October is a busy month for the art world, and nowhere is it more concentrated than in London. The city positively heaves with art fairs, giving space to galleries to flaunt their most prized pieces, for galleristas & dealers to see what their peers currently have to offer and for everyone else to get a whirlwind glimpse into the giddying arena of the art market. 

There's so much to see in so little time! Why do they have it all at once you ask? Because people are so busy juggling everything in their working & personal lives, that finding the time to start or build an art collection takes a huge amount of will power, enough to deter anyone. By bringing all the fairs and art happenings together, it has become easier for anyone busy working to earn enough to spend on artwork to find the time to actually do it.

Art fairs are a fantastic opportunity to get an overview of what the commercial art world is currently up to: whether you want to browse out of sheer interest, dip your toe in the pool of art buying, or are on the lookout for a special piece to add to your collection.

A whistle stop guide to London's weekend of art fairs - 5 & 6 October:

PAD Art + Design has popped up in the form of a white marquee again in Berkeley Square, Mayfair. Here you will find a smaller, more intimate space to see really innovative displays from European galleries, which specialise in both design and the decorative arts.

From tribal art to carved wooden panels and from art-deco chairs to modern paintings, here the emphasis is on how disparate pieces of art, furniture & furnishings can be curated together to create an inviting & intriguing environment.  This fair is worth attending if only for inspiration on unique ways to pair decor with a collection of objects.

Top Picks

pad-galerie-negropontes                         PAD-Nilufar-gallery     

Stand B12: Galerie Negropontes 
We love the balance of materials, textures & lighting here. Their set features a sculpted wall panel by Etienne Moyat, which won the fair's Best Contemporary Design prize.

Image: Herve Langlais, 2018 

Stand B16: Nilufar
One of the many alluring pieces shown on the set by Italian gallery Nilufar, this lamp was designed in the 1950s and manufactured by Arredoluce.

Image: Nilufar, 2018

frieze-art-fairBased in the manicured end of Regent's Park Frieze London is a mecca for the contemporary art world. It's big, it's bright and it's got the best the art market has to offer by renowned contemporary artists from around the world. 

This year the fair has focused on the role of art in the context of architecture. Through a series of talks the organisers have posed questions including What makes a great space for art? How might we live with art differently? These are interesting questions to consider, especially since the art on view here is displayed in a very minimalistic format and will look very different if bought and seen in an individual's personal space, or even a public space.

For those who are looking for artworks with a bit more history, Frieze Masters may be the fair for you. By no means any less boundary-pushing in its presentation of artworks, and whilst there are plenty of contemporary works to see here, this fair does include pieces which stretch back to the the days of the avant-garde artists and Old Masters. In some ways this combination of works across the decades and centuries does make for a more interesting art fair.

Top Picks

  frieze-print-editions              Frieze-Ingleby-Gallery

Look out for the limited edition prints that Frieze will release for sale, each print created by one of four UK-based, female artists. All proceeds raised from the editions will be donated to two charities that support women in the UK.
Image: Artwork by 
France-Lise McGurn, Courtesy of Frieze, 2018
Booth G11 at Frieze: Ingleby Gallery
The Edinburgh-based gallery will be showing an eclectic mix of work by contemporary artists including a new body of glass works by 

Kevin Harman and a thought-provoking collection of stone effigies by artist Peter Liversidge, titled TWENTY.

Image: Artwork by Kevin Harman, Courtesy of Ingleby Gallery, 2018



The Other Art Fair is presented by Saatchi Art in Bloomsbury's Victoria House and provides individual artists with the opportunity to display their own work. 140 artists are exhibiting, all of whom have been selected by a panel of industry experts. This is a great way to find artists who are up-and-coming and haven't yet been picked up by galleries or who prefer to present their own work and communicate with collectors directly. The artists will usually be manning their own display of work so this is a great opportunity to get to know the artists behind the works. 

Top Picks


 Merab Surviladze, Shadows. Image Copyright. The Artist




Rosa Roberts, Infinite Loop. 
Image Copyright. The Artist

Top Tips

Rather than hare around London, from Bloomsbury to Berkeley Square, decide on one or two fairs that you would like to visit and take the time to enjoy wandering around at a leisurely pace.

Don't be too shy to strike up conversations with art dealers and artists alike. If you are interested in an artwork, most people will be more than happy to explain the concepts and artistic processes that are behind its creation.

If you are looking to buy something, trust your natural reactions to artworks and let a piece speak to you personally. If you're not quite at that stage, use the art fairs as a playground to develop a sense of what your tastes are; keep your mind and eyes open and trust your instincts. 

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