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Young Barbican Nights: Modern Couples

Explore modern art and modern love in our first Young Barbican Nights of Modern Couples, the next exhibition in our Art Gallery.

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.

Come alone, with friends or as your own kind of 'modern couple' and enjoy a drink in our Garden Room or explore our Conservatory. 

The gallery will only be open from 6.30–8.30pm. 

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.



Join our Barbican Young Creatives for a series of ‘happenings’ in response to the exhibition. They will invite you to look at chosen artworks, themes or ideas within the exhibition in a new light by encouraging you to watch, participate or interact with their performances.

Bianca is a Culture, Criticism and Curation student at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London. Half Russian, half Bulgarian, she grew up in Cyprus, and has been based in London for the last two and a half years. She is particularly interested in the representation of love and relationships in contemporary art, culture and media, and is greatly inspired by this exhibition. 

For Modern Couples, she’ll be screening a short film, in which she has interviewed ‘successful’ creative couples, or couples of the same occupation and field. Meet Bianca in the Garden Room and be part of her film which will juxtapose the ‘Modern Couples’ of the exhibition with ‘Contemporary Couples’, and see whether this kind of romanticism is possible in the 2018.

Mateo is a choreographer and performance artist from Bolivia. Along with collaborator Monika Błaszczak, they present a series of living sculptures that respond to the gallery’s environment, bridging the gap between viewers and the exhibition, offering their own bodies as canvases of presence in space. 

Mateo Dupleich Rozo is a multidisciplinary artist from Bolivia. She is currently finishing her studies at Trinity Laban Conservatoire while working as a freelance performance artist, musician and choreographer in London. She has presented choreographies and performed in various projects in Norway, London and Bolivia, with artists such as Jana Winderen, Hagit Yakira, Rachel Birch-Lawson, Daniel Jacoby, Anna Talvi, Maque Pereyra, Norma Quintana and more. She is currently working on a new piece to be presented at the Bonnie Bird Theatre in June 2019.

Tice will be delivering three poems within the space based on research carried out to unveil some of what we don’t know about those included in the exhibition. Expect a bio-poem written about Henry Crowder’s career as a musician, and a poem exploring Lorca, Dali, and their Madrid memories.

Tice Cin is a writer and creative producer from Tottenham, North London. Her work has been placed in publications such as Skin Deep Magazine and commissioned by St Paul’s Cathedral, Apples and Snakes, and the Barbican Centre. An awardee of The London Writers Awards literary fiction category, she is currently working on her first novel – a story set in Tottenham and Cyprus exploring generational trauma.

Annie has always been drawn to relics, and will be exploring rooms on the lower floor of the exhibition through the lens of poetry. Inhabiting the ghosts of partners, muses and collaborators, her tour will give voice to the different guises of Lee Miller, Claude Cahun and Virginia Woolf, speaking to their beloveds.

Annie Hayter embraces the queerness of writing. Lately graduated from the University of Oxford, she is a London Writers Awardee, and a Barbican Young Poet 2017-2018. She won the BBC Proms Young Poet 2011, and was a runner up for Times Young Poet 2012. Recently, she has performed at The Pit in The Barbican, Hoxton Hall, and Walthamstow Garden Party.

Join Phoebe for an interactive collage workshop inspired by Modern Couples. Create a guide to the exhibition or a hand-made zine –work individually or in pairs and experiment with drawing, text and book-making.

Phoebe is an illustrator who uses collaborative collage workshops to inspire participants to engage directly with artwork. Her aim is to encourage discussion and creative responses using the artwork as a starting point.

£5 Young Barbican exhibition tickets

Aged 14-25? Sign up for free and unlock £5 exhibition tickets for you and a mate

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.


Name Email Who was the life companion of Emilie Flöge? Gustav Klimt Pablo Picasso Salvador Dali I would like to receive emails updates from Shangri La Hotel, At the Shard, London Yes No  

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

Art Gallery