The Cultivist’s Insider Guide to Frieze London

The Cultivist’s Insider Guide to Frieze London

Global arts club The Cultivist shares its insider intel on this year’s
must-see exhibitions at Frieze London, as well as the other art fairs to get
excited about this

Frieze is back and who better than The Cultivist – the world’s
only global arts club – to guide us through this year’s offering.
With advice for first-time attendees (brushing up on your art speak
and dress code guide included) to veterans seeking out the best
restaurants to dissect and discuss the array of work viewed earlier
that day, The Cultivist founders, Marlies Verhoeven and Daisy Peat,
have you covered.

They’re also sharing their shortlist of this year’s must-sees,
plus the other art fairs to get excited for this autumn…

Names to know before you go…

It’s worth doing a bit of research on the major galleries before
you go and the artists they represent.

How does London Frieze differ from Frieze LA or New York?

They each have something special and we loved the first
iteration of Frieze LA earlier this year in the backlot of
Paramount Studios.

is Frieze’s hometown and thus will always have a bit of an edge of
their other locations. The biggest difference is that the London
iteration has Frieze Masters – an entire tent showcasing antiques,
old masters, modern and impressionist art from dealers across

Advice to first-time attendees?

Some say the art crowd are not early risers, but in fact, when
it comes to buying art, being the first there is everything! Don’t
be surprised to find a line of collectors from around the globe
waiting to get into the fair at opening time. To avoid the crowds,
start your day at Frieze Masters, which can be found at the top of
The Broad Walk.

The best way to tackle the programme is…

It’s not just about the two “tents”! London pulls out all the
stops this week, and you’ll want to make sure you have time to see
as much as possible. We send all our members a special Frieze Week
booklet, small enough to fit into a pocket, which they usually go
through in advance, picking out their favourite things and putting
a schedule together. However, for those that can’t make it to
everything or would rather sit in a bar and enjoy the people
watching, you can follow all the week’s goings on via our Instagram.

Where can we grab breakfast, lunch and dinner near Regents

The very cute Espresso Bar on The Broad Walk at Chester Road is
mid way between Frieze London and Frieze Masters and provided it’s
not too busy, and the sun is shining, you can sit at one of their
four terrace tables for a hot cup of coffee. Both Frieze London and
Frieze Masters have partnered with some of London’s finest
restaurants. You’ll need to book ahead, but eating in the fair
means you’ll have more time for viewing art – and it’s great for

What’s the dress code?

Put comfort first and then add a pop of colour.

The hotel to base yourself at during Frieze London…

You want to be as near Regent’s Park as possible – you’re on
your feet all day so the closer your hotel room when you decide
you’ve had enough, the better. We recommend staying at the Dorset Square Hotel as it’s
right around the corner. You could also try The Standard which has just
opened in King’s Cross if you want to experience something new.

What can we read to brush up on our “art-speak”?

We love 100 Secrets of the Art World by Thomas Girst and Magnus
Resch, a cheeky book that gives a good insight to the art

This year’s must-sees include…

  1. Es Devlin at Pitzhanger Manor. This takes you
    through time and across the globe, with an immersive installation.
    The newly restored Sir John Soane building is one of London’s
    best-kept secrets.
  2. Jerwood Collaborate! It responds to research
    about the challenges faced by early-career artists working in
    collaboration with each other.
  3. Shamiyaana. A restaurant transformed into an
    artwork by Rasheed Araeen.
  4. Antony Gormley at Royal Academy of Arts. The
    largest exhibition of Gormley’s work in a decade. A superstar of
    British sculptor, Gormley will take over the Main Galleries at the
    RA from 21 September until 3 December.
  5. Gauguin Portraits at the National Gallery.
    There has never been a show of Gauguin’s portraits before. This
    exhibition will be a truly remarkable look into how Gauguin
    interrogated the subject of portraiture using different mediums
    over time.

Exhibitions to explore while in London…

1. White Cube – they will have a new Damian Hirst show.

2. Cy Twombly at Gagosian

3. Grayson Perry at Victoria Miro

4. Mark Bradford at Hauser

Other art fairs to get excited for this autumn…

Don’t miss PAD London, which opens to the
public on Wednesday 2 October and presents the most stunning
collection of 20th-century art, design and decorative arts. It’s a
pocket-sized fair in the heart of Mayfair, so you can whizz around
if you’re short on time.

The contemporary African art fair 1:54 is made up of
little rooms off the corridors of Somerset House. It’s buzzy,
colourful and definitely worth a visit.