Pin It
Mark Cawson, Patrice (Ladbroke Grove), 1983
Patrice (Ladbroke Grove), 1983Photography Mark Cawson

The unmissable events at Frieze London this year

Artist squats, African contemporary art and Oneohtrix Point Never: here are the events you just can’t miss at one of the world’s biggest art fairs

When Frieze magazine launched (in the same year as Dazed, so it's a good vintage) little did anyone know that their name would become synonymous with not only a fair but and entire season of art. London goes crazy this month with openings of shows starting ever earlier in the month to grab punters attentions and parties popping up left right and centre. Aside from the must-see Frieze Art Fair (and sculpture park) and Frieze Masters, these are ten things to check out when it kicks off on 14 October.


This is the best satellite fair on during the week – five minutes away from Frieze near Baker Street station. The focus is on emerging artists, with 25 galleries creating exhibition style space including London gems Chewday’s, Seventeen, Southard Reid and Union Pacific, and welcome imports from cities including NYC, Berlin, Rome and Copenhagen.

October 14–18, SUNDAY, Ambika3, 35 Marylebone Rd, London


Whenever Mark Leckey opens a show it is going to be top of the list. Cabinet is opening Leckey’s solo show Dream English Kid 1969-1999 AD on the 15th and like all Cabinet shows don't expect much information without turning up. The faithful will be coming, however, to see this genius artist whose recent work has been juggling our relationship to technology and the history of art.

PV October 15, October 16-November 28, C A B I N E T, 49-59 Old Street, London


African art is getting increasingly serious attention – the Armory fair in New York is devoting their project to artists from the continent next March. 1:54 is a gorgeous fair at Somerset House devoted to 14 contemporary African galleries. Be sure to search out the paintings of Cheri Samba and Ataa Oko and the photos of John Liebenberg and Herve Youmbi.

Oct 15-18, 1:54, Somerset House, South Wing, London WC2R


Part of the joy of Frieze is wandering around shows in Mayfair and pretending to be a loaded Euro-spender. There is the always stunning PAD fair in Berkeley Square and good shows at Sadie Coles, David Zwirner, Victoria Miro among others. The top of the pile this year is Timothy Taylor showing the capitalist-resistant work of Josephine Meckseper.

PV Oct 15 6-9pm, October 12-November 14, Timothy Taylor Gallery, 15 Carlos Place, London


Artist Haroon Mirza (who has been working on an album with Factory Floor) is doing a one performance at Union Chapel with a bunch of great musicians. It's a perfect extension of Mirza’s art which pushes sculpture and installation with a unique approach to collaboration, sound and the inner workings and misuse of technology and electricity.

October 14, Union Chapel, London


This collective is one of the highlights from this year’s Frieze Projects with an installation about the hot topic of smart objects and how the internet is invading our homes. ÅYR (formerly known as the AIRBNB Pavilion) grew out of pop up art projects in Air BnBs held during the Venice Architecture biennial. They also have a solo show at Project Native Informant to coincide with the fair.

October 14-17, Frieze Art Fair, Regents Parks; Until November 7, Project Native Information, 17 Brook’s Mews, London


The ICA put the cherry on their curatorial cake with this event on Squats and Counterculture – with an incredible panel including Viv Albertine, Peter Doig and Jimmy Cauty. NTS and K11 is also doing a bar at the ICA every night during Frieze – to drink off the art overload of the week to the sounds of Trevor Jackson, Bahamian Moor and Warp.

October 15, 7.30pm; Frieze ICA Bar: October 12-15, 7.30pm-1am, ICA, The Mall, London


Cheng’s first solo show is the UK is devoted to evolution. Entitled Emissary Forks At Perfection it includes of a simulation of a “Darwinian playground” and a more narrative work about consciousness. Cheng is incredible when it comes to his use of computer animation and moving image so whatever this is it's going to be good.

PV Oct 12, October 13-November 14, Pilar Corrias, 54 Eastcastle St, London



Frieze is giving over their Reading Room to a brilliant selection of publications. Yours truly will be in conversation with artists Celia Hempton and Julie Verhoeven on Friday afternoon talking about the representation of sex and the human body in contemporary art to coincide with the launch of the new issue of Kaleidoscope. Expect a balance of smut and seriousness.

16 October 5.30pm, Frieze Art Fair, Reading Room


Rafman’s giant film installation at the Zabludowicz collection opens the week before Frieze but is definitely worth seeing over the weekend. A cast of 35 children and musician Oneohtrix Point Never helped create a role-play short film at the heart of the commission over the past three months. A real time blend of an immersive exhibition filled with dress up, game culture and internet intuition.

Until December 20, 176 Prince of Wales Rd, London