Loads of London art galleries are opening to the public this weekend

London Gallery Weekend is back once again for a city-wide celebration of the capital’s commercial art galleries. This weekend (May 31-June 2) will mark its fourth edition, and it will be its biggest yet. Contemporary galleries spread across west, central, east and south London are opening their doors to the public for three days of art, art and more art.

‘Aren’t their doors always open to the public?’ you might be asking. And, well, yes. But the whole thing is inspired by Berlin Gallery Weekend; a massive highlight of the international art calendar, which sees a selection of the very best galleries in the city opening their most important exhibitions all on the same weekend. People flock to Berlin from all over the world for it because their gallery weekend feels special, curated, like a can’t-miss event.

London Gallery Weekend is clearly hoping for some of the same hype, but it doesn’t have the same USP. For a start, most of the exhibitions at participating galleries are already open, you could go walk into Sadie Coles HQ or Thaddaeus Ropac right now if you wanted to, so it doesn’t quite have the same special appeal as its Berlin cousin. 

So what makes London Gallery Weekend worth attending, instead of just waiting until next weekend when you won’t have to fight through crowds of people in Cos to look at the art? Well, there are plenty of live tours happening, a few artist talks and in conversation events, a small performance programme (including one work which won a Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale) and – most importantly – all the galleries are open on Sunday, which is an almost unbelievable rarity in the art world.

More generally, London Gallery Weekend is meant to be a chance to celebrate the city’s diverse gallery in scene and give everyone a bit of love and attention. 

A full list of those talks, tours and events can be found here, alongside a list of all the participating galleries. 

London Gallery Weekend is at various venues, May 31-Jun 2. Free. More details here

Want more? Here are the top 10 exhibitions in London

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