From Frieze London to Picasso’s Portraits: unmissable events and top picks for contemporary art lovers

From Arts fair Frieze London in Regent’s Park to the much-awaited Picasso’s Portraits show at the National Portrait Gallery, find inspiration for your interiors on London’s buzzing arts scene.

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Arts fair Frieze London is to the world of contemporary art what Glastonbury is to music — the highlight of the art year. In all, 160 galleries are taking part and £50 million is spent on hotels, restaurants, taxis and shopping by the visitors it attracts. And that’s before you add what they spend on the art.

This year’s event starts October 6 in Regent’s Park but it is hard to see it all. You might like to try Frieze Bespoke — a two-hour private tour with expert guides, for up to four people. The price of £350 sounds steep but admission to the fair alone would be about £160 for four adults.

Don’t miss Julie Verhoeven’s performance art in the main Frieze tent. Called Toilet Attendant, it involves her dressing in PVC and wheeling a trolley around the ladies’ loos. Men will find a cardboard cut-out of her in the gents. The smallest room’s reputation as the funniest space in the house is reconfirmed.




I love the free Frieze Sculpture Park in Regent’s Park, where 18 of the 20 works exhibited will remain in situ until the end of January. Download the free app and take a private guided tour of sculptures including those by Claes Oldenburg, Lynn Chadwick and Conrad Shawcross.

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Veg out: see Claude Lalanne’s bronze Le Chou de Milan (2016) in Regent’s Park (Courtesy of Ben Brown Fine Arts, London)

Don’t miss Claude Lalanne’s enchanting cabbage on legs. The French artist, 90, is also known for her highly wearable jewellery, available through Louisa Guinness Gallery.




Too tired to leave your sofa? Try Tiqui Atencio’s new book, Could Have, Would Have, Should Have.

Do try this at home: Tiqui Atencio’s book reveals the collecting secrets of some of the world’s most renowned art lovers

A noted collector herself, Atencio has asked some of the world’s greatest art lovers, including Fatima Maleki, Kenny Schachter and Eli Broad, to reveal their collecting strategies. It’s a must-read for anyone starting their own collection.

Or listen in to the Serpentine’s Miracle Marathon Weekend, broadcast live over Serpentine radio on October 8/9, when writers, artists, scientists and philosophers — including Gilbert & George, Edna O’Brien and Marcus du Sautoy — will discuss ritual, miracles and magical thinking.




French artist Philippe Parreno takes over the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern from Tuesday for the latest Hyundai commission.

In residence: Philippe Parreno (Andrea Bossetti)

Remember Louise Bourgeois’ spider, Olafur Eliasson’s blazing sun and Ai Weiwei’s sunflower seeds? This will be a similar “immersive experience” from one of the greatest artists working with acoustics, lighting, flying objects and film. Essential viewing and lots of fun.




Portrait of Olga Picasso: by Pablo Picasso, 1923 (Private Collection © Succession Picasso/DACS London, 2016)

The long-awaited Picasso’s Portraits show opens at the National Portrait Gallery on Tuesday with images of lovers, friends and family including this captivating 1923 portrait, above, of his first wife, Olga.

Picasso used portraiture to develop relationships and strengthen bonds. He rarely took commissions and this is the first major exhibition of his portraits since 1996.

Picasso in pen and ink: Flutiste Assise et Dormeuse (1933). Mayfair gallery Omer Tiroche is showing and selling more than 30 of the artist’s works on paper (Courtesy of Gallery Omer Trioche)

If the National Portrait Gallery’s fabulous show tempts you to buy, head straight to Mayfair gallery Omer Tiroche for the Picasso on Paper show, where prices start at £15,000.


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