PAD London 2017 proffers desirable art and design

Art and auctions, Events, Exhibitions, Paintings and Sculpture — By on October 4, 2017 at 12:12 PM

PAD London Fair gets under way.

PAD London 2017 proffers desirable art and design

By James Brewer

Style and expressive elegance from 30 centuries is on display at PAD London, the big art and design fair pitching camp at Berkeley Square in its 11th edition, from October 2-8, 2017.

A catalogue of 68 galleries showcases exceptional pieces across genres and periods, from contemporary, modern and historical design to antiquities, jewellery, and modern and tribal art.

Ram’s head rhyton. Phoenix Ancient Art.

Divinities of ancient Peru, Buddhist icons of Asia, pieces from classical Greek civilisation, old master paintings and exquisite recent and modern adornments for the body nestle close to statement furniture.

In 1996 Patrick Perrin, since his youth a denizen of the art market, created what has become one of the most anticipated cultural events in France, PAD Paris. Known then as the Pavillon des Antiquaires et des Galeries d’art (pavilion of antique dealers and art galleries, hence PAD), the  fair is inspired by cabinets de curiosités and sophisticated taste and brings together international gallery owners and newcomers.

PAD London was founded in 2006, originally at Hanover Square and dedicated to post-war and contemporary design and decorative arts. The following year the fair moved to its current venue in a giant marquee on Berkeley Square.

Female head from a grave. Phoenix Ancient Art.

Among antiquities shown by Phoenix Ancient Art of Switzerland and US was a fine ceramic ram’s head rhyton, a vessel used in the Greek sphere of influence and the Near East as early as the Bronze Age for domestic purposes or ceremonial practices. This one was dated to the second half of the 4th century BC. It is ascribed to the pre-Roman Greek colonisation of the area of Italy between Naples and Sicily, which the Romans knew as Magna Graecia.

A ceramic Nolan amphora (with figures by the artisan known as the Alkymachos Painter) was offered by the same firm. The amphora is Attic and dated to around 470-460 BC. Such vessels are named after the archaeological site at Nola, Italy, where many have been found. Nola is a town near Mount Vesuvius which became important to the Romans. Nolan amphorae have a neck longer and narrower than many other pieces, and have ribbed handles or straps from the base of the neck.

Male head. Phoenix Ancient Art.

Other Greek remnants displayed by Phoenix Ancient Art included a female head from a grave, in marble relief and dated from the mid-3rd century to 4th century BC.

Phoenix, which says that it is considered by experts as one of the leading dealers in its field, also had a stand at Frieze art fair which included a piece of ancient Greek armour, a bronze, decorated helmet of Chalcidian type from the 4thcentury BC. The company said that the entire helmet except for the cheek-pieces was hammered from a single sheet of bronze, and the engraving and relief demonstrated supreme workmanship. Chalcidian design was a response to the demand for lighter armour which would allow a warrior more flexibility, and found favour in Greece and Magna Graecia in the 5th and 4th centuries BC.

Modern masters shown by Swiss-based De Jonckheere included canvases by Belgian surrealist René Magritte (1898-1967), among them a Sheherazade-themed painting inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, and a version of one of his favourite leitmotivs, La Vie Secrète, from around 1929-30.

Nolan ceramic amphora. Phoenix Ancient Art.

A panel of judges presided over by Jasper Conran awarded three prizes. Best contemporary design was deemed to be a corner bench in charred oak and copper by Valentin Loellman, and shown by Galerie Gosserez of Paris. Best 20thcentury design was a 1949 lounge chair in cavunia plywood, rope and fabric by José Zanine Caldas (1919-2001) of Brazil, displayed by Galerie Le Beau of Brussels. Best stand was judged to be that of Belgravia interior designer Rose Uniacke.

La Vie Secrète. By René Magritte. De Jonckheere.

In February 2018, PAD will expand to Geneva in collaboration with artgenève, bringing the fair’s unique signature to a new audience.


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