Here Are the Art Fairs to Check Out in London This October

The 12th October sees the start of the influential art fair, Frieze London in Regents Park, but if you're looking for a bigger dose of art, design and culture, check out the rest of the art fairs taking place across London this month. 

What is Frieze London?

Founded at the start of the 2000s, by Amanda Sharp and Matthew Slotover, the fair only focuses on contemporary art and living artists who are creating the most exciting work - in fact it is one of the only fairs to only focus on living artists. Now in its nineteenth year the 2022 fair, whose director is Eva Langret, will showcase over 160 of the most significant galleries from across the world including Gagosian, Kavi Gupta, Xavier Hufkens and The Modern Institute.

Which sections at Frieze London should we look out for?

As well as the main section of the fair, visitors can find galleries established within the last 12 years at Focus. One such gallery is Gypsum, which was founded in Cairo in 2013 by curator Aleya Hamza. Gypsum will be presenting Mahmoud Khaled’s 2022 work For Those Who Can Not Sleep  in a solo booth, as well as new photographic work. 

Frieze is known for championing new ideas and leading conversations within the contemporary art world and this year Sandhini Poddar (Adjunct Curator at the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi) is curating ‘Indra’s Net’ a special section within Frieze London. Derived from Buddist and Hindu thought, the term refers to ‘an ethics of being in which an individual atom holds within it the structure of reality.’  The section will consist of both dedicated presentations and cabinet-style displays throughout the fair.

What about other art fairs taking place around London in October?

Whilst the main event will be taking place in the Regent’s Park, there are a number of other art fairs taking place across London in the next few days: 

  • Across the park and running at the same time as Frieze London is Frieze Masters directed by Nathan Clements Gillespie. Founded in 2012, Frieze Masters applies a contemporary perspective with which to look at art spanning six millennia from rare antiquities right up to the 20th century. This year the popular and much-celebrated Spotlight section will be dedicated to women artists and is curated by Camille Morineau (co-founder and Research Director of AWARE - Archives of Women Artists, Research, and Exhibitions) and the AWARE team.

  • OK, so this is actually another exhibition in Regent’s Park, but it’s not in those main tents! Those interested in sculptures can check out the free open-air exhibition, Frieze Sculpture, which will welcome sculptures from 19 internationally acclaimed artists to Regent’s park.

  • PAD London Design + Art is back after two years of virtual presentations. Taking place in Berkeley Square, this year the emphasis will be on sustainable design - take the coffee table made from reclaimed foam by Eindhoven-based Singaporean designer Zavier Wong (Priveekollektie). It’s a chance for up and coming and established names to showcase their inventive collections.

  • StART Art Fair will once more be held in London’s Saatchi Gallery from the 12th -16th October. Founded by David and Serenella Ciclitira who are both passionate collectors of contemporary art, the independent fair focuses on presenting both emerging and established artists and galleries from across the globe.

  • Somerset House will be hosting 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair from the 13th -16th October. Celebrating its 10th year in London the 2022 edition of the fair will host 50 international exhibitors from 21 countries - the largest number of countries thus far. Newcomers to the fair include Berntson Bhattacharjee Gallery (London), Portas Vilaseca Galeria (Rio de Janeiro) and Unit London (London).

  • At The Other Art Fair you won’t find VIP ropes but you will find DJs, a fully stocked bar, immersive installations and performances and affordable pieces of original artwork from independent artists. The fair takes place from the 13th -16th October in the Old Truman Brewery.

  • Taking place later on in the month is the Affordable Art Fair. Having started in Battersea Park, the fair now hosts events in 10 cities around the world including London, New York and Amsterdam. From the 20th - 23rd October, Battersea Park will once more be home to thousands of original artworks on offer.