The Cultivist’s Insider Guide to Frieze London

Fri, 27 September 2019
cultivist-frieze-feature

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 autumn.

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.

London 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 Europe.

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 Park?

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 people-watching.

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 world.

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.

Discover More...

An Insider Guide to London Fashion Week with Fashion Illustrator Jessica Bird

You May Also Like

City Guides

You know how you have that one incredible friend who knows their city inside out? That’s us. We take the world’s most dynamic destinations, hand-pick the best bits and give them to you in one place. This is the kind of guide that you don’t need to run by a local – it was written by one. Eat your heart out, shop until you drop, drink like a fish, dance your socks off, sleep – then repeat.

Bundles

Curate your bookcase with the full SUITCASE library. From Volume 2 through 27, we've been around the world, explored uncharted landscapes and reexamined travel perceptions along the way. We invite you to do the same; grow your collection today.

Download Suitcase App
Learn More