Opening to the public tomorrow, PAD Paris (Pavillon des Arts et du Design)
is poised to become the top international fair for 20th century design. While there are a handful of fine art/design fairs that include this blossoming collecting area (like Design Miami and TEFAF Maastricht) PAD is relatively unrivaled in terms of the number of participating dealers (over 50).
You won't find any vintage Eames lounge chairs here. Exhibitors bring exceptionally unique pieces from a wide range of high-end sought-after furniture creators including Jean Royere, Ado Chale, Gio Ponti, Charlotte Perriand, Fornasetti, Poul Henningsen, Gabriella Crespi and Fontana Arte (to mention a few). European collectors and dealers are increasingly interested in American post-war design and there are big-ticketed items by Paul Evans, George Nakashima and Edward Wormley available.
About a quarter of the fair's offerings include contemporary design and fine art, but these are clearly complimentary/supporting areas. This is my second year attending the fair (working for Todd Merrill) and it is clear that the quality of the pieces has improved considerably while the identity and scope of the fair has become more focused. In November, PAD will launch its first American fair at the Armory in New York City (replacing the nearly defunct Modernism show). PAD Paris unites the top 20th Century European dealers (including Anne Autegarden of Brussels, Modernity of Stockholm and Lamberty of London,) and it will be curious to see who crosses the pond for this promising inauguration.
Here is a selection of works/booths that caught my eye. Beth Ketleman's porcelain interpretation of Toille wallpaper at Todd Merrill has generated a tremendous response. Cristina Grajales is presenting a new work by the legendary Sheila Hicks.
Images: Troy Seidman