Early October in London is a key moment on the international art fair calendar. It all started nearly 20 years ago with the opening of the contemporary giant Frieze, a four day spectacle where leading galleries from around the world displayed the works of top artists. Since then, a series of additional events have sprung up around it in the period that has become known as 'Frieze Week', offering an extra incentive for the contemporary collectors who descend on the capital, and an alternative for those with different tastes. This year there are (at least) six major art fairs during the early days of October including the main contemporary event: Frieze Masters and London (Oct 3–6), British Art Fair (Oct 3–6), Moniker International Art Fair (Oct 2–6), PAD London (Sep 30–Oct 6), 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair (Oct 3–6) and The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair (Oct 1–6). None match Frieze London in terms of size. It alone hosts 160 dealerships such as David Zwirner and Hauser & Wirth in its Regent's Park marquee. Beyond the traditional fair format – one booth per gallery – there are performances, talks and a curated display of artists who use textiles (Woven). Taking place nearby in the park is its historical counterpart, Frieze Masters. Now in its eighth edition, its 130 or so international galleries offer works from antiquity to the almost- present (Frieze picks up where it leaves off). Like its contemporary sister fair, it is a destination for finding top, museum-quality works from galleries such as Colnaghi and Bernard Jacobson. This staging features special sections on 20th century and Asian art, and solo exhibitions of figures such as Turner Prize winner Rachel Whiteread (bought by Luhring Augustine) and Nam June Paik (from Gallery Hyundai), ahead of his retrospective at Tate Modern. Most venerable of the events, though the newest addition to Frieze Week, is the British Art Fair (see the special supplement starting page 21.) Now 31 years old, it moved to Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea in 2018, where it runs again this year in its new time slot. Bringing together more than 50 dealerships from across the UK, including Belgrave St Ives and Osborne Samuel, it is pitched as “a broad celebration of British art of the last century”. The commercial side is complemented by a series of special exhibitions on David Inshaw, Alan Davie and the YBAs. Another change this year comes from Moniker, the urban art fair, which has hopped from Shoreditch to Chelsea, just off the King’s Road. This self-proclaimed ‘reinvention’ brings it to a more traditional part of town. Organisers have dubbed the move a commentary on the ‘transient’ nature of its art and a reflection of the event’s history of risk-taking. It also positions it closer to other collector events, particularly BAF. Graffiti artist Pure Evil, muralist duo Nomad Clan and screen printer Donklondon all have works on show. Over in Mayfair, PAD London is the destination for interior buyers and browsers. Rose Uniacke and Adrian Sasson are among nearly 70 galleries offering 20th century art, design and decorative arts. It is one of several annual PAD events taking place in Paris, Monaco and Geneva. A good supply of modern European offerings are usually to be found, but Latin American designer furniture, antiquities and tribal art are also available. Further decorative arts are to be found in Battersea Park at The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair, established in 1985, it offers a melange of formal antiques, collectors’ items, art and accessories, from the 20th century to the quirky. Despite the international landscape of these events, all tend to have a natural emphasis on European works. The exception is 1–54 Contemporary African Art Fair where 45 international galleries showcase the works of around 140 artists. Founded in 2013, it is one of three annual stagings (also in New York and Marrakesh) and is the first event of its kind to feature output from the 54 countries of Africa and its diaspora. Exhibitors include Ubuntu Art Gallery and Galerie Ernst Hilger. With a bumper crop of fairs in addition to the gallery shows, museum exhibitions and auctions that also take place during London’s autumn season, the capital is more than ever a place for art lovers and buyers to visit and peruse. 4 GALLERIES OCTOBER 2019 to be fair London becomes the global destination for fairs in October. by Frances Allitt ‘London is more than ever a place for art lovers and buyers to visit . . .