It’s all about art in the British capital come mid-October. Here’s where to get your fill
By Christi Hang
Anchored by the Frieze Art Fair (Oct. 17–20), London’s unofficial art week will see an expected 60,000 art enthusiasts flock to the city in October. Most will make a beeline for Regent’s Park, where this year’s Frieze, augmented by timber-framed pavilions by London architects Carmody Groarke, will feature more than 150 participating contemporary art galleries from 27 countries, not to mention the second edition of Frieze Masters, a sibling fair designed to give a 21st-century perspective to historical art.
And that’s just the tip of the art iceberg. Satellite events have multiplied over the decade since Frieze’s founding, and now range from the Christie’s-hosted—and aptly named—Multiplied (Oct 18–21) for contemporary prints and editions, to the more intimate Parallax AF (Oct. 18–19). Held in Berkeley Square, PAD London (Oct. 16–20) focuses on 20th-century art, design, and decorative arts—highlights of last year’s show ranged from Andy Warhol’s Flowers to a silver tray by Christofle & Cie—while the inaugural 1:54 (Oct. 16–20) marks Britain’s first contemporary African art fair, with 15 galleries representing artists such as Edson Chagas, whose photographic work Luanda, Encyclopedic City secured a Gold Lion award for Angola’s national pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale in June; and Benin’s Meschac Gaba, whose installation Museum of Contemporary African Art has just been acquired by the Tate Modern.
Across town in the East End’s Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, the Moniker Art Fair (Oct. 17–20) returns for a fourth run with an emphasis on urban culture and an immersive itinerary that includes live screen printing, artist project spaces, film screenings, and walking tours of neighborhood graffiti. This year Moniker shares space with the Other Art Fair (Oct. 17–20), which will showcase more than 100 unrepresented artists, with pieces priced from about £50. If you don’t find the bargain you’re looking for there, stick around for the original Affordable Art Fair (Oct. 24–27), which has been drawing crowds across the Thames to Battersea Park since 1999.
This article originally appeared in the October/November 2013 issue of DestinAsian (“Fairs Enough”)