The 9th edition of PAD London opened to the public on 14th October after two intensely lucrative VIP previews setting the tone for a week of strong sales across all genres. The fair attracted over 27,000 visitors to Berkeley Square, achieving record attendance and confirming its position as London's leading art and design fair.
This year proved particularly profitable for Modern Art dealers with numerous seven-figure sales realized in the first two days of the fair. Newcomers De Jonckheere reported selling Concetto Spaziale, Attese from 1968 by Lucio Fontana for approximately €3 million, while Mazzoleni Art sold Rosso Plastica, 1966 by Alberto Burri for €2 million. News of seven-figure sales were also announced at Galerie Von Vertes, selling an important work by Fernand Léger for over €1 million. Antiquities specialist Phoenix Ancient Art also confirmed selling a fifth-century B.C. ancient Greek silver 'kylix', priced at more than £1 million, in the first few days of the fair.
Six-figure sales were almost consistent amongst exhibitors, from modern art and antiquities to photography and design. Robin Katz described it as his 'best-selling year so far', selling works by Bridget Riley and Lynn Chadwick for undisclosed six-figure sums. Michael Hoppen was pleased to confirm the sale of La Prière, 1930 by Man Ray for just under £100,000. Sculpture dealers, new at PAD, enjoyed healthy sales too. Xavier Eeckhout sold several bronze animal sculptures to new collectors, while Tomasso Brothers Fine Art reported selling their small-scale European sculptures 'every day of the fair' with prices reaching €175,000 on both stands.
Other exhibitors were delighted to announce sell-out stands. Oscar Graf's complete display of William Arthur Smith Benson copper lighting, c. 1900, sold to one single collector on the opening night, with pieces reaching £100,000. Most of Jean-Christophe Charbonnier's showcase of Japanese arms and armoury sold in the first two nights, with works reaching six-figure sums. To keep up with the demand, Galerie BSL had to replace works on their stand continuously, leaving only a few editions of Charles Kalpakian's eye-catching wall cabinets available at the end of the week. Friedman Benda experienced a triumphant debut of Paul Cocksedge's new Freeze series, recording multiple sales with pieces ranging from £50,000 to £150,000.
Collectors of Scandinavian design were drawn to Rose Uniacke's prize winning stand and the beautiful panorama of pieces on show at Modernity. The gallery sold a complete set of table and chairs, lighting, rugs and cabinets by Josef Frank to one Austrian collector for a six-figure sum. Art Deco furniture at Dutko Gallery proved very popular at the fair, with iconic works by Paul Dupré-Lafon and Eugène Printz selling outright. David Gill Galleries were particularly successful with works by Mattia Bonetti, selling his Fakir cabinet, 2004 for approximately £100,000 and a pair of coffee tables for £64,000. At Louisa Guinness a major collector of Nic Fiddian Green's large sculptures purchased six pieces from his new jewellery collection, with prices ranging from £14,000 to £48,000.
New exhibitor Michael Goedhuis labelled PAD 'unrivalled', referring to the quality of works on display and the fair's unique location, while almost all exhibitors were enthused to meet so many new collectors from Europe, the USA and South America.
Winners of the 2015 Moët Hennessy-PAD London Prize were announced onMonday 12th October. After careful deliberation, the prestigious judging panel including Zaha Hadid, Allegra Hicks, Deyan Sudjic, Nigel Coates and Tom Dixon awarded the 'Best Contemporary Design' prize to 'Karbon' lounge chair by Konstantin Grcic at Galerie Kreo. The prize for 'Best 20th Century Decorative Art' went to Pointe de Diamant wall and cabinet from 1964 by Antoine Philippon and Jacqueline Lecoq at Jousse Entreprise. 'Best Stand' was awarded to both Pierre Passebon and Rose Uniacke for their elegantly curated booths and a special mention was given to Galerie BSL for Carol Egan's Twist Console and Stool designs.
The ninth edition of PAD London attracted notable guests including: Valentino Garavani, Giancarlo Giammetti, Princess Chantal of Hanover,Ivor Braka, Sir Paul Smith, Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece, Elizabeth Hurley, Eddie Redmayne, Eva Herzigová, Lady Victoria Hervey, Nadja Swarovski, Sol and Fiona Campbell, Blaise Patrick, Nancy Del'Ollio, Rolf Sachs, Amber Atherton, Greta Bellamacina, Lee Broom, Karla Otto, Saffron Aldridge and Roxie Nafousi.
PAD's President Patrick Perrin commented:
Our exhibitors have reported strong sales across all disciplines. Modern Art has done exceptionally well and Sculpture from all periods, whether functional, wearable or decorative, has been hugely popular amongst collectors from Europe and the USA. Several stands sold out in the field of decorative art and design. I couldn't be more thrilled with the outcome of PAD's ninth edition and look forward to next year, when we celebrate 10 years in London.