It’s that time of year again, London—Frieze week!
A longstanding staple in the British contemporary art world, Frieze London, has been taking over the cobblestone streets and sprawling parks of London for one week every October since 2003. Along with its equally exciting partner Frieze Masters (a showcase of works by renowned artists from before 2000), the fair debuts in the peak of the fall season, offering a venue for galleries from across the world to highlight their most exceptional works. With a delicious selection of partner restaurants, not-to-be-missed artist talks, specially commissioned projects, and openings happening all around the city, the options are endless. Here we’ve curated a carefully planned, day-by-day guide so you can get the most out of your visit.
But first, a few important pieces of information:
When and where, exactly?
Frieze London will be open from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. October 15th–18th (note: Frieze London is not open on Sunday this year), and Frieze Masters 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. October 15th–19th, both in Regent’s Park. If you’re taking the underground, Frieze London is a short walk from the Baker Street, Regent’s Park, and Great Portland Street stations, while Frieze Masters, in the northern part of the park, is near Camden Town station.
How do I get tickets?
Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased through the Frieze website here. If you plan to visit both fairs, you can save by purchasing a combined ticket.
Any recommendations on where to stay?
Though London is quite spread out, there are some great neighborhoods that are only a 30-minute tube or bus ride away. Check out our London Gallery Liaison Legacy Russell’s recommendations below:
Ace Hotel, 100 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6JQ
“I recommend Ace Hotel for a stay. They have some really fun evening events and DJs, and are very central to the Shoreditch area, which is lovely.”
Shoreditch House, Ebor St, London E1 6AW
“If you have a membership, go for Shoreditch House—part of the Soho House international chain and definitely a great meeting spot for local creatives.”
Frieze London also provides a list of options close to the fair and several hotels with fair promotions. Here are a couple nearby, you can also check out their full list here.
The Arch London, 50 Great Cumberland Place Marble Arch, London W1.
This boutique hotel is situated on a quiet corner of the Marylebone district near Bond Street and Hyde Park. When booking, use the code ARCHFR2014 for promotional discounts.
The Mandeville, Mandeville Place, London, W1U 2BE
The Mandeville is close to Regent’s Park in the center of West London. With the code FRIEZE 2014 you’ll receive complimentary breakfast and wireless internet.
Your Daily Agenda:
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 15TH
12:00 p.m. Opening Day, Regent’s Park
Start your day off with a visit to GAIL’s Artisan Bakery, part of Frieze’s restaurant lineup, and power up with some gourmet bread and delectable pastries. Then, head over to the Frieze London tent for an afternoon spent browsing the latest in contemporary art.
1:00 p.m. Main, Focus, and Live Exhibitors
The exhibitor booths are divided into three sections at Frieze London: Main, Focus, and Live. Scattered through Main are many notable London and international galleries, including Limoncello, Wilkinson Gallery, Marianne Boesky Gallery, Pilar Corrias, Casey Kaplan, Lehmann Maupin, Victoria Miro, Pace Gallery, Salon 94, and White Cube—just to name a few.
Live, a new initiative at Frieze London, will feature six galleries hosting interactive or performance-based installations. The works will be integrated into the fair, occurring at gallery stands and stages throughout the day. The six artists and galleries selected for Live are Robert Breer from GB Agency, Franz Erhard Walther from Galerie Jocelyn Wolff, Tamara Henderson from Rodeo, Adam Linder from Silberkuppe, Shanzhai Biennial from Project Native Informant, and UNITED BROTHERS from Green Tea Gallery.
3:00 p.m. Frieze Sculpture Park, English Gardens at Regent’s Park
Spend the rest of the afternoon wandering around the Frieze Sculpture Park. Filled with contemporary sculptures alongside historical masterpieces, the English Garden is a beautiful backdrop to the work of emerging and established artists represented at Frieze London and Frieze Masters. Artists exhibiting in the park include KAWS, Yayoi Kusama, Marie Lund, and Franz West, among others.
5:00 p.m. Old Selfridges Hotel, 1 Orchard Street, London W1H
After browsing the fairgrounds, take a 30-minute cab ride or the Victoria line to the Old Selfridges Hotel for an evening of scintillating conversation. As part of Frieze Projects and in collaboration with ICA, performance artist Isabel Lewis will be hosting “occasions,” a project modeled after ancient Greek symposia, where discussion, drinking, and indulgence went hand-in-hand. As orator, impostor, DJ, and dancer, Lewis will lead the event in collaboration with Norwegian chemist and scent researcher Sissel Tolaas, who will fill the venue with scents for the “occasions.” The event is free, but space is limited, so book here in advance.
The ICA will be hosting events throughout the week if you’re looking to make another trip (full program here). The events include:
9:00 p.m.Korakrit Arunanondchai with boychild and AJGvojic: The Last 3 Years and the Future
1:00 pm. Culture Now: Lisa Schiff and Gregor Muir
3:30 p.m. “Do You Follow? Art in Circulation #3” A panel presentation by Amalia Ulman
12:00 p.m. Siobhan Davies Dance Present Table of Contents
THURSDAY OCTOBER 16TH
In addition to visiting Frieze, make sure to check out 1:54, opening on October 16th. 1:54 is a contemporary art fair dedicated to showcasing contemporary African art. Check out work by Abdoulaye Konate, Derrick Adams, and Sammy Baloji. For more information see Artsy’s Field Guide to 1:54.
10:00 a.m. Cerith Wyn Evans ZSL London Zoo
Start the morning off with a visit to the London Zoo to see Cerith Wyn Evans’ transformation of the Snowdon Aviary. The installation pairs observers with the observed, combining musical performances from humans and birds, and works of art including neon text incorporated into the space.
12:00 p.m. Lunch at Locanda Locatelli, Regent’s park
Head back over to the the Frieze Masters tent to grab lunch at Locanda Locatelli, a Michelin-starred Italian restaurant. For the third consecutive year, Locanda Locatelli offers Frieze visitors a menu that includes pastas, salads, and risottos with Italian wines.
1:00 p.m–4p.m. An afternoon of talks
Catch one of the many exciting talks in this year’s program. Occurring every hour on Thursday afternoon, the talks cover various subjects, including artists’ muses, material, and practice.
The schedule for Frieze London and Frieze Masters detailed below:
1:00 p.m. Frieze Talks “Feeling Used: The Appropriation of Sexuality”
3:00 p.m. Frieze Talks “Queer Spirits and Other Invocations”
AA Bronson in conversation with Helen Molesworth
4:00 p.m. Bruce McLean (action sculptor) interviews himself
3:00 p.m. British artist Phyllida Barlow in conversation with Luke Syson, Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Chairman of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
4:00 p.m. Art on the South Bank, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8XX
Hop on the underground for a short, 15-minute ride to London’s South Bank, an eclectic neighborhood filled with galleries, modern architecture, and beautiful views from the Thames. Step into the Hayward Gallery to visit “What is Real? An Exhibition of London Artists.”
Then, stroll east along the river to the Tate Modern, London’s illustrious modern art museum, where you can see an installation by Richard Tuttle, and exhibitions featuring Sigmar Polke and Kasimir Malevich. You can also stop in at the BFI London Film Festival, going on near the Tate Modern for lunch, drinks, and film screenings.
FRIDAY OCTOBER 17TH
10:00 a.m. Anselm Kiefer at Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J OBD
Begin the day with a visit to see the Anselm Kiefer retrospective at the Royal Academy of Arts. As the most comprehensive exhibition of Kiefer’s work to date, the show spans his 40-year career and also features new site-specific work.
1:00 p.m. Free Soup at Green Tea Gallery, Regent’s Park
Head back to the fairgrounds for a free lunch. Every day of the fair, Japanese artists Ei Arakawa and his brother Tomoo (UNITED BROTHERS) are serving soup made from the vegetables grown in Fukushima, the area of Japan most devastated by the 2011 nuclear disaster, as part of Does This Soup Taste Ambivalent? for Frieze Live. Though the vegetables were approved by the fair and the Japanese Farmers Association, the fear of radiation contamination is the focal point of the performance.
1:30 p.m. Mélanie Matranga’s Cafe, Regent’s Park
Step into the café designed by the winner of the inaugural Frieze Artist Award, Mélanie Matranga. The Frieze Artist Award goes to one emerging artist to create a major project at the fair. For Frieze, Matranga has designed a café that will air her videos that “follow a young artistic couple as they negotiate freedom, success, and the proper functioning of a couple,” along with a film documenting the construction of the café itself.
2:30 p.m. An Afternoon of Gallery-Hopping
Spend the rest of the afternoon perusing galleries around London. Start with a stop at the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square for some Old Master paintings and see “Rembrandt: The Late Works.” Then head east to the Barbican Art gallery to see “Constructing Worlds,” featuring the work of Walead Beshty. Finish the afternoon in East London to catch Richard Tuttle at Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High St. London E1 7QX, UK.
6:00 p.m. Dinner and Drinks in Shoreditch
If you’re looking to hang out a bit longer in the hip neighborhood of East London, there are some delectable Indian restaurants and fun places to grab a drink. We recommend starting at Owl & Pussycat first for cocktails, and then walking over to Dishoom for an amazing dinner featuring some of the best curry in London.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 18TH
10:00 a.m. Notting Hill’s Portobello Market
Every Saturday, rain or shine, Portobello road in Notting Hill turns into a bustling street market. It’s a great place for vintage finds, ethnic cuisine, and a stop in one of the many pubs lining the street. We recommend visiting Churchill Arms, an old pub filled with British regalia and a delicious Thai pop-up counter. There’s also Ottolenghi, where you can buy gourmet food and pastries—their granola is especially tasty.
1:00 p.m. A Final Day at Frieze London, Regent’s Park
For the final day of Frieze, catch some of the many talks, live performances, screenings—and visit the exhibitors. From 1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m., artist Trevor Paglen discusses “The Aesthetics of the Invisible,” and at 5 p.m. Jon Ronson discusses “An Afternoon of Public Shaming” as part of Frieze Talks.
3:00 p.m. Tour with Sophia Al Maria
Public tours are offered to give visitors a full overview of the gallery sections and Frieze Projects with works created exclusively for the fair by Nick Mauss, Tobias Madison, Cerith Wyn Evans, Isabel Lewis, Jonathan Berger, Jérôme Bel, and Sophia Al Maria. If you are in a group of six or more, consider booking a private tour catered specifically to your group’s interests. Tours can be booked at firstname.lastname@example.org.
5:15 p.m. Primrose Hill, Regent’s Park
To watch what is arguably one of the best sunsets in London, climb Primrose Hill in the northern part of Regent’s Park. The viewpoint offers a sweeping panorama of the park and the London skyline—a perfect end to Frieze week. The sun sets at 6:01 p.m., so make sure not to miss it!
SUNDAY OCTOBER 19TH
11:00 a.m. Columbia Road Flower Market, East London
After checking out the street market, beautiful flowers, and row of Victorian shops, we recommend a stop at the Royal Oak Pub to hang out, have a bite to eat, and try a scotch egg!
12:30 p.m. A final day at Frieze Masters, Regent’s Park
If you’re up for one more day perusing the fair, then head back to the park to view the last of Frieze Masters. With an array of galleries exhibiting, there will still be a lot to see. Visit Cheim & Read, Gagosian Gallery, or Lisson Gallery—just to name a few.
2:30 pm. A stroll through Hyde Park
If you haven’t had the chance yet, a leisurely walk through Hyde Park is a must. Visit The Serpentine for a beautiful view of the pond, and then walk over to the Victoria & Albert Museum a few blocks south of the park. On view is “Constable: The Making of a Master” and “Horst: Photographer of Style,” featuring the fashion photography of Horst P. Horst. The museum also has a central courtyard and a gorgeous modernist cafe.
Additional Recommendations: Must-See Shows
If you have time to check out more shows and events while in the city for Frieze week, here is a list of ongoing shows to add to your calendar:
“Young Masters” at Cynthia Corbett Gallery
“One Man’s Trash (is Another Man’s Treasure)” at the Danjuma Collection
If you’re looking for even more recommendations, check out Artsy’s London City Guide for more on galleries, museum exhibitions, and local favorites.
Cover photograph by Graham Carlow courtesy of Graham Carlow/ Frieze