Alternative Art Fairs in London Art Week

The big downer with the Frieze Art Fair is the expense; a ticket can cost over twenty squid. Lehman Brothers’ employees might be interested in an alternative this year. So here are some other possibilities:


Ju$t Another Rich Kid, Indulgences No.1, courtesy of Opus Art

Firstly Kounter Kulture, which is an entirely FREE art fair in the Old Truman Brewery. The blurb, which I shall dutifully cut and paste says – there will be areas dedicated to Urban Art, Contemporary, Recent Graduates, Chinese Contemporary and the very best from the print world. Artists include Stuart Semple, Ju$t Another Rich Kid, Miss Bugs, Pure Evil, Hush, Wang Jie, Rob Carter, Josie McCoy, Justine Smith, Will Tuck and Dave White.

It is organised by Opus Art, a gallery from Newcastle venturing down South to party with the Southern fairies over London Art Week.

Secondly The Future Can Wait also in the Truman Brewery, with over 50 artists’ work on show, is going on at the same time. This is also a free fair and centers around the promotion of up and coming artists from what is being called the ‘New London School’. This ‘school’ concept is something promoted by the curators Zavier Ellis and Simon Rumley who are planning a number of shows in Europe and America. Watch this space!

Truman Brewery – T3 and T4
(Wilkes St entrance)
146 Brick Lane, London, E1
11-6pm 15 – 19 October 2008
Private View 14 Oct, 7pm, Truman Brewery


Then of course, at around a tenner, Zoo Art Fair is worth the fee but even better if you can get in free. Why not climb in through a skylight? Shag the doorman?
Whatever, it has a young, less well established and more of a jumble sale attitude than Frieze and for that reason it is a real treasure hunt of an art fair. You come across real gems, Graham Dolphin last year for instance, and then right next door there will be an unheard of artist with considerable brunt. If last year’s fair is taken as a rule it is actually worth going to without involving unattractive entrance staff.

17th to 20th October
12.00 – 20.00 Daily; Monday 12.00 – 17.00.
Royal Academy of Arts, 6 Burlington Gardens, London, W1S 3EX.
Advanced tickets: before 9th Oct.- £10. Groups (10+) – £8.50. ON DOOR – £15. Groups £10.


Deptford X arts festival is in its tenth year now, over a month from 26th Sept to 8th Oct and keep you eye out for possible closing parties….
As part of the festivities, Lewisham Art House exhibits 48 artists’ work from Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 October, 11am to 6pm, plus special performances: Saturday 4 October from 6pm
On sale at APT Gallery along with much of the art is the 10th year celebratory book. The book launch is at The Deptford Project Space on Saturday 4 October, 2.30pm

Other offerings are Core Blimey Arts – a huge group show, Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 September and artists from Arthub and DNA at the Framework Gallery each weekend through out the month. And that is just scratching the surface.
Deptford X – 26th Sept – 8th Oct

See Deptford X website in links with addresses to various Galleries.


Then there is Memory Cloud, by the ICA, an experimental architectural and design interactive led instillation running from the 8th -10th of October, 7pm – 9.30pm in Trafalgar Square.
‘Visitors can text any message they like to the artists’ creation, and that phone message will be made into light-and-air smoke signals, uncensored and huge in Trafalgar Square.’ The project was founded in 2002 by brothers Stephen and Theodore Spyropoulos.
This is Davina Maccall. Please do not text F or C. This is highbrow art don’t you know


Something to be avoided by credit crunch victims is the Lazarides Extravaganza – 250 tickets only are available for this event that takes place on the 16th of October. You can win works by Miranda Donovan, Banksy, Invader and Conor Harrington, some of which are worth over £200,000.
Plus ‘nefarious entertainments’ (according to the blurb), each ticket also guarantees the lucky holder an original artwork by Jonathan Yeo, Antony Micallef, Faile, JR or Paul Insect.
Unfortunately the tickets are £5000 each. Sleeping with doormen essential.

The Old Milk Factory, Bloomsbury, London.


This one is similar to Zoo in that it is a tenner in advance. Also similar in that it is a ‘satellite’ fair designed to catch the wandering art collectors as they scrabble around London desperately searching for the next big thing. It is mainly an international gallery affair and has a perfectly good amount of art exhibitors who (possibly this is a bit unfair) were either refused or could not stump up the huge amount for a plot at Frieze. Worth a look in.

Note – rumour has it that this fair has been cancelled, although the website looks fully operational.

17th -19th of October from 11am-8pm. Lord’s Cricket Ground, London.

Also don’t forget to keep your eye on Vyner Street, there might be something going on down there if they have not all shut up shop for Frieze.

What has Frieze got anyway? Apart from a sculpture garden that has almost doubled in size from last year. Talks by Boris Groys, Carsten Höller, Yoko Ono and Cosey Fanni Tutti and more. Oh and a huge selection of world renowned artists.

16th-19th October, Regents Park, London.


  1. Kounter Kulture – dreadful name, but worth going just to pick out the cream from the rest of the crop. I can’t be the only person who would be put off by the idea of an exhibition made up of urban ‘art’. Luckily, KK has much more to offer. You’d have to run through the first room with your eyes shut but having got through (without causing any damage) you’d have a much better time.

    It’s a wide ranging exhibition with plenty to shout about, especially some great offerings from China – Piao Guangxie and Wang Zhijie to name a couple. Rob Carter’s endlessly attractive works are there but there are a couple of painter’s that really stand out as providing something genuinely unique – Chris Kettle and Laurie Hogin. They both have space in the same section, both can really paint, I mean properly, and both are ploughing their own furrow.

    Kettle’s work especially shows his greater maturity and seems to be art that genuinely reflects our species’ slipping grasp on comfortable, decadent reality. And he manages to do it through the medium of still life. Who’d have thought it?

    Hogin, as well as Kettle, has clearly been influenced by the past masters of the 17th century. Hogin’s crazy, furry creatures, named for and the potential products of 21st century pharmaceutical engineering, in lurid colours. Ornately framed and on a small scale, they are rendered beautifully and she has reproduced their fur especially well.

    Both painters seem to have bucked the current vogue for ‘massive makes a master’ and more credit to them for it. If you actually have something to say, you don’t need to take up half a house to say it.

    Catch them while you can.

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