PAD London Art + Design 2019
Posted on October 21 2019
PAD London returns to Mayfair to showcase the best in 20th Century art, design and decorative arts.
A staple of the London art calendar, PAD takes over Berkeley Square in Mayfair to showcase the very best in 20th Century art, design and decorative arts. Prominent international galleries from major cities across Europe, North America and Asia descend on the city during its art week to exhibit unique and wonderful displays from renowned artists in a diverse range of mediums. With so much to see and experience at the fair, I share a select few highlights from my visit to the show and the stand-out pieces that the 2019 edition had to offer.
Carpenters Workshop Gallery
With its central location greeting guests at the fair's entrance, The Carpenters Workshop Gallery attracted attention with its warm and inviting stand. Vast in scale, Nacho Carbonell's 'Light Mesh' chandelier takes centre stage. Part of the extensive 'Cocoon' series, guests are lured in by the chandelier's natural twisting branches, revealing its industrial charm upon further inspection with the use of metal mesh, plaster and roughened steel used in its construction. Other works of note are Giacomo Tabagli's 'Vulgata II' table lamp, elegant and sculptural, using sheets of mica to filter the inner glow of the lamp's bulb. Finally, Eric Schmitt's opulent 'Lampyre' table lamp, constructed entirely from alabaster for a luxurious and minimalist presence.
Achille Salvagni Atelier
Creating a glamorous living room setting that one could almost move into, Achille Salvagni Atelier combines a retro essence with vibrant contemporary furniture and lighting design. The pairing of bold colour and highly textured surfaces and finishes make the stand pop against the rest. The vibrant red six-arm 'Spider' chandelier, complete with shimmering gold heads and carved onyx fittings, casts light across the stand, its vibrant hues captured and reflected in the surrounding surfaces. Against dark green drapery, the pastel pink lacquered 'Palatino Cabinet' is another piece that loves attention.
London-based Gallery Fumi displayed a fascinating collection of eye-catching contemporary works on its stand during PAD with Max Lamb's 'Wajima-Nuri' table becoming the central focus of many. The traditional tray-like table has been given a contemporary spin with Lamb creating the striped lacquer design with curved edges. With its sweet-like appearance, the piece drew questions from the curious crowds and many photographers alike. Other prominent works on the stand included Sam Orlando Miller's stunning 'Ghirlande di Lacrime Estive Detail' over-sized chandelier, crafted from jade green mirror and gold bronze detail and Rowan Mersh's iridescent wall sculpture titled 'Sidereum Nox (The Starry Night) created with thousands of black lip mother of pearl shell discs.
A booth of many treasures - Galerie Portuondo certainly kept visitors busy with the vast array of works on display; from sculptures to lighting, furniture, accessories and artwork. The colourful blown glass bottles by Claude Morin displayed on two Saint Gobain glass and wood tables were a few of the many pieces that visitors fell in love with. There was also a sense of playfulness on the stand with a console table adorning a black and white checkered pattern, a giant gesturing finger laying on the floor and, a personal favourite; 'Stabile Mobile' by Frederik Smits, reminiscent of a child's mobile toy in bold striped colours.
Todd Merrill Studio
Instantly recognisable and a staple to any exhibition, Todd Merrill Studio is the one to add a unique quirkiness to an art fair, showcasing fascinating and often bizarre works that challenge one's perception, bringing smiles to many faces. Stand out pieces on this year's stand included Sophie Coryndon's 'Dossel Diptycg II' - consisting of two large panels of cast Jesmonite honeycomb, gilded with 23.5-carat gold leaf. The 'Hamada Cabinet' designed by Jean-Luc Le Mounier takes inspiration from the cracked and barren landscapes, using metalworking techniques often used in jewellery to craft a mesmerising platinum-front to the console. Finally, Boris Gratry's 'Neptune' wall sculpture goes through a series of temperature-shocking processes to create texture and colour before embellishing with a gold leaf appliqué.
Going against the grain - Alexandre Biaggi presents a serene and calming booth with a muted colour palette to emphasis the sculptural forms of their furniture collections. While every item on the stand lured visitors in with their refined elegance, Mauro Fabbro's 'Abbraccio' armchair pleaded with guests to take a moment to sit back and relax. A personal favourite - the 'Scramble' floor lamp is as much a sculpture as it is a floor light. The abstract parchment shade gives the appearance of weightlessness as it perches on the tip of a triangular column.
Visitors to Paris-based Galerie Negropontes' stand discovered a fascinating world of texture and pattern. Using a moody colour palette of dark blues, grey and black, all attention is directed towards the incredible works on display. Eric de Dormael's brass light sculpture casts shadows onto the back wall, extending the presence of the sculpture into its surroundings. Other impressive works include Hervé Langlais' 'Almost Square - Almost Round' satin brass polished mirrors and the incredible carved screens in either corner of the stand, created by Etienne Moyat adding dramatic scale and impressive texture.
Priveekollektie Contemporary Art and Design
The Netherlands-based gallery Priveekollektie Contemporary Art and Design revealed several impressive treasures, in particular, Kor Smeenge's 'Timebase' - a functional, sculptural timepiece that takes inspiration from the excentric instruments and inventions documented in history. Positioned directly above this piece is the work of Spanish artist Salustiano 'Zahara Con Collar de Perlas' - hyperrealistic paintings that hone in on on the subject's face without any background.
For further information on PAD London, the exhibitors and for upcoming fairs, click to view the official PAD Fairs website.