After the excitements of design and art weeks in the last couple of months, November is a more staid affair, though if you’re looking to refresh the look of your home before Christmas then some of the year’s biggest interiors shows will be your destination, including Heim + Handwerk and the Brussels Furniture Fair. There are numerous art and antique shows – look out in particular for the city-wide Asian Art in London, Feriarte in Madrid, Basel Ancient Arts Fair and Pan Amsterdam plus Gotha and Artissima in Italy. And professionals should not miss The Sleep Event, Europe’s biggest trade and conference expo for the hotel industry and LuxLive, its biggest trade lighting event.

Architecture and building

There’s a strong focus on renovation, energy saving and sustainability in the expos this month – possibly because it’s winter. Baumesse Meerbusch/Düsseldorf (6-8 November) is a consumer-facing home, construction, renovation & energy savings show. Minergie Expo in Lucerne, Switzerland (26-29 November) and Greenbuild Expo 2015 Manchester (10-11 November) focus on eco-building, refurbishment and energy saving.

Restructura in Torino, Italy (26-29 November) and Harrogate Homebuilding and Renovating Show in the UK (6-8 November) are both dedicated to building, restructuring and home build, offering inspiration, ideas advice and products.

Moving on to a major trade show, The Sleep Event in London (25-26 November) is the leading trade exhibition and conference for the hotel design, development and architecture, featuring an edited exhibition of international product suppliers. Nearly as important, Igeho 2015 in Basel, Switzerland focuses on design but also catering, new products and more. Look out too for the European Hotel Design Awards which celebrates exceptional hotel design and architecture, honouring the work of industry leading architects and designers, and the projects they create with hotel developers, owners and operators. They have their glittering awards ceremony on 23 November in London.

The Europe-trotting Architect @ Work, featuring architects, interior architects, designers, engineering bureaus, project developers, technical services and more, lands in Paris (19-20 November) and Milan (25-26 November)

Art and antiques

There’s a strong focus on fine art and antiques fairs this month, though you’ll still enjoy a contemporary art fair or two. Asian Art in London (5-14 November) is an annual ten-day celebration of the finest Asian art.
 Auctions, selling exhibitions, receptions, lectures and seminars.

Artissima in Turin, Italy (6-8 November) is one of Europe’s oldest art fairs with 200+ exhibitors. Though it tends to favour galleries and institutions from Europe, there are also programs from Brazil, China, Israel, Japan, Russia, and the USA.

Contemporary Istanbul (12-15 November) is big international fair with a section this year dedicated to Tehran. As well as emerging arts, Plugin is dedicated to showcasing artworks within the interaction of science, technology, politics and art. Arte Padova (13-16 November) is a modern and contemporary art show with a young artist section. The Affordable Art Fair (19-22 November) moves to Hamburg this month and continues to offer works from £100-£5000, focusing on original art. Both offer art from galleries and dealers while MacParis (26-29 November) is a non-profit which brings together 120 working artists, selected after a studio visit. During the event, all the artists are present so you can actually meet them.

Moving on to the fine art and antiques fairs, Salon des Antiquaires et des Arts Contemporains de Toulouse (to 8 November) is a huge fair with three halls offering everything from antiques to brocante. The triannual Winter Olympia Art & Antiques Fair (3-9 November) features 120 dealers showcasing an array of beautiful and unusual objects and works of art.

WIKAM (the Vienna International Fine Art & Antiques Fair, 6-15 November) offers a blend of high-quality paintings from the 16th to the 21st century, furniture from the Gothic to the Art deco period, precious sculptures and jewellery, antiques from China and Japan, clocks, textiles and carpets, silver, glass, porcelain, etc.

Gotha: International Antiques Fair in Italy (12-20 November) is a major, international art and antiques fair not only for selling but also functions as an art biennale. Some of Europe’s top dealers offer master works in the areas of fine art, sculpture, furniture objets d’art, ancient books and more.

Basel Ancient Art Fair (13-18 November) is another very important fair, drawing top dealers around the globe to the stately Baroque residence of the Wenkenhof in Riehen, on the outskirts of Basel. All participants are members of the International Association of Dealers in Ancient Art (IADAA) and follow a strict code of ethics concerning the authenticity and provenance of the objects they sell.

Antica Naumur in Belgium (14-22 November) brings together 115 Belgian and foreign antique dealers and attracts over 27,000 visitors from all over Europe. Cologne Fine Art (18-22 November) offers a spectrum ranging from antiquities through to contemporary art.

Feriarte art and antiques Fair in Madrid (21-19 November) features more than 100 galleries and has been going for 39 years giving it in-depth experience of the world of antiques. Pan Amsterdam (22-29 November) is another major art and antique fair featuring paintings, antiques, modern and contemporary art, jewellery, photography, design furniture and objects. Bergamo Arte Fiera (28-30 November) is a high-end modern and contemporary art and design fair featuring more than 80 galleries is aimed at collectors and curators. ST.ART in Strasbourg (27-30 November) has selection of French and foreign galleries representing all artistic trends over the last 50 years with trails around the city and events at the Strasbourg Modern and Contemporary Art Museum, Le Maillon Theatre and the International Glass Biennial. Photography is awarded place of honour with ‘chic-porn’ artist Bettina Rheims’ solo show at its centrepiece.

If you’re looking more vintage, check out Foire a la Brocante du Luxembourg (14 November), a major bric-a-brac fair, as is the Edinburgh Antiques and Collectors Fair (21-22 November) Design Classic Duesseldorf (29 November) features more than 150 dealers offering 20th and 21st century design ranging from interiors to glass, ceramics, silver and jewellery.

Interiors and design

We’re light on design shows and heavy on interiors this month, but one show to look out for is Die Presse Design Vienna (13-15 November), the third-ever Austrian design and craftsmanship symposium featuring high-end design companies as well as talks and cross-industry exchange of experience on crafts. MIF – Made in France (6-8 November) features innovative new products at this trade and consumer fair for French companies featuring everything from gifts to new technology.

LuxLive in London (18-19 November) is enormous this year, joining forces with Strategies in Light Europe and new architectural lighting event, lightspace dot london. It offers more than 300 exhibitors plus 80 hours of free-to-attend talks, debates and panel discussions and the latest technology, developments and expert thinking.

Otherwise, look out for Neue Räume in Zurich, Switzerland (4-8 November), the eighth edition of the major Swiss furniture and interiors show, held at an old industrial hall in Zurich. Brussels Furniture Fair (8-11 November)
Benelux’s biggest furniture fair with six sections offering a broad range of exhibitors and styles. The big furniture and design expo Blickfang 2015 Blickfang has shows in Hamburg (13-15 November) and, again, Zurich (20-22 November).

HEIM + HANDWERK (25-29 November) is Germany’s biggest consumer exhibition, covering all aspects of building, furnishing and decorating you could wish for, plus future trends.

Smaller interiors shows are happening in Nevers and Meaux, France (both 6-8 November), Amenago Lille, also in France (7-11 November) Ferrara in Italy (7-8 November) and Salon Vivons Maison in Bordeaux (also 7-11 November). Cocoon in Brussels (21-29 November) featuring as strong design component and showcases new design in installations which you can buy.

And if you want to pick up a present, try the Ideal Home Show Christmas edition in London (25-29 November) with seven dedicated show areas for all needs and tastes, from interiors to gifts.


27 November sees the start of Russian Art Week, the biannual festival of Russian art featuring auctions, exhibitions, seminars and cultural events. As you might expect both Sotheby’s and Bonhams have major sales of relevant art. Look out too for Christies‘ Russian sales and its monthly design sales (18 and 24 November).


Two major galleries opened in London last month. The first is commercial, which wouldn’t normally cause much eye opening, but the Gagosian Grosvenor Hill is no average commercial gallery – this monumental, purpose-built space has been designed by Caruso St John and its first exhibition features work from Cy Twombly. Also designed by Caruso St John but rather more exotic is the Newport Street Gallery, a public space wholly funded and owned by Damien Hirst to show off his collection of contemporary art – don’t expect any sliced sharks but plenty of other artists. Its opening exhibition is John Hoyland: Power Station Paintings, strikingly graphic and colourful urban depictions. You can also dine at pharmacy2, a reboot of Hirst’s short-lived Notting Hill restaurant.

The always-controversial Turner Prize is held in Scotland for the first time this year, in Glasgow. The prize is offered to the artist deemed to have offered the most interesting exhibition that year: 2015’s finalists are Bonnie Camplin, Janice Kerbel, Nicole Wermers and, rather unusually, an architect’s collective, Assemble, who work with onsite materials no matter how damaged.

Meanwhile the Vitra Design Museum in Germany is looking backwards to one of the most influential movements of all time: Bauhaus (to 28 February). #itsalldesign provides a comprehensive overview of the Bauhaus concept of design with a multiplicity of rare, in some cases never-before-seen exhibits from the fields of design, architecture, art, film and photography, but also documents the underlying developmental processes and societal models.

In Paris we’re liking the look of Anselm Kiefer: Alchemy of Books at the Biblioteque Nationale de France. Although Kiefer is known for his sculptures and paintings, more than 60% of his output is ‘artists books’, which are here presented in a comprehensive retrospective for the first time, interspersed with paintings and sculptures and ranging from 1968-2015. More than 100 pieces (some very large) explore the topics Kiefer has been dealing with for 40 years, and are made of materials as diverse as clay, sand, ashes, hair, plants, straw, photos and lead.

Looking at exhibitions that have already started, don’t miss Designers in Residence (to 31 March) at the Design Museum. This annual exhibition, which celebrates new and emerging talent, features designers selected by a distinguished panel. The theme in 2015 is Migration. Tate Modern’s World goes Pop tells the global story of pop art,  revealing a different side to the artistic and cultural phenomenon.  Ai Wei Wei takes over The Royal Academy of Arts with his brand of irreverent yet thoughtful, challenging yet beautiful work. This is the UK’s first major survey of his work and presents some of his most important works from the time he returned to China from the US in 1993 right up to present day.

Last but by no means least, one of London’s newest commercial spaces, the Tyburn Gallery is showing the work of Moffat Takadiwa, who creates simple but intricate installations made from found materials, including spray-can debris, plastic bottle tops and discarded electrical goods. Unusually for a UK-based gallery, Tyburn focuses on African art, showing it alongside other international artists rather than ‘ghettoising’ it.