PAD London 2015 – The Best In Show

by | Object

If a fair can be called ’boutique’ because of its (smaller) size and (higher) quality, then PAD London is that very thing – and remains one of the year’s great highlights. Taking place during ‘Frieze Week’, the 9th edition of the fair finds an eager and ready market of the world’s big spenders and designers, and is for many galleries the busiest time of the year.

Founded in 1996 by 18th century furniture and drawing specialist Patrick Perrin, PAD London (which also exhibits in Paris) has evolved from an antiques fair to a very different arena of all things eclectic. Here you will find a carefully edited collection of museum quality modern art, photography, design, decorative and tribal arts exhibited by over 60 of the world’s best galleries.

PAD London’s distinctive blurring of all boundaries between art and design, between antique and modern, between Western and global and not least between high culture and low culture, is reflective of a wider phenomenon that many fairs including Masterpiece and Frieze are increasingly acknowledging.

The dynamic fashion for cross collecting is very much in tune with the times, as the rather more static historicism is everywhere under assault. Indeed today eclecticism permeates almost every aspect of our lives, from our musical and culinary tastes to architecture, interior design and fashion. Former ideas of high culture and low culture have collapsed and even the moral content of the arts and design – in the sense of being able to judge what is good and what is not – has dissolved into a post-modern morass of cultural relativism.

So if as a rule it’s all anarchy and chaos in culture today, how do galleries and fairs like PAD London make judgements on quality? At PAD London decisions about which galleries will be exhibited are made by a changing selection committee, comprised of some of the most notable galleries in their respective fields. But what is the criteria they exercise to make such judgements and what therefore makes a good collector and a good collection? These are some of the questions we put to a handful of exhibitors.

What emerges is a consensus view that judgments on quality are predicated on a fine balance between rational and emotional responses to the work. The rational element refers to the critical and experienced eye that is only acquired by education, for example by regularly visiting museums and fairs and showing an interest in the underlying narratives of things. It is only then that a collector can afford to exercise an emotional response to things. And this is in many ways more important, as it is the resultant individualism or idiosyncrasy of a collection that sets one apart from the other, and which even has the power to create new markets which didn’t previously exist. A case in point is the great French art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel who gambled everything on his own vision of beauty with his unrelenting championing of the initially unpopular Impressionists… and won.

In today’s deconstructive cultural environment in which all certainties are trashed and concepts of what constitutes ‘truth’, ‘beauty’, ‘quality’, ‘taste’ and ‘luxury‘ are now considered to be purely subjective, fairs like PAD London can only be a beautiful and fascinating snapshot of what we currently value. ‘Culture’! What is it and what does it stand for? Who knows! But whatever it is, it’s all up for grabs… that is as long as you have the cash.

ammann // gallery

Teutoburgerstr. 27, Köln, Germany.

PAD london 2015 amman gallery Metal Fossil Nickel stool

Could you tell us something about your gallery?

My professional background comes from architecture, interior design and art history, so the gallery’s main interest is to make the interferences of fine art, design and architecture visible both in their aesthetics and intellectuality.

Image: Metal Fossil Nickel stool by Nucleo. Courtesy of Ammann Gallery

PAD london 2015 amman gallery Resin Fossil Lamp

Why do you exhibit at PAD London?

I love PAD London because it is such a vibrant and open minded market place with people coming from all around the world to see our program. The fair shows a great mix of different genres in the design and art field and that makes PAD so attractive.

Image: Resin Fossil Lamp by Nucleo. Courtesy of Ammann Gallery

What are the highlights of your stand this year at PAD London?

One of the highlights is the “Nautilus Table” by German artist Florian Borkenhagen and then we are also showing the impressive big scale photography by Swiss artist Rolf Sachs from his “Camera in Motion” project.

Image: “Camera in Motion” project by Rolf Sachs. Courtesy of Ammann Gallery

What is a good collection?

That is a difficult question, but for private individuals I really believe they should collect what they love.

Image: Nautilus Library Table by Florian Borkenhagen. Courtesy of Ammann Gallery

Nautilus Library Table by Florian Borkenhagen Ammann Gallery PAD London 2015

What is a good collector?

It is for sure that he or she should be passionate about what they are collecting and have a deeper interest in the stories behind the works…that is the most exciting.

Image: JAR by Bo Young Jung & Emmanuel Wolfs. Courtesy of Ammann Gallery

JAR Ammann Gallery PAD London 2015

What are the buying pitfalls for collectors?

To buy works they do not really like.

Image: Gabrielle Ammann

CARPENTERS WORKSHOP GALLERY

3 Albemarle Street, London, United Kingdom. Also in Paris

Could you tell us something about your gallery?

Carpenters Workshop Gallery specializes in contemporary collectible design, created in close collaboration with the gallery in limited editions. It has spaces in London, Paris plus a research and development centre in the suburbs of Paris and will soon open a gallery New York on 5th Avenue. The gallery was founded in 2006 by Julien Lombrail and Loïc Le Gaillard and today exhibits at around 14 art and design fairs internationally representing names such as Sebastian Brajkovic, Nacho Carbonell, Wendell Castle, Ingrid Donat, Vincent Dubourg, Rick Owens, Humberto & Fernando Campana and Studio Job.

Image: Impulse Gatherer Wendell Castle, Courtesy Carpenters Workshop Gallery, PAD London 2015

Wendell Castle Carpenters Workshop Gallery PAD London 2015

Why do you exhibit at PAD London?

We have a long history with the fair from the very beginning it represents everything we stand for as a gallery, the meeting of art and design and recognition that the boundaries between the two can be fused.

What are the highlights of your stand this year at PAD London?

We are exhibiting four new bronze seating sculptures by Wendell Castle which powerfully demonstrate how innovative techniques and traditional craftsmanship can come together perfectly.

Image: Impulse Gatherer by Wendell Castle. Courtesy Carpenters Workshop Gallery, PAD London 2015

Carpenters Workshop Gallery PAD London 2015

What is a good collection?

One that tells a story about the life of the collector.

Images: Impulse Gatherer by Wendell Castle, Detail. Courtesy Carpenters Workshop Gallery, PAD London 2015

Carpenters Workshop Gallery PAD London 2015

What is a good collector?

People who can find a balance between works that make them feel, and works that make them think.

What are the buying pitfalls for collectors?

Someone who gets that balance wrong!

GALERIE KREO

14A Hay Hill, London, United Kingdom. Also in Paris.

Game on lamp Pad london 2015

Could you tell us something about your gallery?

Galerie kreo operates like a “design laboratory” dedicated to research, producing and exhibiting pieces in limited edition, by the most important contemporary designers such as the Bouroullec brothers, Konstantin Grcic, Hella Jongerius, Jasper Morrison etc… We also offer exceptional vintage lights from the 1950s to the present day including masterpieces by Gino Sarfatti. It is my husband Didier’s field of expertise: it has been his passion for more than thirty years.

Why do you exhibit at PAD London?

We have many clients here in London and PAD is a fantastic opportunity to show the pieces. The location is great as well as the timing which coincides with the Frieze Art Fair.

Images: ‘Game On’ lamp by Jaime Hayon ©Fabrice GOUSSE. Pink Frozen Chest by Studio Wieki Somers ©Sylvie CHAN LIAT Courtesy Galerie kreo, PAD London 2015

Pink Frozen Chest PAD london 2015

What are the highlights of your stand this year at PAD London?

We are presenting a brand new console by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, an exceptional coffee table “Gemstone” by Hella Jongerius and a stunning Sarfatti 2109/12 from the 1960s.

Image: Console table by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec

What is a good collection?

A good collection is comprised of great individual pieces that have been carefully brought together by somebody with critical eye according to his/her taste.

Image: Lights by Gino Sarfatti. Courtesy Galerie kreo, PAD London2015.

Main Image: Meiyo (Honor), Mitate collection, Produced by Galerie kreo. ©Slyvie Chan Liat Courtesy Galerie kreo, PAD London 2015

 Pad london 2015 kreo lights

What is a good collector?

A collection is a portrait and therefore a good collector is someone who is really involved in the choice of the pieces even when he is wisely advised. He/she will always follow his/her personal taste and sensibility rather than mere hearsay.

What are the buying pitfalls for collectors?

Surely following the trends too closely – oversubscribing to current fads.

PRIVEEKOLLEKTIE CONTEMPORARY ART DESIGN

Pelsestraat 13, Heusden aan de Maas, The Netherlands

Marilyn Back PAD london 2015

Could you tell us something about your gallery?

Priveekollektie represents internationally recognized artists and designers, and provides young and upcoming talents with a platform for showing their exceptional collectible design and art pieces. Key in the collection is the combination of contemporary art and limited-edition design and the crossing of the fine line between both disciplines.
We aim to aid collectors in forming their personal art and design collection through our personal approach, extensive knowledge of the field and cutting edge curation.

Images: Marilyn Back by Alison Jackson; Portrait of Dominic Harris. Courtesy Priveekollektie Contemporary Art Design and Cinimod Studio.

Portrait of Dominic Harris PAD London

Why do you exhibit at PAD London?

We’ve exhibited at PAD London for many years. The main appeal for us, as a gallery here is that the fair is a great mix of art and design, which lies at the core of our work. Moreover, London itself attracts visitors from all around the world with its vibrant art scene, which resonates really well with PAD. Not only do we meet many of our UK – based collectors here, we also get to meet many new contacts.

Image: Priveekollektie booth at PAD London 2015, photo credit Ian Scigliuzzi

Priveekollektie at PAD London Art + Design 2015

What are the highlights of your stand this year at PAD London?

We are showing an exceptionally exciting selection this year. The two highlights, however, are certainly The Golden Lagoon dining table (2015) with a set of Champagne chairs (2015) to match by our long-time friend and upcoming Dutch designer Reinier Bosch. This is his biggest project so far created exclusively for Priveekollektie.

What is a good collection?

A good collection reflects the character of its owner. It should reveal the authenticity of the collector and be chosen with heart rather than head.

Image: Stained Glass Arboretum by Dominic Harris. Courtesy Priveekollektie Contemporary Art Design

What is a good collector?

Naturally, a good collector is the one that chooses with his heart, not head. He should be curious and willing to look and learn through visiting museums, fairs, galleries, and artists. When it comes to an art piece, his first question to himself should be “Does it spark joy?”

Champagne chairs PAD London 2015

What are the buying pitfalls for collectors?

The opposite of what a good collector would do. Being too rational when coming to choose an artwork to purchase and not understanding what kind of emotions it provokes and how it makes the spectator feel.

Image: Champagne chair by Reinier Bosch. Courtesy Priveekollektie Contemporary Art Design

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