Art After Dark Returns This June - With Gallery Lates And Piccadilly Circus Installation

Art After Dark Returns This June - With Gallery Lates And Piccadilly Circus Installation
The National Gallery illuminated at night - and reflected in puddles in Trafalgar Square
Image: Randy Connolly via creative commons

The National Gallery, Royal Academy of Arts and the National Portrait Gallery open their doors late this June, as part of the two-day Art After Dark programme.

Running on 29 and 30 June, Art After Dark kicks off on the Thursday, with late night opening from West End galleries including Cristea Roberts, 3812 Gallery and Stern Pissarro.

Two young men ponder some art (out of shot_
Imagine being able to muse like this... but after hours. Image: Art After Dark

On the Friday, three behemoths of London's art scene are also taking part in Art After Dark, giving night owls the opportunities to gorge on free permanent collections, as well as current shows including the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition, and Yevonde: Life and Colour at the National Portrait Gallery, which reopens on 22 June, following three years of closure.

The National Portrait Gallery is also holding an in-conversation event (paid-for) with its director, Dr Nicholas Cullinan, and Jamie Fobert, the architect behind the gallery's transformation — plus a free drop-in drawing session. There will also be various Art After Dark deals, at West End restaurants and bars, including complimentary pintxos with every drink purchased at the Poster Bar at the Royal Academy, and a free glass of champagne by quoting 'Art After Dark' when booking dinner at The National Gallery's Ochre Restaurant.

All three galleries do weekly Friday lates these days. Visitors can just turn up to all the galleries, which are free to visit, on the night — although if you're planning on seeing one of the paid-for exhibitions, make sure you book ahead.

A young girl and her guardian
You can catch the Summer Exhibition after hours on Friday 30 June. Image: Royal Academy

The Art After Dark culture isn't confined to indoors: outside exhibitions are promised, including the transformation of Piccadilly Circus into a 'green oasis', thanks to the installation of flowers and colourful lighting around the Eros/Anteros statue — and the Piccadilly screen playing something calming created by Amelia Kosminsky.

Art After Dark, 29 and 30 June, across the West End.

Last Updated 09 June 2023