riley: 'Past Into Present' is at David Zwirner until Jul 31. Book here.

Yinka Shonibare at Stephen Friedman Gallery
Yinka Shonibare at Stephen Friedman Gallery

Yinka Shonibare: 'African Spirits of Modernism'

It sounds like a group show, but this is all Yinka. This time, the superstar Nigerian-British artist turns his attention to animal hybrid sculptures and African masks, all covered in his signature eye-popping fabrics. 

Yinka Shonibare: 'African Spirits of Modernism' is at Stephen Friedman Gallery until Jul 31. Book here.

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Rhys Coren
Rhys Coren

Rhys Coren

A Time Out fave, Coren’s art just keeps getting better - and bigger. This is primary coloured semi-abstraction, all about swooping curves and visual rhythms, like disco for your eyes. 

At Seventeen Gallery, until July 31. 

Photo by Hannah Burton
Photo by Hannah Burton

'Fantasy of Having a Trailer Wagon All to Myself'

This intriguing group show is dedicated to the Indian art writer Manoj Nair, and features work by big British art names like Gavin Turk, Fiona Banner and Harold Offeh.

At Gallery 46 until June 18, details here

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© Frank Bowling
. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Thomas Barratt
© Frank Bowling
. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Thomas Barratt

Frank Bowling: 'London / New York'

Over six decades, Frank Bowling has quietly become one of the most important living British painters. Now, following on from his recent major retrospective at Tate Britain, he's showing works from the 1960s through to today, all full of beautiful, colourful, semi-abstraction. 

Frank Bowling: 'London / New York' is at Hauser & Wirth, until Jul 31. Book here.

Jennifer Packer: The Eye Is Not Satisfied With Seeing (Installation view, 19 May - 22 August 2021, Serpentine) Photo: George Darrell
Jennifer Packer: The Eye Is Not Satisfied With Seeing (Installation view, 19 May - 22 August 2021, Serpentine) Photo: George Darrell

Jennifer Packer: 'The Eye Is Not Satisfied With Seeing'

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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Kate Dunn
Cristina Schek

Kate Dunn

This young painter has created drippy, swirly, blacklight and neon altarpieces inspired by rave and pounding gabber music. Bring paracetamol.

At TJ Boulting, until July 3.

Bedwyr Williams, untitled Instagram drawing (2020)
Bedwyr Williams, untitled Instagram drawing (2020). Southwark Park Gallery

Bedwyr Williams: 'Milquetoast'

Williams’s work spans drawings, video, performance and objects but his 2020 was all about Instagram, specifically an almost daily drawing skewering some aspect of the artworld: androgynous art couples, taking-themselves-too-seriously curators, lame residencies, wankers wankers wankers. This show is a protracted in-joke that is actually funny. Williams can also draw really, really well. Almost like a proper artist

Southwark Park Galleries, until Jul 11. Book here

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