October is a key month in the art world, as some of the capital’s biggest fairs return for their annual events.
Of course, the big dogs of the London art scene are Frieze London and Frieze Masters, but there are plenty of other brilliant art fairs to discover.
So whether you’re looking to pick up an affordable piece, or simply want to soak up the artistic talent from around the globe – there’s a fair for every taste and budget.
Here are some of the events that should be on your radar this October.
Moniker Art Fair at the Chelsea Sorting Office – October 2-6
Moniker Art Fair is the world’s largest urban art fair and has made a name for itself by continuing to present emerging artists who are not afraid to take risks. But its boldness doesn’t stop there. This year, Moniker has decided to move from Shoreditch to Chelsea – with the hope of injecting its forward-thinking approach into a more conservative area of London. As always, this year promises an experiential format – pushing the boundaries of immersive art. The five-day event will feature daily talks, a film programme hosted by The Art Conference, DJs and art workshops – so there’s a lot to get involved with.
Frieze London and Frieze Masters at Regent’s Park – October 3-6
The mothership of London’s art fairs returns on October 3. Frieze London will see some of the world’s best contemporary galleries come together under one marquee. This year is set to be the fair’s most international edition to date – bringing together more than 160 of the world’s leading contemporary art galleries from 36 countries. Works will be available to view or buy and, as always, big players of the art world will feature alongside some of the stars of tomorrow. There will also be a new themed section for 2019, titled Woven, focusing on textiles, weaving and tapestry. Running alongside Frieze London, Frieze Masters will bring together thousands of years of art in a unique, contemporary setting. Art lovers will be able to travel between the two with ease, as both events are located in Regent’s Park – just 15 minutes away from one another.
The Other Art Fair at Victoria House - October 3-6
Back for its 18th edition, The Other Art Fair lands in London for four days at Victoria House – just 1.5 miles from Frieze. The idea is that art lovers can conveniently nip between the two fairs throughout the weekend. This event is widely known for showcasing rising talent and is an opportunity for lesser-known creatives to sell directly to buyers. There’s plenty to get stuck into too, with a climate change light installation from Aphra Shemza as well as limited edition prints from the fair’s guest artist Laurie Vincent – who you may recognise as the guitarist and vocalist from the band Slaves. Elsewhere, Tosca Mzera will be tattooing guests live on site (using an ancient freestyle non-electric method) and Ceri Wyn Jones will be offering out electric-tasting candy.
1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair at Somerset House – October 3-6
London will return for its seventh installment at Somerset House, promoting contemporary art from Africa and from those who live outside it, but still call it home. This year 45 galleries from 19 different countries will feature, with works from 150 artists in total on show – bringing together a diverse set of perspectives from around the world. It will be accompanied by the 1-54 Forum, the fair’s extensive talks programme, which promises an eclectic line-up of artist conversations, film screenings and panel discussions – curated by Kerryn Greenberg. Artists on the bill include Mary Sibande, Shiraz Bayjoo and Ibrahim Mahama.
British Art Fair at the Saatchi Gallery – October 3-6
This four-day event, held at the Saatchi Gallery, is a vibrant celebration of British art from the past 100 years – so think David Hockney, Barbara Hepworth, Damien Hirst and more. Also coinciding with Frieze, the fair will bring together specialist dealers to showcase works that delve into some of the most important artistic movements of the past century – from the early modernists to the Young British Artists. Guests should expect three special exhibitions this year – one on each level. The ground floor will host a show on Spectator’s art critic David Inshaw, whereas the first floor will be home to an exhibition on the YBAs – curated by Gavin Turk. A retrospective on the Scottish abstract artist Alan Davie will feature on the second level.
Affordable Art Fair at Battersea Park – October 17-20
This year is a big one for this fair as it celebrates its 20th anniversary and the aim of the game is to get everyone engaged with art – no matter what budget. There’s set to be plenty of inspiration at every turn with the Recent Graduates’ retrospective, which will feature some of the most exciting talent of the past 20 years alongside 2019’s rising stars. Whether you want to get creative yourself, learn more about the artists, or get advice on art, there will be a vibrant programme of workshops, talks, tours and live art demonstrations. Highlights include a calligraphy workshop led by Alice Mazzilli, a paper sculpture session hosted by Barbara Roessler and tours on how the 90s inspired the art world. As the name of the fair suggests, there will be art on display in every price bracket – with pieces starting from £50.