There has been a proliferation of art and design fairs in recent years, but one stands head and shoulders above the rest. Founded in 1997 in Paris, PAD (Pavilion of Art and Design) now takes place in four European cities – London, Geneva and Monaco are the others. The 13th edition of PAD London took place last week, and there was plenty to please even the most discerning of international collectors.
PAD London is invariably immaculately curated – picture a rarified mix of contemporary and modern design, modern art, antiquities, tribal art and jewellery – showing the best of the best from 68 international galleries. The melange of diverse disciplines and periods on show is both a delight and education (but anything but dull). Better still, there were 11 new exhibitors this year, adding to the feeling of freshness and renewal. Here are a few of our highlights from the fair.
The rich narratives and craftsmanship of South African design made their mark at PAD London for the first time with the arrival of Southern Guild, Africa’s foremost gallery for collectable design. The Cape Town gallery unveiled a new body of work by celebrated ceramicist Andile Dyalvane, created as part of his 2019 artist residency in St. Ives, as well as recent creations by designers Stanislaw Trzebinski, Atang Tshikare, Conrad Hicks and husband-and-wife duo Dokter and Misses. Best in show, though, goes to the monumental Nwa-Mulamula chaise by Rich Mnisi, one of South Africa’s rising fashion stars.
New York gallerist Todd Merrill offered up new console tables by British designer Marc Fish from his nature-inspired Ethereal series, a dramatic metal textured cabinet by Jean-Luc Le Mounier, and a striking mural of pigmented concrete tiles by young American designer Brecht Wright Gander.
There were exceptional mid-century designs on display, too. Directed by architects Jacobo Valentí and Luis Sendino, Barcelona’s Side Gallery presented a refined selection of 20th-century Latin American furniture from designers such as Luis Barragan, Lina Bo Bardi and Oscar Niemeyer. Wa Design meanwhile, spotlighted the historic synergy between Japanese and French design, focused on the pure and reductive lines that influenced early modern design. A rare, free-form sofa by Taichiro Nakai from 1955 was a standout.
There was also an impressive roster of jewellery designers at PAD London, complemented by four new galleries. Known for its distinct designs and use of unusual materials, New York’s Taffin Gallery debuted a series of new creations composed of steel, oxidised silver, carved jade and vibrant ceramics.
Taiwanese-born high jewellery artist Anna Hu showed imaginative creations with shimmering colours and precious details, while Rome- and London-based jeweller Fabio Salini continued to push the boundaries of high jewellery with his signature mix of unusual materials, many of which are not ‘precious’ in the conventional sense of the word. But, of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and artistry comes in myriad forms, as PAD London demonstrated in one breathtaking vignette after another.
Discover below other amazing highlights from PAD London 2019.
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