Modern Couples

Art, Intimacy and the Avant-garde

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A. Rodchenko and V. Stepanova descending from an airplane
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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.

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 dwell time 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.

Explore our Modern Couples event programme bringing the exhibition to life through curator tours, talks and more.

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 availability

Become a Member from £54



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

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

Opening times


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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

Get closer to the art

Members enjoy invites to exclusive private views and free access to all gallery exhibitions, so they can visit as many times as they like.

School Groups

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

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Additional support from

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Hotel Partner

Shangri-La logo

Promotional Partner

Win the ultimate ‘Modern Couples’ experience with Shangri La, At the Shard, London

We have partnered with Shangri-La Hotel, At the Shard, London, to bring you the most romantic prize going.

Enjoy a delicious breakfast in TĪNG Restaurant and Lounge overlooking the River Thames before following a uniquely designed love map that leads you on a romantic stroll from Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London to the Barbican. After a visit to the Modern Couples exhibition, round off your day with cocktails in GŎNG Bar. Enjoy a luxurious overnight stay in a superior room at Shangri-La Hotel, At the Shard, London.

To enter, please submit your details below before noon on Thu 6 December.


Who was the life companion of Emilie Flöge?

I would like to receive emails updates from Shangri La Hotel, At the Shard, London


This offer includes:

 A one-night stay in a luxurious Superior Room at Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London

English breakfast for two, served in TĪNG Restaurant and Lounge

Two tickets to the exhibition Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy and the Avant-garde

Modern Couples exhibition catalogue

Modern Couples tote bag, exclusively designed for Barbican Art Gallery

Two cocktails per person in GŎNG Bar 

Complimentary Wi-Fi

Use of gym and infinity Sky Pool

Full T&Cs


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

Barbican Art Gallery