Art After Dark: Exploring the Vibrant Nighttime Art Scene

Art enthusiasts will be thrilled to learn that major London galleries are running a late series for the return of Art After Dark. The National Gallery and the Royal Academy of Arts will be opening their doors until 9pm (8pm on the 29th) on June 29th and 30th, allowing visitors to enjoy late-night exhibition hopping.

This highly anticipated calendar event is a must-see for art lovers looking to experience London’s vibrant art scene after hours. Visitors can expect to see some of the most innovative and exciting contemporary art on display, as well as classic works from some of the world’s most renowned artists.

Art After Dark: What to Have on Your Radar

As the night falls, the West End comes alive with Art After Dark. This event is not just a chance to explore the big-name galleries, but also to discover smaller, more contemporary exhibitions on display. In addition to indoor exhibitions, there is plenty of public art to enjoy out and about. Here are a few highlights to have on your radar:

Stern Pissarro Gallery

The Stern Pissarro Gallery is showcasing an exhibition of works on paper that contains some notable artists’ work. The list includes sketches by none other than Picasso, along with works by Matisse and Chagall. While this show may not be as dramatic as some of the things on display at the bigger galleries, there is no doubt a certain charm to seeing a great artist’s hand at work on a smaller scale.

Saatchi Yates

The Saatchi Yates gallery is opening for their new exhibition Bathers – a summertime romp through the history of art depicting people in the act of bathing. This exhibition ranges from the ultra-current, with works by Damien Hirst and David Hockney, to works by Turner and Belgian master Denijs van Alsloot from way back in the past.

3812 Gallery

Contemporary Chinese art is on display for late-night viewing at the 3812 Gallery. Here, visitors can check out the UK’s first solo show of Chinese up-and-comer Qian Wu. Black and Blue contains a multitude of images that hit an interesting line between Western and Eastern techniques. Wu studied art in America, following in the footsteps of the Abstract Expressionists, but retains a lot of influence from China’s art history. The pieces are genuinely stunning to look at.

These are just a few highlights of the independent galleries around Mayfair and St James’s. For the full list of Art After Dark galleries, visitors can check their website. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to explore the art scene in London after dark.

Art After Dark: Practical Information

The event will take place on Thursday June 29th from 6-8pm and Friday June 30th from 6-9pm. Admission is free. Check the website for more information.

More London Art Guides

In addition to the best art galleries and street art in London, there are also excellent art classes available to brush up on skills. The Victoria and Albert Museum will be opening a David Bowie exhibition in 2025, featuring music and memorabilia.