5 Must-See Art Galleries in London - Broke in London

5 Must-See Art Galleries in London

5 Must-See Art Galleries in London

by Jen Barnes (@JenBarnes207)

I love London. Really, I do. I love the people, I love the feeling I get when I walk out of the tube at Charing Cross and I’m greeted by the magnificence of Trafalgar Square and I even secretly love the moody weather:  there’s something terribly cliché and wonderful about wandering around London in the rain.

What I don’t love: how expensive it is to live here! As a postgrad, I am constantly perfecting being Broke in London (and escaping the rain). Because of this, I’m always looking for new galleries to visit. Everyone knows about the V&A, Tate Modern and the National Gallery, but there are tons of small (free!) galleries in London, showcasing both emerging and established contemporary artists, which are not to be missed. ‘Contemporary art,’ you say, ‘isn’t that all just sharks in formaldehyde?’ Well, yes and no. There’s some of that, too, but there’s also light installations, film pieces and a variety of other mediums to explore. You won’t like everything you see, but at least you won’t have wasted money on it, either!

The following list of Must-see art galleries in London is just a very small selection to get you started on your contemporary art journey.


 #1 CHELSEA space

CHELSEA space is a public exhibition space attached the Chelsea College of Art & Design that exhibits imaginative and experimental contemporary works. Dobells, an exhibition exploring the iconic record shop’s place in London’s history, opens April 10th.
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Where? Address: 16 John Islip St, London, SW1P 4JU
Chelsea Space


#2 Peckham Space

Southeast London is home to Peckham Space, a tiny little gallery that specializes in public works resulting from close collaboration between artists and communities. Right now you can experience an alternative-Peckham-reality when you enter into Mobile Suit Academy’s installation in the building. The exhibition is totally immersive and even includes cartoons (perfect for the child in all of us).
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 Where? Address: 89 Peckham High Street, London, SE15 5RS
Peckham Space


#3 Parasol Unit

Committed to exhibiting works from international contemporary artists and British students alike, Parasol Unit’s exhibitions are ever changing: perfect for repeat visits! Not just a gallery, they also offer film screenings, musical performances and public lectures.
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Where? Address: 14 Wharf Rd  Islington, N1 7RW
Parasol Unit Gallery


#4 Chisenhale Gallery

Canadian artist, Corin Sworn, currently has an exhibition entitled The Rag Papers at the Chisenhale Gallery. You can read a fantastic review of the exhibition here. The installation involves film, synchronized lighting and sound, and an overarching narrative about attention, reuse and appropriation.
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Where? Address: 64 Chisenhale Road, London, E3 5QZ
Chisenhale Gallery presents a newly commissioned work by Canadian, Glasgow based artist Corin Sworn.


#5 White Cube

Located in the heart of Mason’s Yard in St. James, White Cube is a breathe of fresh air amidst all of the posh. A world renowned contemporary Gallery, they also have locations in Bermondsey and Hong Kong.
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Where? Address: 25 – 26 Mason’s Yard,
London, SW1Y 6BU
Chuck Close Prints: Process and Collaboration 6 March – 21 April 2013 South Galleries, Bermondsey 

Finally, always remember that contemporary art is best enjoyed when followed-up with a coffee or a cocktail! Free exhibits mean more ££ to spend on food and drink! We all have our priorities.

You may also want to check London’s Top 5 Markets.

Find more posts by Jen.