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Enjoy art without the crowds, for free

Not a month goes by when there is not a big art blockbuster on – Picasso, Van Gogh, Hockney, Gormley etc. As an alternative to shelling out approximately £18 a ticket and being squashed into the gallery among hundreds of others, I put forward to you some other alternatives.

Commercial art galleries: These art galleries can be found in all sorts of nooks and crannies. All genres of art are covered off – contemporary, sculpture, old masters etc. No need to be nervous here about browsing without an intent to buy, staff in these places are always friendly, welcoming and happy to chat about whichever artist is being exhibited. Head to Bond Street Station or Green Park and just take a wander round.

Auction houses: A few days before an auction the lots are on view to the public. Christies, Bonhams and Sotheby’s all have regular sales of art that you might not get to see anywhere else.

Permanent collections in the big galleries: While I’m putting forward alternatives to the paid for exhibitions at the big name galleries, don’t forget they have some fabulous free art in their permanent collections. You really don’t have to wait for a Van Gogh exhibition to see the Sunflowers in the National Gallery or to for a Dali exhibition to see Metamorphosis.

Local & community art galleries: Leave central London but not too far and you will find galleries such as the Dulwich Picture Gallery, Camden Arts Centre and Gasworks in Vauxhall. 

For a fairly comprehensive list of exhibitions on take a look at the New Exhibitions site.

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