We might be biased, but there aren’t many cities that can stake a greater claim to design capital of the world than London. With its internationally-renowned museums, art galleries both large and small and plethora of public art installations, London is a hub of creativity.
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Showcasing the best of the capital’s talents are a roster of art fairs and festivals that take place throughout the year, giving the opportunity to discover works by emerging and established artists. Whether you’re interested in British craft, affordable art or through-provoking installations, these are the upcoming fairs and events to have on your radar.
London Art Fair
Kicking off the 2023 art calendar in the capital, London Art Fair returns to Islington’s Business Design Centre with an exciting talks and events programme, including the unveiling of a limited edition print as part of Barts Heritage’s 900 – a celebration of nine centuries of Barts hospital – by cartographer extraordinaire, Adam Dant. Elsewhere, thousands of contemporary and modern British artworks will be presented by some of the UK’s leading galleries, bringing a breath of fresh air to customers’ art collections in the new year.
18-22 January 2023, Business Design Centre, Islington, londonartfair.co.uk
The Decorative Fair
The Decorative Fair (also known as The Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair) is now London’s largest vetted prestige fair for antiques, design and art in the capital. It has been running since 1985 and takes place three times a year at Evolution London, an events venue within Battersea Park. The Decorative Fair is the preferred hunting ground of leading UK and international designers, decorators and collectors, and is popular with younger buyers in particular. More than 150 exhibitors will be showing traditional and decorative antiques, fine examples of 20th century design, textiles, glass and ceramics dating from the 1700s to the 1970s.
The Winter Fair is 24-29 January 2023, Spring Fair is 9-14 May 2023 and Autumn Fair is 3-8 October 2023, decorativefair.com
The Other Art Fair
Celebrated for its unexpected take on the traditional art fair experience, The Other Art Fair presented by Saatchi Art offers Londoners the chance to buy artwork directly from over 150 incredible emerging talents. With three editions in 2023, taking place in March, July and October, The Other Art Fair is a global platform gathering creative thinkers, pleasure seekers and game-changing artists and celebrates the experiential aspect of art. The artist-led fair combines boundary-pushing yet affordable artworks as well as interactive theatre, taxidermy classes and guest artist talks. After the spring show in March, The Other Art Fair will move to West Handyside Canopy at King’s Cross in July before returning to the Old Truman Brewery in October.
9-12 March 2023, The Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, theotherartfair.com
The Affordable Art Fair
The Affordable Art Fair returns to London for three events this year, showcasing the best in contemporary art from over 100 leading galleries from around the world, with cities including London, Hong Kong, New York and Barcelona represented. Discover the joy of collecting with artworks for sale ranging from £50 to £7,500, with expert advice on hand to make finding your dream piece a breeze. Kicking things off in Battersea Park for spring, the fair will also visit Hampstead Heath a month later before returning south in the autumn.
9-12 March 2023, Battersea Park; 11-14 May 2023, Hampstead Heath; 19-22 October 2023, Battersea Park, affordableartfair.com
London Craft Week
London Craft Week returns for its ninth edition with a new programme of events taking place across the capital at more than 200 locations including museums, galleries and boutiques. Bringing together the work of celebrated and emerging artists, makers and designers, the festival showcases the best of London craftsmanship, from the latest developments in material innovation and digital craft to fine collectable objects, luxury goods and heritage skills. New for this year, the Craft Week programme will present a new selection of International Pavilions, reinforcing the festival as a platform for sharing global perspectives and shining a spotlight on London as an international hub for creativity from around the world.
8-14 May 2023, across London, londoncraftweek.com
Bringing the best in international photography to the capital every year, Photo London returns to Somerset House for 2023. Renowned British photographer Martin Parr has been announced as the Photo London Master of Photography and a selection of his works will take over the Embankment East Side Gallery. Elsewhere, the fair boasts an exciting line-up of vintage and historical works, while also highlighting fresh perspectives and emerging talent.
10-14 May 2023, Somerset House, Strand, photolondon.org
Eye of the Collector
Following the success of the Eye of the Collector’s 2022 show, the no-booth art fair returns to Two Temple Place in May. Unique in concept, Eye of the Collector presents selected works of art and design from leading galleries in a multi-layered dialogue. Works from established artists are shown alongside lesser-known contemporaries, bringing new and emerging artists to the fore. All artworks are showcased at Two Temple Place, a dazzling neo-Gothic gem on Victoria Embankment, which aims to complement the artist’s work with its interesting architectural surroundings.
18-20 May 2023, Two Temple Place, Temple, eyeofthecollector.com
London Design Festival
This September, the London Design Festival returns to the capital, marking its 21st year celebrating and promoting design with an exciting line-up of installations, events and exhibitions across the city. Highlights from last year include Sony Design’s immersive experience, INTO SIGHT (pictured above) at Cromwell Place, Netherlands-based designer Sabine Marcelis’ swivelling stone chairs at Centrepoint and the release of the limited-edition book LDF 20 Years, all taking place in 12 design districts over nine days. Expect the 2023 edition to be bigger and better than ever.
16-24 September 2023, across London, londondesignfestival.com
Frieze London, Frieze Masters and Frieze Sculpture
Bringing back the capital’s most-hyped art fair, Frieze London and Frieze Masters are set to take over Regent’s Park again this October, alongside Frieze Sculpture. Details of this year’s event are still under wraps as applications are still open for exhibitors, but last year saw art from emerging stars to iconic names, spanning thousands of years of art history with over 290 major international galleries, special commissions and an exciting series of talks. For 2023, Frieze Sculpture will be overseen by independent curator Fatoş Üstek, returning to the English Gardens in Regent’s Park in the autumn.
11-15 October 2023, Regent’s Park, frieze.com
The Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair
The Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair (WCPF), together with its online edition, forms Europe’s largest art fair dedicated to highly collectible print works. Each year, WCPF showcases the very best of contemporary print in a unique hybrid exhibition which features a curated selection of independent artists chosen through an international open call, well-known names, and specialist gallery booths at London’s historic Royal Arsenal.
26-29 October 2023, Woolwich Works, The Royal Arsenal, woolwichprintfair.com
Read more: Works of art: The best London exhibitions to visit in 2023