Art Fairs are mushrooming in the Arts scene as a convenient, although not ideal, way of seeing and acquiring works. Over 150 galleries and 1000's of artworks can be seen in one place in one afternoon. Despite the fact that, as Alan Cristea the director of the Alan Cristea gallery commented, the human brain has not got the capacity to absorb so much information in such a short period of time, they are here to stay. Art Fairs have also been instrumental in the democratization of Art. It is less intimidating to attend a Fair than entering a gallery space.
Each Fair is trying to find and develop a niche market and it is successful in their own way. However within such a crowded market, there are three Art Fairs that have managed to stand out in London. Frieze London and Frieze Masters represent the top end of the market. The most expensive artists, dead or alive, are shown under these exclusive tents. For more accessible artworks and friendlier galleries, we can go to the Affordable Art Fair either in Battersea or in Hampstead. And finally for the next big thing, the Other Art Fair offers the possibility of talking directly to the maker before they are being snapped up by an art gallery and their prices doubled.
Jeff Koons. Gagosian Gallery Stand at Frieze London 2013. Courtesy the gallery and the artist.
Frieze Masters is a carefully selected presentation of over 120 of the world's leading galleries. The fair gives unique contemporary perspective on art of all ages. Coinciding with, and within walking distance of Frieze London, Frieze Masters will take place 16-19 October 2014, Gloucester Green, Regent's Park. Frieze London is one of the world's leading art fairs, Frieze London will also take place from 16-19 October 2014 in Regent's Park, London. Frieze London was founded in 2003 by Matthew Slotover and Amanda Sharp.
Kirsty Wither. A Fine Light. Courtesy Cameron Contemporary Art and the artist.
The Affordable Art Fair in Battersea is opening this week on the 13th until the 16th March. It sees the return of London's friendliest art fair, welcoming art lovers, art connoisseurs, and art novices alike to discover affordable art by thousands of artists under one roof. The 110 participating galleries come from all over the UK and abroad, bringing their choicest selections for you to browse, buy, and enjoy. Everything is for sale between £40 and £4,000, with paintings, original artist-made prints, sculpture and photography all on show. Whether you are looking for artwork that is traditional or contemporary, humorous or edgy, by a famous name or an undiscovered talent, there is something for everyone! The Affordable Art Fair in Hampstead takes place from the 12 to the 15th of June.
The Other Art Fair 2013. Courtesy TOAF and the artists.
For these undiscovered artists, The Other Art Fair is a unique platform from which they can independently showcase their work: to gallerists, curators, critics and collectors. Not only about selling artworks, these four days enable artists to launch their work in the contemporary art world, gauge the public's response to their pieces and meet fellow artists for potential future collaborations. It takes place twice a year. The next edition will be in Ambika P3 in Marylebone from the 24th to the 27th of April. With the second edition taking place in the Autumn. The fair is wide-reaching in its audience, attracting individuals who support artistic practice in other ways: advertising agencies, fashion designers and corporate companies looking to commission pieces. The Other Art Fair is unique in its approach to supporting artists. In addition to the four days, they support them throughout the year by offering free seminars and workshops, the opportunity to sell online and connecting individuals with companies and associations. As a fair visitor, you have the opportunity to meet, discuss and buy from 100 emerging artists chosen by a panel of experts. It enables you to discover from the most exciting new talent. By purchasing artwork at the fair, you are directly supporting emerging artistic talent and contributing to the growing opportunities for these undiscovered artists. As Stylist Magazine said "Visit The Other Art Fair to discover the next YBA".