Over 60,000 people descend on Regent’s Park every October for Frieze – and Frieze London 2023 is set to be more popular than ever. After all, it’s the 20th anniversary of the contemporary and modern art fair (and the 11th edition of Frieze Masters). As seasoned collectors, dealers and luminaries of the art world gather to celebrate, the capital promises to put on quite a show, with a wealth of creative pop-ups, art exhibitions and one-off events across the city. Here’s what to add to your cultural calendar during Frieze Week in London
10 Brilliant Things To Do Frieze Week 2023
11 - 15 October
Frieze London 2023 promises to be the fair’s most international edition to date, with exhibitors spanning six continents. In addition, a dynamic programme of special projects, partnerships and events have been curated and collaborated on, shining a light on London’s rich cultural landscape. Expect collaborations with key arts organisations and public institutions, including a special project with Outset Contemporary Art Fund installed in the entrance corridor.
Over 160 leading contemporary galleries (Sadie Coles HQ, Alison Jacques, White Cube, Pilar Corrias, Hauser & Wirth…) will be showcasing the most exciting artists of our generation. Works on display include those by Sarah Lucas, Julianknxx, Barbara Chase-Riboud, Kevin Beasley and many, many more. The special initiative Artist-to-Artist, which sees big hitters championing new voices, this year includes Tracey Emin and Wolfgang Tillmans; while Yinka Shonibare will be collaborating with long-time global lead partner Deutsche Bank, presenting a new work African Bird Magic.
The Regent’s Park, Westminster, London NW1
11 - 15 October
A short stroll across Regent’s Park is Frieze Masters, where over 130 heavyweight galleries and dealers display works across 6000 years of art history. Highlight exhibits are many: Portrait of a 50 Year Old Man, signed and dated 1635, by Frans Hals will be on display, so too works by everyone from Canaletto to Pablo Picasso.
There are two new sections for 2023. The first is Studio. Curated by Sheena Wagstaff, Chair of Modern and Contemporary Art at The Met in New York, it draws on the creative spirit tied to places of making – and provides a chance to see Maggi Hambling’s latest series of paintings, as well as works by Hyun-Sook Song, Lucia Laguna and Mona Hatoum. This year also sees the introduction of Modern Women, dedicated to solo presentations by women artists. Other sections include Spotlight, which this year focuses on overlooked works dating from the 1950s to the 1970s, and Stand Out exploring the potency and manifold uses of colour.
The Regent’s Park, Westminster, London NW1
20 September - 29 October
Visitors to Regent’s Park mustn’t miss the much-celebrated, free public art exhibition, Frieze Sculpture. Directed for the first time by independent curator and writer Fatos Üstek, this year’s edition features 21 leading international artists whose works will temporarily transform the park’s historic English Gardens.
Amongst the trees and shrubs, artworks by the likes of Tomas Saraceno, Ayşe Erkmen, Ghada Amer and Hank Willis Thomas have been curated to emphasise the contrast between the monumental and the ephemeral. Alongside the exhibition, there’ll be a complementary public programme of performances and talks – and you can even book tours and night walks around the display with Üstek herself.
The Regent’s Park’s English Gardens, Westminster, London NW1
Lost Girls at Flowers Gallery
10 - 14 October
It’s been three decades since the famed charity exhibition and auction Little Pieces by Big Stars, which was curated by Brian Eno and saw the likes of David Bowie, Paul McCartney, Iggy Pop and George Michael donate works to raise awareness and funds for War Child. To mark the occasion, the charity – which helps treat the psychological scars of war on children – is presenting an exhibition Lost Girls, which opens on 10 October to coincide with the UN International Day of the Girl Child.
The show has been created and curated by Intersectional Feminist Art Collective InFems and aims to empower, with a focus on survival rather than victimhood. Artists have been chosen for their connections with refugee communities, including Ai Weiwei who is continually highlighting human rights abuses; French Gabobnese artist Owanto who uses her art to tackle female genital mutilation, Tracey Moffatt, Maggioe Hambling and many more. In addition to the five-day exhibition, which coincides with Frieze Week, the artists’ works are on sale via Artsy until 26 October.
21 Cork Street, Mayfair, London W1S 3LZ
Kettle’s Yard at Casa Loewe London
11 - 16 October
Ten leading artists – Ai Weiwei, Jonathan Anderson, Rana Begum, Antony Gormley, Callum Innes, Jennifer Lee, Cornelia Parker, Vicken Parsons, Edmund de Waal and Caroline Walker – have brought their own unique spin to buttons, in support of Kettle’s Yard, the University of Cambridge’s modern and contemporary art gallery. The resulting limited edition sets will be on display at LOEWE’s flagship London store during Frieze Week.
Each of the ten artists was asked to draw inspiration from Kettle’s Yard’s recent exhibition, Lucie Rie: The Adventure of Pottery. But that’s where the similarity ends; all have given the buttons their own unique spin, exploring diverse materials and techniques and incorporating their individual style to the creations. The buttons will be available for purchase in-store at Kettle’s Yard and online from 11 October.
Saatchi Yates Frieze Panel Talk
This Autumn, Saatchi Yates presents the debut solo exhibition of Brooklyn-based artist Will St John (which runs until 22 October). Having spent years studying Renaissance painting techniques, he applies these skills and styles to the modern day, painting Drag Queens and Trans models. “For generations, royalty and nobility have been immortalised in portraiture in European national galleries. Will St. John captures the Kings and Queens of New York Bohemia and paints the characters who live on the fringes of society, with the same reverence of the portraits of the past,” say gallery co-founders Phoebe Saatchi Yates and Arthur Yates.
On 9 October, the gallery will be hosting a free evening (6.30pm) of drinks, music and conversation with Will St. John and the journalist and photographer Mark C. O’Flaherty during which the artist will talk about his creative journey and visitors can also see his portraits on display.
14 Bury St, St. James’s, London SW1Y 6AL
illy x The Cultivist at Apricity
9 & 23 October
Sustainable B-corp coffee brand illycaffé has teamed up with global arts club The Cultivist to present a series of art-led coffee cocktail evenings to coincide with Frieze Week (illy is, after all, the official partner of Frieze London). The Art for Thought ticketed events – which take place on 9 and 23 October at Mayfair restaurant Apricity – will encompass talks on art-led topics from renowned curators, accompanied by signature coffee cocktails (Espresso Martinis will no doubt be the highlight) and canapes.
The first evening will see Joey Lico, Executive Director of The Cultivist (and former Director at the New York Foundation for the Arts and art advisor to the White House under the Obama administration) share her expertise on ‘How to Build an Art House’; while on 23 October, Madeline Haddon – curator at the Victoria & Albert Museum East – will take guests on a journey of ‘Art Through the Ages’. Tickets are £40 per person.
68 Duke Street, Mayfair, London, W1K 6JU
Glenfiddich x Ryoichi Kurokawa at King’s Cross
12 - 15 October
Glenfiddich will make its mark on London’s King’s Cross during Frieze Week by unveiling a striking mirrored cube right in front of the station. It will house a sensorial art experience comprising three immersive audio-visual artworks by Ryoichi Kurokawa – displayed in public for the first time and open to anyone aged 18 and over.
Inspired by the whisky brand’s Time Re:Imagined collection of 30, 40 and 50-year old Scotch whiskies, the Osaka-born, Berlin-based artist has created a trio of pieces to capture a moment in time and combine the world of experimental art and whisky. Nearby Sweeties at The Standard, London will then house the artworks from 17 to 30 October, complemented by limited edition bar offerings providing the opportunity to taste the aged whiskies whilst immersed in the artworks.
10th Floor, 10 Argyle Street, King’s Cross, London WC1H 8EG
The Twenty Two x José Parlá
11 - 15 October
The Twenty Two has always attracted an arty, eclectic crowd, thanks to its proximity to London’s leading galleries. To mark Frieze Week, the Mayfair hotel has partnered with the nearby Ben Brown Fine Arts to house a sculpture by the critically-acclaimed, New York-based Cuban multi-disciplinary artist José Parlá, an impressive piece called Lincoln Road and Hurricane Andrew.
Hotel guests can also gain access as temporary members to The Club for the duration of their stay, where they can experience a packed cultural programme of private previews with leading galleries like Gagosian, as well as inspiring talks and workshops with industry experts. Visitors who want to learn more about Parlá’s abstract, visceral form of storytelling can pop along to his exhibition Phosphene at Ben Brown Fine Arts from 11 October to 17 November.
10 - 15 October
Minor Attractions bills itself as a non-fair, bringing together art performance, music and nightlife across two week-long exhibitions in two different London sites. The first is at the eponymous Minor Attractions in Soho, and is a response to both the lack of late-night venues in London and the exclusionary nature of invite-only art world events. The space will be open to all, between 4pm and 1am, inviting visitors to not just admire the art (global commercial galleries and not-for-profit art spaces exhibiting include Maureen Paley, King’s Leap and Vilma Gold) but to meet, mingle and exchange ideas during the busy week.
Cornershop will focus on the city’s emerging galleries such as Niru Ratnam, The Artist Room, and Sherbet Green. Open to visitors from 11am to 7pm daily, the evenings will incorporate a performance schedule featuring artists Emmanuel Awuni, Minh Lan Tran and Bones Tan Jones. The Minor Attractions x Cornershop launch party on Stoney Street, London Bridge takes place from 6pm–10pm on 9 October. Registration is required, entry is free.
Minor Attractions, 14-15 Manette Street, Soho, London W1D 4AP
Cornershop, Unit 199, Borough Yards, Stoney Street, London Bridge, London SE1 9AD