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London art magazines to get you through self-isolation

Missing the galleries? Desperate for some arty eye-fuel? Here are some great London-based art magazines to see you through these weird times

By Eddy Frankel
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Magazines are brilliant. Little bundles of paper filled with countless ideas and images and writing. I grew up reading magazines way more than books, from Time and The Beano to Kerrang! and Guitar World and then all sorts of niche art things as I got older. They’re places of comfort and safety and distraction for me, something I turn to when everything feels a little overwhelming and scary, and I’m willing to bet they’re something similar for you. So what better way to distract ourselves from these whackadoodle times than with a selection of amazing art publications that you can get sent right to your door. When the world feels a little crazy, and your eyes are sore from too much TV and your brain isn’t ready for the commitment of a book, magazines might just be the friend you need.

Big ones

Frieze magazine
Frieze magazine
Photograph: Frieze

Frieze

You might know the name from the giant art fairs and summer sculpture park, but Frieze has also been putting out a great art publication for years. It delivers everything you want an art magazine to deliver: brilliant interviews, essays and reviews. Simple. 

Art Newspaper
Art Newspaper
Photograph: Sarah Vitale

The Art Newspaper

This is the journal of record for the art world. It’s all the big stories and analysis you’d expect from a newspaper, except it’s about Caravaggio and Tracey Emin instead of Boris and asbos. All on high-end newsprint, too. Lovely. It also has an excellent podcast.

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British Journal of Photography
British Journal of Photography
British Journal of Photography

British Journal of Photography

It does what it says on the tin, and it does it really damn well. The British Journal of Photography is your one-stop shop for all of your photography needs, filled with gorgeous features and in-depth looks at some of the best snappers ever to have wielded a camera.

Art Monthly
Art Monthly
Art Monthly

Art Monthly

Art Monthly is not about big shiny pictures and easily digestible, snackable content; this is serious business, with serious longform articles and serious analysis of serious art. It’s a mag for diving deep, really deep, on the art world. 

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Art Review
Art Review
Art Review

ArtReview

This is the London art magazine scene’s granddaddy, publishing its first issue way back in 1948. It still pumps out some of the world’s best art criticism, featuring excellent writers giving their takes on all the best exhibitions the world over.

Smaller ones

Elephant magazine
Elephant magazine
Photograph: Elephant

Elephant

Elephant does things its own way, and that way is fun. Alongside championing young artists this mag does features about the best gallery toilets and the beauty of their hand dryers. A lighter – and totally necessary – take on the usual art mag formats. 

Art Licks
Art Licks
Photograph: Art Licks

Art Licks

This publication is the zine-iest of all the magazines on this list, printed simply and with minimal fuss, relying on in-depth themed issues to drag you in instead of glossy formats. Art Licks also runs an annual art festival and tons of other top-notch projects.

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The White Review
The White Review
Photograph: The White Review

The White Review

Founded in 2011, The White Review takes an analytical approach to visual art and literature, coming across more like a lovingly in-depth journal than a traditional magazine, and it’s all the better for it. Plus Sally Rooney has written for it: ooh, fancy.

Ultra-specialised ones

Becoming the Forest
Becoming the Forest
Photograph: Becoming the Forest

Becoming the Forest

This art and literature zine – beautifully printed on raw, rough paper – explores the boundaries between forests and black metal. Well, you wanted niche, you got niche. It’s fascinating, gorgeous and very, very metal.

OOF
OOF
Photograph: OOF

OOF

A magazine about the relationship between art and football? Yes, it’s the publication you didn’t even know you needed, but now desperately want. Also, it’s founded and edited by me, Time Out’s art and culture editor. #selfpromo. 

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Scenic Views
Scenic Views
Photograph: Scenic Views

Scenic Views

This pretty little mag specialises in looking at everyday interiors, spaces that might be forgotten or overlooked but that are full of potential. Beautiful photos, weird topics and excellent writing: what more could you want? 

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