Pavilion of Art & Design

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Evidently October in London is Art Fair month. The parks are soon to be bustling with Affordable and Frieze and, opening the batting, the Chelsea Hospital’s Thames-facing garden recently hosted Art London.

Among these massive marquee events, there’s one – on what must be London’s only remaining available lawn – in Berkeley Square. You can’t miss it, because it’s shocking pink. This is the PAD. Or, more specifically, the Pavilion of Art & Design, a gathering of some 60 galleries from Europe and North America and it’s set apart from its contemporaries because it not only represents modern art but also the finest that the fields Design, Decorative Arts, Tribal Art and photography have to offer.

Now in its fifth year, the Pavilion of Art and Design London for 2011 promises the best line-up yet. Dominating a significant portion of the fair are stands dedicated to the most cutting-edge of contemporary design, with many galleries commissioning new works specifically for the occasion. The Netherlands’ Priveekollektie features pieces from emerging and established designers, including Arik Levy, Rolf Sachs and Reinier Bosch. David Gill Galleries, from the UK, returns to PAD London after a two-year hiatus with pieces by design greats such as Fredrikson Stallard and Mattia Bonetti, staging their contemporary furniture alongside a 1966 cabinet by Ettore Sottsass.

If furniture is your thing, there are superb examples from Scandinavia – arguably the masters of contemporary cutting edge design (IKEA does rather well the world over, I’m told) – including chairs and tables by Finn Juhl and Poul Kjaerholm, from Denmark’s Møbelkunst, while Swedish gallery Modernity shows a rare decorated chest by architect Josef Frank and sterling silver candelabra by Finnish designer Tapio Wirkkala.

The French, similarly, are holding fort with some strong contemporary furniture, with Jousse Enterprises exhibiting one of Jean Prouvé’s first masterpieces, the Fauteuil “cité”, created as part of a competition to design chairs for the university in Nancy. If antiques are more your thing (within reason, the fair’s entry stipulates exhibits shouldn’t preceed 1860) British antiques dealers Blairman & Sons display fine 19th C. furniture and decorative objects from the Arts & Crafts movement by artists such as Dr Christopher Dresser and EW Godwin.

The range of art on offer deserves a mention, too. Opening a new London space in October, US gallery Luxembourg & Dayan make their first appearance with modern art by Alexander Calder, Steven Parrino and Anselm Kiefer. Similarly, former Sotheby’s US directors Mitchell-Innes & Nash, known for their stable of incredible modern and contemporary artists, offer works by Alberto Burri and Kenneth Noland.

The US contingent evidently features strongly this year, including the debut of Eykyn Maclean, the New York-based private dealers (also opening a new London space in 2012) specialising in museum-quality pictures ranging from Impressionism to Post-War. Rounding out the Modern British faction and joining Robin Katz Fine Art and Osborne Samuel is Hazlitt Holland-Hibbert, whose emphasis is very much on internationally renowned 20th C. artists from the genre.

Continuing their support of the fair, once again Moët Hennessy sponsors the donation of a significant piece of Design or Decorative Arts to the Victoria & Albert Museum as part of the Moët Hennessy-PAD London Prize. The prestigious judging panel, chaired by architect and designer Nigel Coates, is comprised of prominent figures in the fields of art, fashion, culture, communication and business, such as Allegra Hicks, Jasper Conran, Tom Dixon, Bella Freud and Karla Otto. Previous years have seen the V&A acquire exquisite pieces from across the pond from Friedman Benda and the UK’s own Carpenters Workshop Gallery.

Similarly, on the champagne stakes, and honoring a long-standing relationship with the world of contemporary art, Maison Ruinart will be the pouring champagne at this year’s event, serving its cuvees by the glass and by the bottle from a bespoke Ruinart trolley roaming throughout the fair.

Following PAD London, in November of this year, PAD New York will launch at the Park Avenue Armory to coincide with New York’s Impressionist and Contemporary auctions this autumn. With four successful years of the London fair and the revered reputation of its Parisian counterpart, Pavillon des Arts et du Design Paris, now it its fifteenth year, PAD New York will build on this distinguished heritage to present a third collection of Modern Art, Design, Decorative Arts, Photography, Jewellery and Tribal Art. The fair organisers are also in the planning stages of a Milan edition of the fair in 2012 to overlap with the Salone Internazionale del Mobile.

The Pavilion of Art & Design London opens in Berkeley Square on Wednesday 12th October and runs until Sunday 16th October. For more information and images, visit the website.

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