The Frieze London shows to see first this weekend

The exhibitions, talks and installations that should top your list

Frieze London, the annual art fair that sees the world’s most exciting artists and enthusiastic collectors descend on the capital, runs until Sunday 6 October. With a packed schedule of exhibitions, talks and performances around the city, it’s difficult to know what to see first. To make your weekend of art a little more focused, here’s our pick of what to see at this year’s Frieze London. And if you need some outfit inspiration, we’ve got that for you, too. 

Colony Sound at Marlborough Gallery

Immersive installations are big news in the London art scene at the moment – just look at the popularity of Olafur Eliasson at the Tate, and Antony Gormley at the Royal Academy. And Colony Sound, by Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe at the Marlborough Gallery, is about as immersive as they come. It covers eleven rooms, creating a pseudo-futuristic, dystopian world that plays with our fascination with technology and media, and ranges from the bizarre to the eerie.

Until 19 October, 6 Albemarle Street, Mayfair W1S 4BY,

Ai Weiwei in conversation with Tim Marlow

Artist and activist Ai Weiwei is one of the leading lights of the international art scene. This Frieze London he sits down with Tim Marlow, Artistic Director of the Royal Academy of Art, to talk about his career investigating government corruption and cover-ups in China, and how he uses art to examine society and its values. Entry is free with Frieze tickets, but get in there quickly – these are going to fly.

4 October Frieze Masters Auditorium, Regent’s Park NW1 4HA,

Frieze BBC Debate: museums in the 21st century

This year’s Frieze and BBC debate investigates the role of museums in the 21st century. Hosted by BBC Radio 3 presenter Anne McElvoy, and including museum heads from around the world, the talk will examine how historical collections are made relevant to digitally native audiences, as well as how museums can be operated more sustainably. 

4 October, Royal Institute of British Architects, 66 Portland Place, London W1B 1AD,


Humans have expressed themselves via textiles since they came down from the trees and thought a palm leaf might make a nice warm skirt. Woven, a dedicated section of this year’s Frieze London, traces this history, exploring the ancient techniques and knowledge bound into fibre and textile work through displays by eight different artists, all of whom work outside of the Global North. 

3-6 October, Frieze London, Regent’s Park, NW1 4HA,

Yinka Ilori does AI

Yinka Ilori has made his mark with his vivid, multi-hued installations and artworks, most notably with his recent Dulwich Pavilion. This Frieze London he’s combining this sensibility with artificial intelligence in a four day residency at the Bombay Sapphire pop-up in Regent’s Park. Over the weekend it’ll display the works he has created using an intelligent algorithm designed for the gin brand, resulting in a series of new works that mix human creativity and cutting-edge technology.

3-6 October, Bombay Sapphire Lounge, Frieze London, Regent’s Park, NW1 4HA