Rich Mnisi at Souther Guild Gallery

PAD London 2019

PAD stands for Pavillion des Arts et du Design, for twenty years or so staring in Paris in the Tuileries gardens at the footsteps of the Louvre. A very French affair with design connecting with and elevating itself to the position of high art destined for the connoisseurial french market.

Now in its twelfth year, the London edition of PAD has quickly become a fine collectible design fair in the British capital showing a mature and eclectic mix of art and design. However, this year there is much less of what we call here at DeTnk the “in-betweeners-art-galleries” and the fine cutting edge design galleries. In other words, there is less art and more design or should we say more interior design! Galleries such as Galerie Gmurzynska and other modern galleries that composed the Parisian contingent at the early edition of PAD London have disappeared. Maybe lured to Frieze Masters? Or maybe PAD organisers have decided to focus more on the design than the art, and we think this is unfortunate as there is now confusion over the offering here.

Indeed, many interior designers like Chahan Minassian, Herve Van Der Straeten, Rose Uniacke, the Studio Pinto and now the new arrivals such as Dimore Studio have taken central stage with their own collections of furniture and designs as well as selected found or commissioned objects from other designers and makers.

All in all a good mix and PAD London is becoming the yearly meeting of the French-meets-the-Brits hi-end shoppers with a continental touch and a “please don’t leave the European Union” feel. The collective design market at PAD is joining the decorative with style. In the art world “decorative” is nearly an insult, here it is a synonymous of well made, great craftsmanship and networks of suppliers and makers. PAD should be renamed “Pavilion of Ambience and Design” I would say. One can take it pejoratively or positively! There is nothing wrong with decoration messieurs les collectionneurs!

Our top picks of the fair this year were:
Southern Guild and Carpenters Workshop Gallery with the one special installation by Nacho Carbonell, our DeTnk favourite contemporary designer of the moment….!






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