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10 Free Art Exhibitions to Visit in 2019

Home > London > Art | Exhibitions | Free | Indoor | Lists
by Erin (subscribe)
I travel as much as possible at home and abroad. I'm always ready for new experiences
Published February 2nd 2019
1. Saatchi Gallery, Black Mirror: Art As Social Satire (28 Sept 2018 – 22 Feb 2019)

Black Mirror exhibition; Photo by Saatchi Gallery


The Saatchi Gallery is described as 'the world's leading museum on social media' and thus is dedicated primarily to contemporary art.

Black Mirror: Art As Social Satire is in the last month of its run. The exhibition features the work of 26 artists working in diverse forms, such as photography, collage, and installation, as well as interactive exhibits like that of Bedwyr Williams invitation to 'Walk a Mile in My Shoes', where visitors try on his size 13 shoes. The exhibition ranges from the humorous to the serious, private and public to explore the role of art as satire in times of dissent, uncertainty, political unrest, and questioning the status quo.

Opening: 10am-6pm, 7 days a week, last entry 5:30pm
Address: Duke of York's HQ, King's Road, London SW3 4RY
Contact: admin@saatchigallery.com

2. Museum of London, Votes for Women (2 Feb 2018 – 10 Mar 2019)

Photo by Museum of London


The Museum of London is hosting a series of displays and events to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act, the law providing the right to vote for women in the UK. The Votes for Women display is dedicated to suffragettes who campaigned over a 50 year period to achieve votes for women and includes objects from the Museum's Suffragette collection, including Emmeline Pankhurst's hunger strike medal. The exhibition also features a newly commissioned film that reflects on the contemporary relevance of the suffragette campaign.

Opening: Daily, 10am-6pm
Address: 150 London Wall, London EC2Y 5HN
Contact: 020 7001 9844

3. Whitechapel Gallery, Staging Jackson Pollock (4 Sept 2018 – 24 Mar 2019)

Installation view, Jackson Pollock, Whitechapel Gallery, 1958; Whitechapel Gallery Archive. Photo by Sam Lambert


The Whitechapel Gallery is revisiting their original premiere of Jackson Pollock (1912–1956) in the UK in 1958. Staging Jackson Pollock contains the masterpiece Summertime 9A (1948), archival material, and an interview with Trevor Dannatt, the architect who designed the original exhibition.

Opening: Tues - Sun, 11am-6pm; closed Mondays
Address: 77-82 Whitechapel High St, London E1 7QX
Contact: 44 (0)20 7522 7888; info@whitechapelgallery.org

4. National Portrait Gallery, BP Portrait Award 2019 (13 June – 20 Oct 2019)

Image by National Portrait Gallery


The BP Portrait Award is a prestigious portrait painting competition with a first prize of £35,000. The 2019 exhibition celebrates its fortieth year at the National Portrait Gallery and its thirtieth year of sponsorship by BP.

In last year's competition, the Gallery received 2,667 entries from 88 countries. The final exhibition displayed 48 works, including the four prize winners (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and Young Artist).

Opening: Daily 10am-6pm, Friday until 9pm
Address: St Martin's Place, London WC2H 0HE
Contact: 020 7306 0055

5. Barbican Centre, Daria Martin: Tonight the World (31 Jan 2019 – 7 Apr 2019)

Tonight the World is an installation hosted in The Curve gallery (located on Level G and at the bottom of the Silk Street entrance ramp, opposite the Barbican Shop). In this piece, Daria Martin, 'revisits dreams and memories from her personal family history to create a complex portrait of migration, loss and resilience.'

The artist uses film and gaming technology to create an installation based on dream diaries, written over a 35 year period, from her grandmother, who fled the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia.

Opening: Mon–Sat: 9am–11pm; Sun: 11am–11pm; Bank Holidays: 12 noon–11pm
Address: The Curve, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS
Contact: 020 7638 8891

6. Bethlem Gallery and Museum of the Mind, The Anatomy of Melancholy (16 Jan 2019 – 27 Apr 2019

The frontispiece for the 1638 edition of Robert Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholy; Public Domain


Bethlem Museum of the Mind opened in March 2015. The museum holds a collection of archives, art and historic objects pertaining to the history of mental healthcare and treatment. The Anatomy of Melancholy, written by Robert Burton, was first published in 1621 as a diagnostic and treatment aid for 'melancholia,' what might be called depression in modern terminology.

The exhibition explores how the causes and cures of Burton's book resonate across the collections of Bethlem Museum of the Mind, which spans 200 years.

Opening: Wed to Fri, first and last Sat of the month: 10am-5pm
Address: Bethlem Museum of the Mind, Bethlem Royal Hospital,
Monks Orchard Road, Beckenham BR3 3BX
Contact: 020 3228 4227

7. Somerset House, Hanna Moon & Joyce Ng: English as a Second Language (25 January 2019 – 28 April 2019)

Joyce Ng, Face Value for Numero China, 2018 © Joyce Ng; via Somerset House


For this exhibition, the artists have created two new series of photography works connected to the historical setting of Somerset House. The series examines the artists' feelings of being 'lost in translation', living in a foreign city and coping with multiple languages. The exhibition also presents works from Moon and Ng's fashion photography archive.

Opening: Mon, Tue, Sat, Sun 10am-6pm, Wed-Fri 11am-8pm
Address: Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA
Contact: 44 (0)20 7845 4600

8. Science Museum, Superbugs: The fight for Our Lives (9 November 2017 – mid-March 2019)

Photo by Science Museum


This long-running exhibition at the Science Museum tackles the frightening challenge of antibiotic resistance. The exhibition examines society's response via current scientific research and the personal accounts from health professionals. On display are bacteria created by bioartist Anna Dumitriu and portrayals of current treatments and research endeavours for the future.

Opening: Daily 10am-6pm; School holidays 10am-6.30pm
Address: Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 2DD
Contact

9. Tate Modern, Magic Realism: Art in Weimar Germany 1919-33 (30 July 2018 – 14 July 2019)

Albert Birkle The Acrobat Schulz V 1921 The George Economou Collection © DACS 2018 via Tate Modern


This exhibition presents German art from the period between the two world wars featuring works from The George Economou Collection. 'Magic Realism' was coined by the artist Franz Roh to describe the emergence of an unsettling new art form influenced by the social and political extremism of the time. The exhibition presents a diverse range of artists, including Otto Dix and George Grosz.

Opening: Sun-Thurs 10am-6pm; Fri-Sat 10am-10pm
Address: Bankside, London SE1 9TG
Contact

10. Studio Voltaire, The Oscar Wilde Temple (3 October 2018 – 28 April 2019)



The Oscar Wilde Temple is the culmination of twenty years of work, and the first-ever institutional exhibition of McDermott & McGough's work in the UK, to honour one of the foremost figures in LGBTQ history. The exhibition also commemorates LGBTQ martyrs and victims of the AIDS crisis.

The temple is a former Victorian chapel complete with period furnishings in line with the 19th century Aesthetic Movement of Oscar Wilde's environment. The poet and the oppressive atmosphere of Victorian culture are a starting off point to explore other issues around queer identity, trauma, AIDS crisis, and contemporary struggles and inequalities of the LGBTQ community.

Opening: Wed-Sun 10am-6pm, or by appointment
Address: 1A Nelson's Row, London SW4 7JR
Contact: 44 (0)207 622 1294
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When: Throughout 2019
Cost: Free
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