The PAD is where 20th-century designers, interior designers, and collectors meet.
In the 12th year, a massive white pavilion appeared on Berkeley Square, bringing together 68 exhibitors who specialize in vintage and modern furniture, ceramics, lighting, and art. This year’s fair, which saw a marked shift in focus toward decorative arts of the 20th century, was a treat for Shalini’s Misra team. Here are some of the most exciting themes.
Herve van Der Straeten, known for his love of sculptural furniture and jewelry and multiple fashion collaborations between Dior and Guerlain in the past, introduced himself as a fearless space explorer to this year’s PAD. The iridescent console “Borderline,” with its sharp geometric pieces, was a striking piece that pierced across the wall. We wondered what could be hidden on the other side.
The surface of Fernando Mastrangelo’s mirror ‘Flood,’ which lies somewhere between volcanic lava and meteorite debris, should be examined with the caution of a true explorer. The vast, reflective surfaces of the mirror invite us to walk in space with our fingertips along their unpenetrated edges. Rossana, the avant-garde-minded curator from Milan, would probably expect the modern collectors to become active explorers rather than passive observers.
People dream of avant-garde sensuality. This sentiment is best echoed by sofas with voluptuous curves, which speak both audacity and gentleness. You can now enjoy their soft sculptures at Galerie Alexandre Guillemain.
Vladimir Kagan’s floating wonder offers a solution for those who want to escape the rectangular arrangement of two sofas that are mirrored. This avant-garde design from 1952 breaks up the hard lines in modern interiors and creates an enclosed feeling that brings people together within a small circle.
Curves also have different qualities. They float and lift everything and everyone in the space they occupy. Adrian Pearsall created a cloud-like impression using white velvet and American Walnut.
Silhouettes with curvy designs also have an advantage: they echo the human body’s physiognomy. The ‘Koala” sofa by Garouste & Bonetti is ergonomically sculptural and elegantly cocooning. Soft, supple velvet must be freed from angular frames that could hinder its natural motion. This 1995 French design, which swells like sails on the wind, injects movement into our veins and interiors.
They didn’t fear taking the risk. Valerio Capo, Sam Pratt, and the co-founders at London’s Gallery Fumi went ahead with this unusual venture despite 2008’s economic deflation. They proved that anything is possible with a strong idea, passion, flawless craftsmanship, and young talent. Ten years later, mural designs created by one of the curated artists were the focus of PAD’s passionate discussions. Rowan Mersh’s ‘Fluens Aeris was hypnotic. Mersh’s ‘Fluens Aeris,’ created with rolled tubes of different calibers and sizes, allowed him to experiment with fluid movements within a rigid construction.
Mersh’s Placuna Mini, a sculptural assembly that uses capiz to create a tactile experience, has even more fluidity and softness. Mersh’s approach to nature and organic materials is a genuine curiosity. Every millimeter in his intricate piece speaks of the power of careful observation and an unyielding commitment to craftsmanship.
Maria Wettergren, a gallery in Paris, also seduced us through her intricately crafted pieces. Cecilie Bendixen’s textile sound-absorbing art created a rich swirl of modern desire despite its fragile, translucent quality or maybe because of it.