Given the success of the Pavillon des Arts & du Design Paris, and sister event the Pavilion of Art & Design London, New York was the obvious next step for Founders Patrick Perrin and Stéphane Custot. The venue was an equally clear choice. The landmark Park Avenue Armory has hosted many similar events over the years, including the Modernism show and the Whitney Biennial. And the building is loved for its incredible Period Rooms, with their Gilded Age mahogany woodwork and regal paintings of military leaders - not to mention the voluminous but notably more utilitarian Wade Thompson Drill Room, which plays temporary home to PAD NY's 52 impressive galleries across it's 55,000 sq ft floor.
It was in the Board of Officer's Room that we interviewed former Wallpaper* Design Awards judge Pharrell Williams last year, and we were particularly excited when we learned that Herzog & De Meuron will execute a $200 million restoration-slash-transformation of the historic building into a modern art and performance venue, a process that is already underway.
The Armory's Upper East Side location is certainly on brand for PAD, with it's blue-blood cachet and proximity to the well-heeled residents that can afford a buying spree at a fair of this ilk. It's a mostly European mix of top galleries hocking wares of the highest quality. There are lots of big names - Warhol, Picasso, Prouvé, to name just a few - and it goes on for four exciting aisles. Not surprisingly, it's a pricey offering, but also one of considerable breadth.
Covering art and design from 1860 to today, the show includes a lot of brilliant work. Everything from primitive art to jewellery and photography is on offer, making for surprises at every turn. Highlights include the booth by Casati Gallery, America's premier Italian modern dealer, showing a custom-made headboard and set of chairs designed by Gio Pointi for the Preti family of Milan in 1956. There is a host of other rare Italian design objects, like original vases by master ceramicist Fausto Melotti and a fantastic painting by Paolo Scheggi.
Meanwhile, Carpenters Workshop Gallery's booth is also stopping New Yorkers in their tracks with Mathieu Lehanneur's 'S.M.O.K.E.' chandelier and Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta's dandelion and concrete 'Fragile Futures 3.10' light.
PAD New York looks set to be a similar success story to its two-year old London event, and the Paris original, launched in 1996. Perrin and Custot plan to carry this momentum to Milan for the first time next year, before - of course - PAD New York mark two.