Every October, Mayfair’s Berkeley Square hosts PAD, the London edition of the Paris-born Pavilion of Art + Design. A huge marquee plays host to 68 galleries with exhibition stands offering collectibles from tribal art to jewellery, all set up around the beautiful trunks of the majestic plane trees. The emphasis, however, is on contemporary design with participants including Fumi, Kreo, Dimore Gallery and Nilufar. Every year a handful of gallerists make their PAD debut. We’ve picked three of the best to whet your appetites. 30 September–6 October; pad-fairs.com
This New York gallery run by Todd Merrill has been the foremost promoter of modern and postmodern American studio artisans such as Paul Evans, Vladimir Kagan and Paul Laszlo for almost 20 years. Since 2008, Merrill has commissioned new furniture alongside his own. For his PAD debut, statement pieces teeter between design and art, from a textured metal cabinet by Jean-Luc Le Mounier to the ‘Ethereal’ sculptural sycamore and acrylic console (pictured) by British designer Marc Fish.
Bringing the craftsmanship and diverse narratives of South Africa is Cape Town gallery Southern Guild. Expect to find substantial bronze sculptures, including Yang-Kapa-Yang (above) by Atang Tshikare and textured ceramics by Andile Dyalvane created during a residency at Leach Pottery in St Ives. There is also a hefty monumental chaise by fashion designer Rich Mnisi and new pieces by Porky Hefer, creator of huge nest-like chairs – such as those at Somerset hotspot The Newt – and wackier collectible versions that masquerade as sharks, whales and manta rays. southernguild.co.za
Adding a burst of exuberant colour to PAD is Barcelona’s Side Gallery. Run by architects Jacobo Valentí and Luis Sendino, Side specialises in highly covetable 20th-century Latin American furniture by major names such as Lina Bo Bardi, Oscar Niemeyer and Luis Barragán. They are also showing contemporary pieces by designers such as in-demand colourful resin and neon lighting maverick Sabine Marcelis, and Swiss designer Julie Richoz, whose brightly hued Isla vases are inspired by the palette of Mexico.
This French gallery’s centrepiece is this rare modular set of Model Octa seating, designed in 1981 by French designer Bernard Govin and reupholstered in Judith fabric by Pierre Frey. In addition they are showing an extensive display of Michel Boyer table lamps from between 1960-80.
Carpenters Workshop Gallery always takes pride of place at the entrance of PAD, this year the knockout piece is the Big Round Chandelier by Eindhoven-based designer Nacho Carbonell. This organic glowing form is constructed from metal branches, metal mesh cocoons and sprayed layers of paverpol with pigments. In the background is a chaise by Rick Owens, who the gallery also represent.
During this year’s London Design Festival ‘URUSHI Wajima’ by Max Lamb at the Fumi gallery in Mayfair was undoubtedly one of the highlights. Now two pieces from the collection, including this ‘Urushi Split’ cabinet, are being exhibited by the gallery at PAD. British designer Max Lamb has being working with the urushi lacquer craftspeople of Wajima for a decade, but the pieces made from cypress wood are unmistakably Lamb with their chunky, rough, hand-hewn aesthetic in which the natural texture of the wood shines through the lacquer layers.
This set of surreal 14 marionettes was created by the Paris-based Cubist painter Marie Vassilieff in 1928 for the play ‘Le Chateau du Roi’. Constructed from cardboard, fabric and wood the play was regarded as subversive and communist and so was closed down prematurely, so they are in mint condition. The gallery has displayed them beautifully above a series of multi-coloured vintage chairs. Weird, but kind of wonderful....
Balancement by Etienne Moyat provides an enigmatic backdrop at Galeries Negropontes. These two colossal wood sculptures have been created by Moyat who apparently wields a chainshaw balletically across wood, like a calligrapher paints on parchment. He then enriches the ripples with a blowtorch. Also on show are Petit Frank sheepskin armchairs and marble tables by Hervé Langlais.