From Paris, the Art of the Collector at PAD 2017

For about three years now, A+A has been following Susan Boullier, a partner in Artecase, the Paris-based firm that specializes in sourcing design and opening the doors to the objects and lifestyle of Paris. This morning, she sent us this update on PAD Paris, an exhibition of decorative arts and design:

PAD Paris is always intriguing with its particular blend of eclecticism and French flair and this 21st Edition of the Fair was no exception. As Patrick Perrin, the cofounder of PAD says: “Essentially the central columns of our Fair are 20th century and contemporary decorative arts and design, and these create a rich dialogue between themselves and the fine art exhibited….which reflects our deep respect at PAD for L’Art de Vivre”. For me, the eclectic nature of PAD reflects the intrinsic nature of the true collector.

The scenography of each stand creates a distinctive and often inspiringly theatrical vignette. Jacques Lacoste’s stand this year was an elegant Art Nouveau interior complete with beautiful wallpaper and a rare table by Hector Guimard. 88-gallery were showing some remarkable 1960s lighting by the legendary Max Ingrand (I’m a huge fan!) while over at Carpenters Workshop gallery you saw cutting edge contemporary design by Spanish designer Nacho Carbonell and Netherlands design duo Studio Drift. The Surrealist mirror by Victor Roman (1937-1995) in bronze on Galerie Yves and Victor Gastou’s stand was striking with the strong shadows reflected onto the wall behind. One of my favourite pieces this year was the exquisite 1930s silk carpet in Pont de Cornely stitch by Ernest Boiceau on Galerie du Passage’s stand. Hung on the wall as a backdrop to a Carlo Ponti sofa, it just doesn’t get any more chic! The gorgeous mirrors at Maison Rapin (1971) by Robert Goosens, made for Coco Chanel’s home and showroom but never delivered due to her death that year, were also utterly covetable!

The exhibiting galleries are predominantly French, while 20 of the exhibitors this year were female gallerists. The work shown by Maria Wettergren was characteristically poetic and thought-provoking. The ethereal ‘Reflections’, a video of the early morning light in Venice rippling on the water by Danish artist Grethe Sorensen is mesmerizing. It is projected onto several sheets of polyester thus creating depth and a beautiful texture. Armel Soyer was showing some fabulous new international design with particular mention going to the dynamic and artistic aluminium lights by Canadian designers Lambert & Fils. Galerie Gosserez presented the beautiful wood and bronze work of young Maastricht-based designer, Valentin Loellman. So much to see!

Long live L’Art de Vivre!

– Susan Boullier

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Jury Prizes 2017:
Best Stand: Gallery Flak
Best Contemporary Design: Jointly to RoW’in Atelier, Alexandre Guillemain gallery and Laura Santanella, Clara Scremini Gallery
Best 20th century Design: 1930s carpet by Ernest Boiceau, Gallery du Passage