Art Night's Philippine Nguyen top cultural tips

Published 4 June 2018

For one heady night each year, Art Night takes over an area of London to celebrate its distinctive identity and culture through a wide range of exhibitions, site-specific installations and interactive experiences.

It's London's largest free contemporary art festival and each one is partnered with a leading cultural institution and curator. This year the Hayward Gallery and Ralph Rugoff lead events south of the Thames from dusk 'til dawn, with more than 50 other venues joining in as part of the Art Night Open programme.

Having co-founded and directed the festival for the last three years, Philippine Nguyen knows a thing or two about what makes a great art experience. We asked her to share some of her favourite galleries and current exhibitions where you can enjoy great offers with a National Art Pass.

Art Night is supported by Art Fund and takes place in London on 7 July 2018, with a huge range of art events between the South Bank and Battersea Power Station from 6pm to 6am.

Art Night is also offering National Art Pass members the chance to see two of the artist projects in the Hayward Gallery-curated programme – Cécile B. Evans’ Amos’ World is Live and Halil Altιndere’s Space Refugee – in special timeslots on 7 July, ahead of opening to the public. To book tickets for these special previews click on the event links above.

Lee Bul, Willing to be Vulnerable, 2015-16. Installation view, 20th Biennale of Sydney, 2016

Lee Bul: Crashing

If you were unlucky enough to miss the phenomenal Andreas Gursky retrospective, I would urge you to see the second exhibition of the recently reopened Hayward Gallery, which brings the work of the acclaimed contemporary Korean artist Lee Bul to London for the first time. Her multifaceted practice explores intimacy, gender, technology and class through a focus on the body. It’s a unique opportunity to discover the artist’s pioneering work from the past three decades, including insightful documentation of her performance practice, sculptural works and silk paintings. The Hayward Gallery is also presenting a striking new site-specific and immersive installation as part of the exhibition which runs until late August. You can visit the Lee Bul exhibition on Art Night 2018 from 6pm until 10pm.

Francis Bacon, Triptych, 1974-1977

All Too Human: Bacon, Freud and a Century of Painting Life

Inspiration from the human form isn’t something new – for me All Too Human at the Tate Britain brilliantly surveys the artists who strove to represent the human figure and its complex relationship to the world. With works from Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon and rarely seen work from their contemporaries Frank Auerbach and Paula Rego, All Too Human celebrates a century of life as explored through painting in Britain.


William Morris Gallery

Visit the William Morris Gallery to discover London’s 2019 Borough of Culture, Walthamstow, ahead of its takeover for Art Night 2019. It's the first public gallery of its kind dedicated to the work of the English textile designer William Morris, and don't forget your National Art Pass for special offers in the shop and cafe – ideal for William Morris prints lovers!


Cass Sculpture Foundation

With the weather getting nicer, what better time to explore a magnificent sculpture park? Cass Sculpture Foundation is home to innovative 21st-century British sculpture, and it's set in a delightful green estate with each work revealed in its own space. The park is also home to work from our Art Night 2017 artists Jake and Dinos Chapman’s The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth but not the Mineral Rights – don't miss the three impressive sculptural dinosaurs, comprised of corten steel towering at over eight metres. Artist Tamara Henderson is currently in residence at the sculpture park until 13 June and will be creating a floral performance at New Covent Garden Market at Art Night 2018.

Paloma Varga Weisz, Bumped Body (detail), 2007

ISelf Collection: Bumped Bodies

Our collaborators for the 2017 Art Night festival were the Whitechapel Gallery, and I highly recommend their current exhibition of 23 artists, including Mark Manders, Rebecca Warren and Berlinde De Bruyckere, exploring the body in relation to the self. It's the gallery's final display from the ISelf Collection and takes its title from German artist Paloma Varga Weisz’s ambiguously gendered pregnant figure, Bumped Body (2007).

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