With Frieze London and Frieze Masters set to whip the capital’s art scene into a frenzy from 11-15 October 2023, it’s hard to know where to start if you want to make sure you’re seeing all the highlights – especially if you’re venturing to the multitude of satellite events that accompany Frieze Week. With must-dos including official foodie pop-ups, exclusive hotel packages for those visiting from out of town, and a range of immersive cultural, musical, and digital events around London, start planning your diary with our curation of highlights. Here’s to the art of seeing it all…
The cool, younger sibling to Frieze Masters, Frieze London is your go-to for the freshest, most exciting contemporary pieces on the global art scene. Expect established names, including Hauser & Wirth, David Zwirner and Sadie Coles HQ, alongside emerging galleries representing up-and-coming talent.
As well as the fair’s Focus section – which spotlights galleries established in the last 12 years – not to be missed this year is Artist-to-Artist. This special section of the fair will see eight renowned artists, including Tracey Emin, Olufar Eliasson and Wolfgang Tillmans, invited to nominate a counterpart worthy of a solo exhibition at Frieze. Designed to celebrate 20 years of Frieze London’s work promoting the world’s brightest new artistic talent, stop by to see works by Vanessa Raw, Mark Barker, Ayoung Kim and more.
Elsewhere, Frieze London 2023 will see Candice Lin collaborate with Getty’s PST Art Initiative to present a new commission in the form of large-scale kites showcasing Lin’s signature indigo-dying technique. Inspired by traditional Asian kites, in particular Korean fighter kites, and featuring depictions of mythology and animals drawn from imperial China, performers will fly these kites in Regent’s Park throughout the fair while visitors are also welcomed to create and fly their own in a workshop taught by Yaeun Choi.
Does your taste run more toward Botticelli than Banksy? Frieze Masters is the fair for you. Here, you’ll find art and antiquities dating back more than 6,000 years rubbing shoulders with works by Old Masters and prominent artists of the early 20th Century. Some of the world’s most famed galleries, including Marian Goodman Gallery, Perrotin and Kukje Gallery, will be in attendance – making this your opportunity to pick up a piece of real artistic significance.
Even if you're not in the market for a new purchase, Frieze Masters is well worth a visit for its celebrated Spotlight section, which this year is curated by Valerie Cassel Oliver, curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. For 2023, Cassel Oliver is dedicating the space to underappreciated works from the 1950s to the 1970s while Stand Out, a new section introduced to the fair in 2021, will also return. Curated by Luke Syson, director of Cambridge's Fitzwilliam Museum, this year's theme will be 'decorative' artworks and aims to look past traditional hierarchical structures of worth to bring together objects prized for their own inherent artistic and cultural value.
Launched in 2018, Frieze Music celebrates the intersection between art and music with collaborations between artists and musicians, live performances and panel discussions. Presented by BMW, for 2023, artist Sara Sadik has created La Potion (Eh) – a film installation that interrogates technology through a series of computer-generated scenes that depict the changing emotional states of a series of young male characters. Available to view at Koko in Camden as well as the BMW Lounge at Frieze, the film will be accompanied by a fully playable video game, also created by Sadik.
Following in the footsteps of Lianne La Havas and Nilüfer Yanya, this year's official Frieze Music artist, Loyle Carner, will also perform a special show at Koko on 12 October.
Where to eat and drink at Frieze
Sure, Frieze is all about the art, but surely it can be a little about the food (and drink), too? One brand well-versed in blending the two is Ruinart, whose Art Bar has been a highlight of Frieze for many years. For 2023 it has collaborated with French artist Eva Jospin to create Promenade(s) en Champagne, a collection of mixed media works spanning drawing, sculpture and embroidery which draw on the history and nature represented in the champagne-making process. This immersive exhibition is, of course, best accompanied by a glass of R de Ruinart, Ruinart Blanc de Blancs or Ruinart Rosé.
For sustenance, Jikoni’s flavourful vegetarian ‘immigrant food’, which tells the story of cross-cultural cooking without borders, celebrates the power of food to nurture and nourish. From hot and sour sweetcorn risotto to spiced cauliflower mac and cheese and Ovaltine kulfi, the 130-cover Frieze London pop-up (towards the Park Square West entrance) will be decorated with plush edible foliage and will be only the second time Jikoni has ventured out of its Blandford Street premises.
Meanwhile, over at Frieze Masters, Skye Gyngell's Spring restaurant has teamed up with Heckfield Place to bring together sustainable fine dining and country house hotel-style hospitality in an artistic setting. Book a table for lunch, treat yourself to an all-day hospitality package, or go all out with the full experience, which includes an overnight stay at Heckfield Place, return transfers to Frieze Masters and a reservation at Spring x Heckfield Place.
Transporting from Soho to Regent’s Park, Ham Yard Hotel’s restaurant will also be returning to Frieze Masters for 2023, offering a selection of brasserie-style dishes, including pappardelle with slow-cooked beef ragù and celeriac tartare with hazelnut and black truffle, served on the latest designs from hotel founder and creative director Kit Kemp’s fine bone china collection.
Where to stay during Frieze Week
The ultimate bolthole for art enthusiasts, and home to a stellar curation of collected and commissioned works by a variety of British and international artists, Rosewood London is offering a great Frieze London package. Allowing guests to immerse themselves in the Frieze spirit, the stay includes an overnight stay with breakfast, VIP tickets to Frieze London, plus chauffeur-driven transfers and bubbles at the Ruinart Art Bar. Other official hotel partners, who are all offering a range of packages and perks if you mention ‘Frieze’ upon booking, include The Mayfair Townhouse, The BoTree, Nobu Hotel, and The Mandrake, as well as The Connaught, Claridge’s and The Berkeley.
While, of course, the majority of the official action happens in the Regent's Park tents (and surrounding parkland, home to Frieze Sculpture), there’s plenty going on across the capital to get involved in. Over at the Saatchi Gallery, StArt will return for its tenth anniversary showcasing some of the world's most exciting contemporary art. An ideal place for collectors to discover new talent, this year will see the winner of the first StArt x New Blood Art Emerging Art Prize revealed, a group exhibition from the Prince's Foundation School of Traditional Arts and Paint It Black, a tribute to rock music from fast-growing UK gallery Art Hound.
Tickets from £11.28, Luxury London readers receive a 20 per cent discount across all ticket categories (excluding those including a catalogue) using code LUXURYLONDON20. Book here.
In Mayfair's Berkeley Square, meanwhile, PAD London returns as the UK's only fair dedicated exclusively to 20th-century and contemporary design. Taking place from 10-15 October 2023, this year marks the fair's 15th anniversary and will see it welcome 62 galleries from across the globe, including 12 newcomers. As well as world-class and collectible furniture, ceramics, glass and lighting, PAD will also feature a series of exquisite jewellery from names including Glenn Spiro, Boghossian, Hemmerle and more.
Frieze parties and events
As with any major creative event in the capital – London Fashion Week, London Design Festival etc – great afterparties are a given. At Mayfair's Apricity restaurant, sustainably-minded chef Chantelle Nicholson has teamed up with Italian coffee brand Illy and art advisory The Cultivist to host a series of talks accompanied by decadent canapes and a series of coffee-inspired cocktails. Across the two evenings, which take place on 9 and 23 October, The Cultivist founder Joey Lico and V&A East curator Madeleine Haddon will share their advice and expertise on art through the ages and building an art collection while guests sip on espresso martinis, negronis and cold brew and lemon tonic cocktails.
Tickets from £40, book here.
Elsewhere, don’t miss the AGM 2023 access-all-areas night at Somerset House Studios on Friday 13 October. Opening parts of the building that are usually completely off-limits to the public, revellers can expect internationally-rated DJs, art installations and live performances in one of the most iconic buildings in the city.