EL Wrap - PAD London
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EL Wrap - PAD London
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Each October, London's Berkeley Square becomes a mecca for designers, artists, and major collectors, its position elevated beyond the ordinary by the arrival of the French fair PAD (Pavilion of Art and Design), which is timed to coincide with Frieze and Frieze Masters. Now in its ninth London edition, this jewel of a showcase is the place to find galleries specialising in antiquities, jewellery, photography and Asian and Islamic art alongside dealers of post-war and contemporary works from some of the greatest names in design. All who show are vetted by a selection committee comprised of renowned art dealers, while the PAD Prize, under the patronage of Moët Hennessy and attributed by a jury of industry greats – this year’s Honorary Presidents included Zaha Hadid, Jasper Conran and Julia Peyton-Jones - is awarded across three categories at the event's opening. PAD is also becoming famed for its restaurant: the 2015 design by Francis Sultana made lunch as much of a visual treat as the countless treasures on show in the fair's signature black tents. 

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Lamp by Jean Royère
Courtesy of PAD London
 

Galerie Jacques Lacoste is best known for the work of legendary French interior designer Jean Royère, and the stand as ever showed exceptional pieces from the late Forties and Fifties, including lighting (a particular draw for those who missed out on the superb eight-armed wall light being sold at the Phillips' design sale during LDF). At Jacques Hervouet, all eyes were drawn to the unique red lacquered wood, gold leaf and brass wall panel designed in 1967 by Victor Cerrato for the dining room of the Royal Hotel in Spotorno. Rose Uniacke, showing at PAD for the first time, presented a selection of 20th century Scandinavian designers against a striking backdrop of blue-black walls, for which she was co-recipient of the ‘Best Stand’ award; there was a particular emphasis on Axel Einar Hjorth’s Sportstugemobler’ pieces of 1929, which, with their purity of form and functionality, were designed specifically for use in Sweden’s coastal holiday homesThere were further magnificent examples of Scandinavian design at Modernity, including pieces by Bruno Mathsson, Carl BergstonKaare Klint, Josef Frank and Finn JuhlAnd to conclude our wrap of the 20th Century stands, the winner of the ‘20th Century Decorative Arts’ prize was Jousse Entreprise for their ‘Pointe de Diamant’ Wall and Cabinet designed by Antoine Philippon and Jacqueline Lecoq in 1964.

Galerie kreo took the ‘Contemporary Design’ prize for the German designer Konstantin Grcic's 2008 ‘Karbon’ lounge chair (Grcic has recently been in the news for his collaboration on a black sailing yacht for fashion brand Hugo Boss.) Opposite their booth was David Gill Gallery, where a mirror by Jorge Pardo (his exhibition at the gallery’s St. James’s space runs until 10th November) was placed alongside a fireplace and mirror installation by Mattia Bonetti and new ceramic works by Barnaby BarfordThere was also an exquisite case showing scaled down furniture designs by Francis Sultana: sized as if for a doll's house, each sofa and console hosted a different item of jewellery by Eliane Fattal. Gallery FUMI showed both furniture and decorative pieces by a wide range of their artists; Lukas Wegwerth’s 'Crystallization’ ceramic works were particularly interesting, and a brass and acrylic overhead lamp entitled ‘Singularity’ by Bob Lorimer was much admired. Galerie Maria Wettergrenspecialising in Scandinavian design, showed two versions of the ‘Growth Table’ by Danish designer Mathias Bengtsson, in both bronze and walnut, as well as an ingenious sound-absorbing light, ‘Volume (Black)’ by Cecilie Bendixen, who has completed a PhD on the sound absorbing qualities of materials used in design and architecture.

 
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The Galerie Jacques Lacoste stand at PAD London
Courtesy of PAD London

And then there were the galleries who presented the work of a single designer. Chahan Gallery showed furniture by Chahan Minassian himself - some in collaboration with gallery artists - in varying textures and precious materials. Coupled with a restrained colour palette the overall effect was of warm sophistication. Galerie Van Der Straeten was another outstanding booth, previewing new pieces by Hervé Van der Straeten (who famously designed the Dior J'Adore perfume bottle) ahead of his Paris exhibition in his gallery in the Marais district that opens on 19th November. The pieces were as bold and elegant as ever, and included such items as the ‘Miroir Fizzy’ in patinated bronze, with crystal and gilded varnish hammered brass balls, and the ‘Chandelier Origami’ in anodized blue aluminium.

But ultimately what makes PAD the fair of choice for the most discerning collector, and such a source of inspiration for artists and designers, is its unique approach to presentation. The eclectic selection – including the antiquities, photography and Asian and Islamic art which we have not had space to explore in this round-up - generated unprecedented and yet seemingly organic juxtapositions, creating the impression of meandering between rooms in a particularly beautiful imaginary home where every item is of museum quality. The tents in Berkeley Square may be ephemeral, but the powerful impact of the content here will be lasting.  

 

 

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Red lacquered wood, gold leaf and brass wall panel by Victor Cerrato (1967)
Courtesy of PAD London
 

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