Founded 15 years ago in Paris, the Pavilion of Art & Design brings together some of Europe's most interesting galleries and dealers focused on modern, decorative and tribal art. In 2007 PAD co-founders Patrick Perrin and Stéphane Custot took the show on the road to London, and now the art savants have set up shop in New York at the Park Avenue Armory.
Perrin and Custot's expertise on 20th-century art is clear. Each of the 52 purveyors picked to exhibit in NYC has a distinct draw, but the eclectic mix shares a cohesive aesthetic. The refined experience leads to an interesting discovery at every turn, whether it be a desk by Yves Saint Laurent at Lamberty, Rembrandt Bugatti's "Giant Anteater" sculpture at Sladmore Gallery, or Ingrid Donat's "Commode Facette" at Barry Friedman Ltd. A strong sense of geometry, the use of metal and thoughtful design pervade the work. While each exhibitor at PAD has a collection worth seeing, below are five not to miss.
Based in London, Adrian Sassoon eschews a gallery space in favor of finding artists and presenting their works at larger shows. Two that caught our eye were British kiln cast glass pioneer Colin Reid and emerging artist Junko Mori. Reid's "A Vertical Sculpture Cast From Books" is a mesmerizing piece that uses glass' refractive properties to create an optical illusion. Junko Mori coated forged steel in wax to create "Propagation Project; Bird" a strikingly eerie sculpture that captures the raw beauty of the avian form.
Rome's Secondome gallery is showing a stunning assortment of contemporary furniture that speaks to the younger collector's aesthetic. Intriguing shapes and alluring materials abound, such as Sam Baron's 2011 table, "Le Bureau de Paolo." The grain of the varnished teak surface contrasts nicely with the off-kilter drawers built into the legs, and Alessandro Ciffo's colorful take on the modern carpet, he calls "Tapislongue."
Alain de Monbrison
Tribal art has a huge presence at PAD, and no collection exemplifies the beauty of these objects more than that of expert Alain de Monbrison. Ornate sculptures and masks sourced from Africa and Oceania modestly rest on gray stands, including standouts like the Bamana mask from Mali and the Kongo Dinga mask from the Republic of Congo.
Todd Merrill Studio
Yard Sale Project's Ian Spencer and Cairn Young use various types of wood to create their "chaotic" furniture, on view at Todd Merrill Studio. The "Corsica" and "Roccapina III" one-off chairs are a combination of computer-aided design and traditional woodworking techniques, crafted in their South London studio. The chairs are offset by an assortment of white sculptures, including Beth Katleman's "Folly" figurines and Katsuyo Aoki's "Predictive Dream XXIII."
Galerie Du Passage
Undoubtedly diverse but with a definitive vision of notable works from the 20th century, Pierre Passebon's collection spans lamps by Anne & Vincent Corbière, furniture from Guy de Rougemont and a Gio Ponti coffee table. Galerie Du Passage is brimming with covetable wares and exemplifies PAD's notion that great design informs us about the world around us.