RA MA Piccadilly Lights Still 3

Friday Night Lates: Art After Dark Guide

Art After Dark part two is packed with art, culture, and captivating outdoor artworks.

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Art After Dark is your golden ticket to explore world-class art institutions including The National Gallery, The Royal Academy of Arts, and The National Portrait Gallery after the sun sets. Plus indulge in exclusive dining offers and savour the best of London's culinary delights.

Here’s your guide to planning out your art and culture-filled evenings.

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Friday Night Lates

Spot One: Where to Eat

Before you dive into London's vibrant art and culture scene, treat yourself to some of the city's best dining experiences. As an Art After Dark attendee, you'll have access to exclusive offers at a selection of London's top restaurants.

Experience the flavours of Farzi, the modern Indian bistro situated just moments away from Piccadilly Circus. When you book in advance and quote 'Art After Dark,' you can savour a 20% discount on your food order and receive a complimentary Farzi Royale cocktail.

Farzi blends innovative Indian dishes with a contemporary twist, while also offering options inspired by traditional British favourites. Their menu showcases a diverse array of Indian street food classics, such as chicken tikka masala, tandoori paneer, mushroom masala, lamb shank vindaloo, and seared venison pepper fry.

Stop Two: Friday Night Lates

Experience London's iconic art institutions, including The National Gallery, The Royal Academy of Arts, and The National Portrait Gallery, after-hours on Friday 13th October, after sunset.

The National Gallery

Visit The National Gallery, established in 1824, and explore a vast collection of Western European masterpieces spanning from the late 13th to the early 20th century.

Admire legendary artists like Bellini, Cézanne, Degas, Leonardo, Monet, Raphael, Rembrandt, Renoir, Rubens, Titian, Turner, Van Dyck, Van Gogh, and Velázquez. Check out the free exhibition by Paula Rego: Crivelli’s Garden, where you can delve into the connection between Dame Paula Rego's impressive painting and the 15th-century altarpiece that inspired it.

While at The National Gallery, attend the free music session "Resonate: Sounds in the Gallery," a unique collaboration curated by Roony 'RiskyRoadz' Keefe. The session features the talented rapper and mental health advocate, Shocka, who will perform and discuss his interpretation of Anthony van Dyck's 'Charity' and its relevance to his work supporting others.

The National Portrait Gallery

Head to the National Portrait Gallery, which has recently completed an impressive three-year makeover, and now welcomes art enthusiasts with open doors.

Inside this vibrant destination, you'll find an astonishing collection of 250,000 portraits that span from the 1840s to the present day. The gallery showcases a diverse range of portraits, celebrating individuals from all walks of life, including both celebrities and unsung heroes.

As you explore the gallery, be sure not to miss the 'Art of London Presents: Take A Moment 2023' display, captured by renowned photographer Ray Burmiston and curated by Take A Moment director Lara Journo-Leggatt. This unique display brings together hundreds of sports and entertainment stars to raise awareness for mental health.

Discover exclusive portraits of famous figures like Ronan Keating, Ricky Gervais, Olivia Attwood, Denise Van Outen, Rob Beckett, Josh Widdecombe, Kano, Heather Small, and Fred Sirieix while you're there.

Marina Abramović. Courtesy of the Marina Abramović Archives. © Marina Abramović

The Royal Academy of Arts

Immerse yourself in art and culture with free art exhibitions, and venture into remarkable free collections, alongside ticketed exhibitions such as the Marina Abramović exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts.

Marina Abramović, an art world icon and a performance art pioneer, has been captivating audiences for the past 50 years by pushing the boundaries of her body and mind.

Marina Abramović Hon RA has earned worldwide acclaim as a performance artist. Her work consistently pushes the limits of her physical and mental endurance, often subjecting herself to exhaustion, pain, and even the possibility of death.

This major exhibition showcases key moments from Abramović’s career, through sculpture, video, installation, and live performance. Some of her iconic works, like "The Artist is Present," will be vividly re-staged through archive footage.

Additionally, a new generation of performance artists, trained in the Marina Abramović method, will reperform some of her pieces.

The Royal Academy of Arts, founded by King George III in 1768, is a lively centre for art and creativity. It's now overseen by renowned artists and architects who have a deep passion for art. Over the years, the Royal Academy has been a crucial player in the art world, supporting artists and empowering them to reach their full potential.

Marina Abramović, The Hero, 2001. Single Channel Video (black and white, sound); 14 minutes, 21 seconds; objects: dimensions variable. Courtesy of the Marina Abramović Archives, and Galeria Luciana Brito. © Marina Abramović

MTArt Artist Claire Luxton ©

MTArt Poetic Robert Montgomery ©

Stop Three: Outdoor Artworks

Art After Dark brings the streets of London's West End to life with captivating public artworks.

Start at Piccadilly Circus, where you can enjoy an exclusive screening on the iconic Piccadilly Lights presented by the Royal Academy of Arts and Art of London, inspired by Marina Abramović’s unmissable autumn exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts.

Brought to you with the support of Westminster City Council and Landsec, the Piccadilly Lights screening will feature images from Marina Abramović's 2019 installation 'Four Crosses,' as featured in her Royal Academy of Arts exhibition. It will also include a selection of instructional statements from the 'Marina Abramović Method,' which teaches her unique approach to achieving higher consciousness and confronting life's challenges.

Next, head over to Leicester Square Gardens, where you can experience an inflatable immersive sculpture called 'The Cornucopia,' created by British contemporary MTArt artist Claire Luxton. Luxton, known for her expertise in installations, photography, and poetry, draws inspiration from nature and explores the connection between humanity and the natural world.

'The Cornucopia' is a visually stunning, brightly-coloured masterpiece that towers over Leicester Square Gardens. This awe-inspiring creation embodies the spirit of growth, beauty, and the vibrant energy of the West End, emerging from the ground in a mythical form.

Additionally, in Leicester Square Gardens, you can admire an illuminated neon installation by MTArt poetic artist Robert Montgomery. His work fuses art and design into a poem titled 'The People You Love.' Born in Scotland in 1972, Montgomery is renowned for his light installations in European cities, including Berlin, London, Paris, Athens, and more. His art has been displayed worldwide, including at the Aspen Art Museum and the Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center in the USA. His work is also part of the permanent collections at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts and the Albright Knox Museum.

Stop Four: Refuel and Indulge

After you've immersed yourself in the Art After Dark experience, end your evening on a high note with exclusive dining offers. Visit Ochre, which can be found in The National Gallery, right in the heart of London's famous Trafalgar Square. Receive a complimentary glass of fizz by quoting ‘Art After Dark’ when booking dinner (valid only on Friday 13th October)

Ochre, located in the historic 20th-century William Wilkins building, is all about celebrating the best British ingredients with a modern European twist. But Ochre offers more than just outstanding food; it also has a lively cocktail bar, a cosy private dining space, and even a DJ booth for unforgettable late-night gatherings.