Ride the culture train into spring with the best free shows in town!
By Steph Dye (follow Steph on Twitter: @HelloIAmSteph)
It’s getting super cold outside so what better way to stave off the bad weather than to take cover in an art gallery. Who knows, you might even learn something! It’s not just the traditional art galleries included in our list either, making these exhibitions perfect pit stops for a day out or an easy way to fit just a little bit more into a packed itinerary without having to splash out.
So whether you know your Monet’s from you Manet’s or not: here are 10 art exhibitions that you can visit in London for free this winter.
#1 | Anselm Kiefer: Walhalla | White Cube Bermondsey | Mixed Media | Until 12th February 2017
What is it?: Kiefer’s most recent exhibition is a mixture of large scale installation, sculpture and painting. Interweaving history and politics with landscape, the name Walhalla comes from Norse mythology, as well as the Bavarian Neo-classical movement. These themes are woven into the bleak colours and harsh outlooks for which Kiefer is known.
When is it?: Until 12th February 2017 (Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-6pm; Sunday 12pm-6pm).
Where is it?: 144 – 152 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3TQ.
#2 | Gavin Turk: Who, What, When, How & Why | Newport Street Gallery | Mixed Media | Until March 19th 2017
What is it?: This retrospective is made-up entirely from Damien Hirst’s personal collection of Turk’s work, which he has been collecting since 1992. Exploring the themes of identity and authorship, this 70-piece strong exhibition of work – some never seen before – uses recognisable artifacts and figures from everyday life to inspire discussion.
When is it?: Until 19th March 2017. (Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-6pm).
Where is it?: Newport Street, London, SE11 6AJ.
#3 | Rachel Maclean: Wot U 🙂 About? | Tate Britain | Mixed Media | Until April 2nd 2017
What is it?: An exhibition of artwork centered around a mythical, yellow, emoji-like being that supposedly embodies mobile data. The artwork brings to mind the ideological, love/hate relationship that we have with out phones and the ways in which they influence our lives.
When is it?: Until April 2nd 2017. (Monday-Sunday, 10am-6pm).
Where is it?: Millbank, London, SW1P 4RG.
#4 | Teller on Maplethorpe | Alison Jacques Gallery | Photography | Until January 7th 2017
What is it?: Fellow photographer Juergen Teller has delved deep into the archives of Robert Mapplethorpe’s work and created a 48 image-strong retrospective that stretches from the nudes of his lovers to still life and from Polaroids to the silver-gelatin prints that he is known for.
When is it?: Until January 7th 2017 (Tuesday-Friday, 10am-6pm; Saturday, 10am-5pm).
Where is it?: Orwell House, 16-18 Berners St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 3LN.
#5 | Jeff Koons | Almine Rech Gallery | Mixed Media | Until 21st January 2017
What is it?: By adding brightly coloured baubles to pieces of classical artwork, Koons makes us the viewer, the star of the show as we see our own reflection in the centre of the painting or sculpture. It gives us the the opportunity to ask what is it about art that makes us think.
When is it?: Until 21st January 2017. (Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-6pm).
Where is it?: Grosvenor Hill, Broadbent House W1K 3JH.
#6 | The Hyundai Commission: Philippe Parreno | Installation | Until 2nd April 2017
What is it?: A fairly unusual installation. Grab hold of one of the floating fish when it comes to rest on the floor and launch it into the air. Like a huge fish tank, the weighted fish float randomly through the air whilst noises – from rain to cars – are pumped in from the outside world.
When is it?: Until 2nd April 2017. (Sunday-Thursday, 10am-6pm; Friday-Saturday, 10am-10pm).
Where is it?: Bankside, London SE1 9TG
#7 | David Bailey: NW1 | HENI Publishing | Photography | 1st December 2016 – 31st January 2017
What is it?: Camden and the surrounding areas of North-west London weren’t always the dynamic. popular and exciting places they are now! The book that this collection has been taken from shows the area over thirty years ago when it was suffering huge amounts of disrepair and the exhibition ties in with the reprinting of the book. Go to find out what NW1 looked like before becoming one of the most popular parts of London!
When is it?: 1st December 2016-31st January 2017. (Monday-Saturday, 10am-6pm).
Where is it?: 6-10 Lexington Street, London, W1F 0LB.
#8 | Traces of War | Somerset House | Photography & Film | Until 18th December 2016
What is it?: Three artists come together, using photography and film to demonstrate the impact of war on both humans and our surroundings by using unconventional perspectives and images. Each artist has taken a different conflict or subject and attempts to subvert our attitudes towards war.
When is it?: Until 18th December 2016. (Wednesdays & Fridays, 12pm-6pm; Thursdays, 12pm-8pm; Fridays & Saturdays, 10am-6pm).
Where is it?: Inigo Rooms, Somerset House East Wing, Strand, London, WC2R 2LS.
#9 | Making Nature: How We See Animals | Wellcome Collection | Mixed Media | 1st December 2016 – 21st May 2017
What is it?: Attempting to discuss one of the largest questions of the human race – how do we fit into the animal kingdom? – is this exhibition by the Wellcome Collection. By bringing together over 100 artifacts – from film to literature to taxidermy, we can start to consider just where it is we fit in amongst our animal counterparts.
When is it?: 1st December 2016 – 21st May 2017. (Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 10am-6pm; Thursday, 10am-8pm; Sunday, 11am-6pm).
Where is it?: 183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE.
#10 | Zaha Hadid | Serpentine Gallery | Painting & Drawing | 8th December 2016 – 12th February 2017
What is it?: A collection of the drawings and painting by the late, visionary architect Zaha Hadid. The exhibition will be held in Sackler Gallery, an extension completed by Zaha Hadid Architects in 2013.
When is it?: 8th December 2016 – 12th February 2017. (Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-6pm).
Where is it?: West Carriage Drive, London W2 2AR.
Still catching up on the autumn shows? Some of them are still open so get cracking here!
All that culture might give you food for thought but if you are after something a little more nourishing, here’s some of the best budget brunches in London.