2022 promises to be a stellar year for those visiting art fairs in London. Whether you want to marvel at the jaw-dropping displays at big-hitters like Masterpiece London, leave conventionality at the door at The Other Art Fair or find a contemporary artwork to adorn your own home at the Affordable Art Fair, this year promises a kaleidoscopic array of artists, galleries, displays and arts programmes across the capital. We’ve handpicked the best London art fairs, whether you’re a seasoned connoisseur or an aspiring collector.
London Art Fairs To Visit In 2022
23 - 27 February
Now in its 18th year, Collect is the leading international fair for contemporary craft and design, produced by the UK Crafts Council. The five-day event at Somerset House will see a wealth of gallerists representing some of today’s most exciting international craft artists, both at the fair and online. Bullseye Projects, Cynthia Corbett Gallery, Candida Stevens Gallery and Thrown, to name a few, will be showcasing a diverse range of disciplines and medians, from the more mainstream (furniture, jewellery… ) to lacquerware, fibre art and neon. As well as offering an opportunity for collectors to acquire pieces created in the past five years, the fair also attracts all the big-name institutions wishing to add to their own collections (the V&A made a record 13 purchases in 2020 alone). Don’t miss Collect Open, a platform for emerging artists which this year projects by artists and collectives from France, Israel and the UK.
Somerset House, Strand, London WC2
Affordable Art Fair
Battersea 10-13 March; Hampstead Heath 5-8 May
The Affordable Art Fair returns to London this Spring in not one, but two locations – Battersea Park and Hampstead Heath. They may be across town, but the premise of both is the same – to democratise the art world and make art accessible to all. More than 200 galleries have been handpicked, bringing with them fresh, contemporary artworks that range in price from £50 through to £7,500, with many under £500. This year, visitors to the fair at Hampstead Heath can catch the Made in Arts London Showcase where they will be able to snap up pieces by the brightest talent at University of the Arts London. As always, there will also be curated installations, talks, as well as family hour – which allows families to enjoy the fair with fewer crowds – at both fairs.
Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park, London SW11;
Lower Fairground Site, Hampstead Heath, London NW3
Saatchi Art’s The Other Art Fair
17 - 20 March
The clue is perhaps in the name, but The Other Art Fair – celebrating its 10th anniversary – seeks to turn the traditional art fair on its head. The fair – which has editions across the world, from Los Angeles to Sydney – invites the visitor to experience art differently. No conventions or elitism here. Instead, think Djs, an El Rayo tequila bar and artwork that challenges and truly excites. Presented by Saatchi Art, the four-day London fair at The Truman Brewery will this year focus on championing women in art and art forms beyond the traditional, to coincide with International Women’s Day. Promising a tightly-curated and distinctive programme, over 150 independent artists have been selected by a panel of industry experts to display their work. In addition, artist, curator and founding member of gal-dem, Leyla Reynolds will curate the New Futures Programme which celebrates emerging talent.
The Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, Shoreditch, London E1
Connect Art Fair
23 - 27 March
Connect – London’s Independent Art Fair – returns to the Mall Galleries. Organised by James Manning and Anna Wakerley, the purpose of the fair is to connect dealers from London and beyond – either those with galleries or without – with colleagues, collectors and buyers. The pieces on display cover off a wonderful array of periods and genres, from Modern British and contemporary to Japanese prints and academic drawings. Galleries exhibiting include Goodman Fine Art, Blondes Fine Art and Gwen Hughes Fine Art, to name a few. “Some dealers have traded happily online during the past two years and this has awakened everyone to the importance of virtual platforms, but nothing can take the place of actually ‘seeing’ an artwork in person. There is something magical in the way an artwork can ‘connect’ with you and nothing can replace that,” says Wakerley.
Mall Galleries, St James’s, London SW1
London Art Fair
20 - 24 April
It may have been pushed back from January to April this year, but the 34th edition of the London Art Fair at the Business Design Centre has over 100 global galleries presenting a diverse collection of modern and contemporary art. Many of the big name art dealers are returning, the likes of The Redfern Gallery and Rowntree Clark, the latter bringing British abstracts from the 1950s and 1960s by Sandra Blow, Gillian Ayres and Roger Hilton. An influx of new exhibitors – Tanya Baxter Contemporary, Mothflower and David Kovats for example – add to the wealth and variety of work on display, including by renowned artists such as Henry Moore, David Hockney, Bridget Riley and Paula Rego. With curated displays from Photo50, Art Projects and Platform, as well as the New Hall Art Collection in Cambridge showcasing their collection of modern and contemporary art by women, this is one not to miss.
Business Design Centre, Upper Street, Islington, London N1
The Decorative Antiques and Textile Fair
4 - 8 May
The Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair isn’t just on the radar of interior designers. It is a must-visit for anyone interested in antiques, fine and decorative art and 20th century design, with over 150 exhibitors descending on Battersea Park. The Spring edition is no exception (there is also a fair in Autumn and Winter), though it comes with a particular focus on the outdoors, with statuary, garden objets, furniture and urns taking the limelight. That said, you’ll find every manner of dealer at this year’s event – from Hilary Batstone Antiques and Henry Saywell Works of Art to Clive Rogers Oriental Rugs and Timewise Vintage Watches – selling furniture, lighting, mirrors, textiles and accessories, art works, jewellery, vintage bags and much more. The Battersea Kitchen on the mezzanine provides all-day sustenance for collectors, exhibitors and visitors alike, and there’s courtesy transport between Sloane Square and the Fair.
Evolution London, Battersea Park, London SW11
12 - 15 May
Described as “the UK photography event of the year”, Photo London returns to the historic courtyard of Somerset House. This Fair brings together historic and vintage works, photos by the icons and cutting-edge imagery, from the world’s leading photography dealers and galleries. Alongside the established exhibitors and some of the finest examples of the median, the fair’s Discovery section spotlights new talent as well as emerging galleries that are less than five years old. While the Publishers section brings together independent publishing houses as well as household names. Running concurrently is a packed programme of one-off shows and installations, as well as talks and awards. Photo London Digital – the first-ever international online photography fair – will also make a comeback.
Somerset House, Strand, London WC2
Masterpiece London Art Fair
30 June - 6 July
A highlight of London’s summer season, Masterpiece London is a sight to behold. The glittering cross-collecting fair sees over 120 of the world’s most distinguished dealerships gather in the grounds of Royal Hospital Chelsea. Each one brings with them not only truly exceptional examples of art, design, furniture and jewellery, from antiquity to the present day, but as leaders in their fields, expert insight too. In previous years, exhibitors have included art powerhouses like Hauser & Wirth and Hazlitt Holland-Hibbert, to interior designer Axel Veervordt, bespoke furniture specialist LINLEY and French maison Van Cleef & Arpels. The capital’s finest restaurants (Scott’s, The Ivy et al), as well as an ever-buzzing champagne terrace, ensure that the vibe is as much about socialising as it is perusing art.
Royal Hospital Chelsea, London SW3
Frieze London, Frieze Masters & Frieze Sculpture
12 - 16 October
Over 60,000 people descend on Regent’s Park every October for Frieze London and Frieze Masters, surely the biggest week in London’s art world calendar. It’s no surprise. Since being founded in 2003, Frieze London has become one of the world’s most influential contemporary art fairs. Leading galleries (Sadie Coles HQ, David Zwirner, Alison Jacques, White Cube… ) showcase the most exciting established and emerging artists, plus of course there’s the acclaimed Frieze London Talks programme – insightful conversations with today’s most exciting artists, designers, filmmakers and curators. A short stroll across the park is Frieze Masters, where heavyweights such as Johnny Van Haeften, Gagosian and Offer Waterman exhibit works spanning six thousand years of art history, from rare antiquities to Renaissance paintings and works by modern masters like Picasso and Dalí. Connecting them both is the tenth edition of Frieze Sculpture, with striking pieces dotted across the park by big-name artists and rising stars.
The Regent’s Park, London NW1