12 things you need to know about this year's Frieze Art Fair

Steve Dinneen
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A sign showing the Frieze Art Fair logo
Frieze Art Fair begins this Thursday (Source: Getty)

Frieze officially begins tomorrow, with 160 art global galleries exhibiting works by more than 1,000 artists, all inside a giant tent in Regent's Park. Here’s a list of everything you need to know – and what you need to see – as Frieze turns 25 years old.

1. The 1990s are in: To celebrate a quarter of a century of Frieze, a new section of the gallery called The Nineties will look at ways the art scene has changed over the last 25 years, including recreating some of the major exhibitions that have taken place.

Check out sculptures like this in Regent's Park

2. The Sculpture Park is ace: Head over to Regent’s park for a condensed hit of culture, with works by 19 major artists on display, including Claus Oldenburg, Ed Herring and Lynn Chadwick. If you can’t make it this weekend, don’t worry too much: the large-scale pieces will remain up until 8 January.

3. The Sunday Art Fair is where the cool kids will be: Forget all those established artists with their expensive works of art – head to the Truman Brewery for the up-and-coming stars of the art world. You’ll find 25 gallery spaces packed with new talent; and a few bargains.

4. There’s also some old stuff: Frieze is all about contemporary art, but the Frieze Masters fringe event showcases art from ancient times up to the late 20th century. So something for everyone.

Artist Pablo Bronstein designed the posters and invitations

5. There might be art in your pocket: At Frieze, even the posters and invitations are art. Pablo Bronstein has taken various arches from around the world as the starting point for the Frieze literature, inspired by Sassetta's San Sepolcro Altarpiece. Look out for them around London, and perhaps even in your own pocket, if you’re lucky enough to have been invited to something.

6. Lee Scratch Perry is playing! The Jamaican musician/producer will take to the stage to close the proceedings. While he’s a musical pioneer and bona fide artist, we’re not sure what his distinctive blend of reggae and dub has to do with Frieze. We’re looking forward to it nonetheless.

Dub and reggae pioneer Lee Scratch Perry will close the fair

7. Prices an' that: Combined tickets to Frieze London and Frieze masters start from £52. Go to frieze.com for tickets. Advance opening (requires premium ticket) starts tomorrow. Full opening from Friday until Sunday.

And there's loads of other stuff going on too: If you still haven’t scratched your cultural itch, check out these shows, also on this weekend.

8. Philippe Parreno’s Anywhen: The Turbine Hall’s latest exhibition is a huge multi-media light-show filled with mind-bending geometry, football players and floating fish. You really have to see it to fully understand it. And even then you still might not.

9. Picasso’s Portraits: The National Portrait Gallery has some pictures on show by a chap called Pablo Picasso. As the Modern Lovers once sang, nobody ever called Pablo Picasso an asshole, and now you can see for yourself why that is.

Picasso's Portraits is on at the National Portrait Gallery

10. British pop artist Gerald Laing: The first posthumous exhibition of pop artist and sculptor Gerald Laing is being hosted on the fifth anniversary of his death. Featuring over 70 paintings and sculptures, The Fine Art Society’s exhibition traces the evolution of Laing’s career from the pop art he produced in London and New York in the 1960s, to his return to pop with politically and socially charged paintings criticising the Iraq War and commenting on celebrity culture.

11. Abstract artist Paul Feiler: The work of British artist Paul Feiler will go on display at Jessica Carlisle gallery in Marylebone, collecting pieces from the 1970s to the 2000s. Feiler was part of the St Ives School of painters in the 40s to 60s alongside Terry Frost and Patrick Heron, a group that helped to define British modern and abstract art. However, this exhibition focuses on his later work, which explored geometric shapes on square canvases.

12. David Shrigley's engorged thumb: Go to Trafalgar Square and marvel at the biggest thumbs-up in the world, courtesy of brilliant Scottish artist David Shrigley.

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