Modern Couples

Art, Intimacy and the Avant-garde

Opening times & information
Hans Arp / Nic Aluf
Play button icon

Explore modern art and modern love; this major exhibition reveals how relationships can become a playground for creativity.

Featuring the biggest names in Modern Art, Modern Couples explores creative relationships, across painting, sculpture, photography, design and literature. Meet the artist couples that forged new ways of making art and of living and loving. The exhibition illuminates these creative and personal relationships, from the obsessional and fleeting to the life-long.

Including Dora Maar & Pablo Picasso; Salvador Dalí & Federico García Lorca; Camille Claudel & Auguste Rodin; Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera; Emilie Flöge & Gustav Klimt – plus many more.

Download the Modern Couples glossary of terms booklet

Download the Large Print Exhibition Guide

The exhibition contains some nudity. There are works of an adult nature in one sign-posted room. Parental guidance advised. Children under 14 must be accompanied at all times.

The average amount of time spent in the exhibition is approximately 1hr 30mins. Please also bear in mind that the exhibition runs across two floors. Tickets are valid all day, allowing visitors to break up their visit and use their ticket for same-day re-entry

No photography, food or drink is permitted in the gallery. All bags are subject to search and large bags, all backpacks, rucksacks and luggage must be deposited in the free cloakroom. You can find full details in our safety policy.

Exhibition organised by Centre Pompidou-Metz in collaboration with Barbican Centre, London.

Lead Sponsor

Exhibition Partner

Membership Plus
Unlimited free entry + guest

Unlimited free entry

Corporate Membership
Unlimited free entry + guest


Subject to availablility

14–25? Join Young Barbican for free

Unwaged: £12
Students: £10
Over 60s: £12
Young Person 14-17: £10
Art Fund Members: £12
Art Fund Guest: £12
Under 14s free

RSC's Romeo and Juliet ticket holder: £12**

Discounts are subject to availability. They do not apply to associated talks, films or workshops. They cannot be combined to make greater savings.

**Romeo and Juliet ticket holder T&Cs

1 x Romeo & Juliet theatre ticket will allow you 1 x Modern Couple ticket at the price of £12 (standard ticket price, £16).

Redeemable on-site only.

Redeemable at the Barbican Art Gallery ticket desk, Level 3, any day until the exhibition closes on 27 Jan. It does not need to be redeemed on the same day as the theatre performance.

Ticket offer is non-transferrable, non-refundable and has no equivalent cash value.

One time ticket-use only.

Offer subject to availability.

Opening times & information


Play button icon

Curator Jane Alison & Katy Hessel on Modern Couples

Curator Jane Alison and Katy Hessel (from The Great Women Artists) discuss some of creative and romantic couples featured in our exhibition 'Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy and the Avant-garde'.


‘ and fascinating‘
‘...passionate whirlwind of an exhibition‘
‘’ll go back for more‘
Time Out
‘...timely, revelatory and supremely engaging‘
Culture Whisper

Visiting on a Sunday?

Join us in our tropical Conservatory for an Afternoon Tea inspired by your surroundings.

Visit Modern Couples and you could win a Membership Plus

Every month we’ll pick a winning booker who'll unlock benefits like a year’s free gallery entry and access to exclusive private views

With thanks

Supported by

tp bennett Logo

Additional support from

Spanish Embassy logo

Hotel Partner

Shangri-La logo

Media Content Partner

School Groups

A special school group rate is available alongside free exhibition tours which are suitable for secondary school groups aged 14 and up. A discounted group booking applies to all school groups of 10 or more:
Year 10 up to sixth form (up to age 19): £3 per student

For bookings and enquiries please contact the school groups booking line:
Tel: 020 7382 7211 (Mon–Fri 10am–5pm)

School tours will be available from Tue 30 Oct. Please note, you will need to book at least two weeks in advance if you would like a free exhibition tour as part of your visit.

Planning your visit?

Download the Modern Couples Teacher Resource guide here.

In the shop

Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy and the Avant-Garde Exhibition Catalogue

Barbican Art Gallery