Art Fair Guide: Everything You Need to Know About the 7 Fairs Taking Over London During Frieze Week 2019

Here's what to look out for at each of the art-filled events.

Frieze London 2015, Photograph by Graham Carlow. Courtesy of Graham Carlow/Frieze

There is an overwhelming amount of art on view in London during Frieze Week. To help you keep it all straight, we’ve assembled a handy guide to the main events in NW1, the home of Frieze London and Frieze Masters, as well as other neighborhoods.

For those interested in traversing the city, there is good news: Earlier this month, Uber won an eight-week extension to its provisional license to operate in London, so collectors won’t have to worry about the ride-hailing app not working. (Brexit uncertainty is bad enough.) And for art lovers that are eco-aware, there is, of course, public transport. We have included the nearest underground station to each fair venue in our listings. Happy wandering!


Frieze London, Regent’s Park 

Zak Ove, Autonomous Morris, (2018), Lawrie Shabibi, Frieze Sculpture 2019, Photo by Stephen White. Courtesy of Stephen White/Frieze.

WHAT: The 2019 edition of Frieze London will be its most international edition to date, with 160 participating galleries from 36 countries. Frieze’s director Victoria Siddall has also lured Cosmin Costinas, the executive director and curator of Hong Kong’s leading nonprofit Para Site, to organize a new section called “Woven.” Eight galleries will each mount one solo presentation by an international artist who works with textiles and weaving to engage subjects including tradition, colonial context, and textile-industry policy. Another novelty is a dedicated space for performance art. Highlights include Thaddaeus Ropac gallery’s restaging of a Bauhaus ballet by Oskar Schlemmer. Also, keep an eye out for artist-turned-fashion designer Sterling Ruby, the late, beloved painter Joyce Pensato, and Kara Walker, who is debuting her Turbine Hall installation at Tate this week. 

WHEN: Preview, Wednesday October 2 (invitation only); preview, Thursday October 3, 12 p.m.–8 p.m.; private view, Thursday October 3, 5 p.m–8 p.m.; Friday October 4–Saturday October 5, 12 p.m.–7 p.m.; Sunday October 6, 12 p.m–6 p.m.

WHERE: Regent’s Park, near Park Square West, NW1 4LL. Nearest underground stations: Regent’s Park or Great Portland Street.


Frieze Masters, Regent’s Park

Frieze Masters 2018, Photo by Mark Blower. Courtesy of Frieze/Mark Blower

WHAT: One of this year’s main attractions to the even higher-brow sister of Frieze London is a portrait by Botticelli with a $30 million price tag on offer at Trinity Fine Arts. It has been on loan to the Prado in Madrid for the past two decades. (Buyers, beware: the painting can only leave Spain with an export license.) Make sure to also seek out the “Spotlight” section of overlooked 20th century artists organized by former MoMA curator and current Drawing Center director Laura Hoptman. (Her inaugural version earlier this year in New York was full of surprises.) Dealers making their Frieze Masters debut at the 2019 edition include contemporary specialists Galerie Perrotin, Mai 36 Galerie, and Lisson. Helping correct the historic gender imbalance, some dealers are focusing on female artists in particular: Lisson Gallery is dedicating a solo booth to the artist Susan Hiller; Luhring Augustine, Rachel Whiteread, and Kamel Mennour is presenting the French artist Gina Pane, who was a member of the Body Art movement in in the 1970s. 

WHEN: Preview, Wednesday October 2 (invitation only); preview, Thursday October 3: 12 p.m.–8 p.m; private view, Thursday, October 3: 5 p.m.–8 p.m.; Friday, October 4 and Saturday, October 5: 11 a.m.–7 p.m.; Sunday October 6: 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

WHERE: Regent’s Park, North-East corner, NW1 4HA. Nearest underground station: Camden Town.


PAD, Mayfair 

Sabine Marcelis, Totem Lights, (2018), Courtesy of Side Gallery

WHAT: The 13th edition of PAD, which pitches its elegant tent in the heart of Mayfair, will again present a combination of Modern art and design, decorative and tribal art, antiquities and jewelry. Of the 68 exhibitors, 11 are making their PAD London debuts. Cape Town’s gallery of design Southern Guild brings new pieces by celebrated African designers to London, as well as the first furniture collection of the rising young fashion designer Rich Mnisi. The Beautiful Watch of Paris, London, and Monaco is also making its debut. 

WHEN: Collectors’ preview, Monday September 30, 11 a.m.–8 p.m.; VIP opening, Tuesday October 1, 11 a.m.–8 p.m.; Wednesday October 2–Saturday October 5, 11 a.m.–8 p.m; Sunday October 6, 11 a.m–6 p.m.

WHERE: Berkeley Square, Mayfair, W1J 5AL. Nearest underground stations: New Bond Street or Green Park.


1-54, Somerset House 

Bisa Butler, NotYourNegro, (2019). Courtesy Claire Oliver Gallery

WHAT: The leading art fair of contemporary African art expands its program this year. The event will welcome 45 international galleries from across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East to Somerset House in central London. More than 140 artists will be represented, while nine solo exhibitions can be seen at the same time. Under the auspices of the fair, the leading South African artist Mary Sibande is getting her first solo show in the UK for her poignant photographs and sculptures that deal with her own body. Sibane is also taking part in the fair’s talks program, which is organized by the Tate’s Kerryn Greenberg and dedicated to the late powerhouse Nigerian curator Bisi Silva.

WHEN: Thursday October 3, 11 a.m.–7 p.m.; Friday October 4, 11 a.m.–7 p.m.; Saturday October 5, 11 a.m.–7 p.m.; Sunday October 6, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

WHERE: Somerset House, the Strand, WC2R 1LA. Nearest underground station: Embankment.


Sunday, Ambika P3, Marylebone 

Sunday Art Fair 2017, Ambika P3, University of Westminster, London. Photo by Damian Griffiths. Courtesy of Sunday Art Fair.

WHAT: To encounter smaller art galleries that punch above their weight and make new discoveries, head to the Sunday art fair. Held in the cavernous basement of a University of Westminster building, it is a short walk from Frieze London. On the occasion of its tenth anniversary, Sunday is concentrating more than ever on providing a platform for younger artists as well as artists who are established in their own countries, but lesser known abroad. Sixteen galleries out of 30 total are making their Sunday debuts. The fair has asked gallerists and artists to make the most of the full 14,000-square-foot space, so forget booths. Another bonus: free entry.  

WHEN: VIP preview, Thursday October 3, 12 p.m.–6 p.m. (invitation only); Thursday October 3, 6 p.m.–9 p.m.; Friday October 4 to Saturday October 5, 12 p.m.–8 p.m.; Sunday October 6, 12 p.m.–6 p.m.

WHERE: Ambika P3, University of Westminster, 35 Marylebone Road. Nearest underground stations: Baker Street or Regent’s Park.


Moniker, Chelsea

Okuda San Miguel, Boreal revolution, (2019)

WHAT: The Moniker Art Fair returns for the tenth time—but with a big difference. This year, the street and urban art fair takes place in the heart of Chelsea in West London, not out East in Shoreditch. (It could be an expensive corrective Uber ride, if you have the old address in smart phone.) To celebrate its tenth birthday, fair director Tina Ziegler has organized some topical offerings, not least the special presentation “George the Union is Cross.” Curated by Berlin’s Urban Nation Museum, it will feature UK urban artists’ response to the Brexit crisis. The Spanish urban artist Okuda San Miguel and the Cuban-American sculptor Sergio Garcia are Moniker 2019’s official Spotlight artists.

WHEN: VIP preview, Wednesday October 2, 3. p.m.–10 p.m.; public opening celebration, Thursday October 3, 3 p.m–10 p.m.; Friday October 4, 1 p.m.–9 p.m.; Saturday October 5, 12 p.m.–8 p.m.; Sunday October 6, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

WHERE: The Chelsea Sorting Office, 90-100 Sydney Street, SW3 6NJ. Nearest underground station: Sloane Square.

British Art Fair, Saatchi Gallery, Chelsea

David Inshaw, She did not turn, 1974

WHAT: The British Art Fair, which was established in 1988 but changed ownership last year, has been undergoing big changes. It moved to the Saatchi Gallery in 2018 and this year swapped dates to coincide with Frieze Week. Fifty dealers will show works by many of Britain’s greatest Modern artists. Works by David Inshaw can be seen in a solo presentation and the career of the Scottish artist and abstract painter Alan Davie will be explored in a mini-retrospective.

WHEN: Thursday October 3, 11 a.m.–9 p.m.; preview (invitation only), 6 p.m.–8 p.m.Friday October 4, 11 a.m.–8 p.m.; Saturday October 5, 11 a.m.–7 p.m.; Sunday October 6, 11 a.m–6 p.m.

WHERE: Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road, London, SW3 4RY. Nearest underground station: Sloane Square.

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