It’s hard to say whether the latest edition of PAD Paris feels different because the fair is celebrating its 20th anniversary, or simply because the overwhelming and inspiring mix of elegance and eclecticism continues to evolve. With two days remaining to visit the art and design event, located as always in the Tuileries, here are five points of interest – to view, and perhaps, to buy.Writer: Amy Verner
_____Galerie Yves Gastou
Whether you see marble draped like a table cloth or a cloud folded atop a steel base, these consoles from Gerard Kuijpers make for a standout duo at this year’s fair. The self-taught Belgian designer’s new collection furthers his refinement of raw materials and the degree to which he leaves each piece to express its irregular beauty. For PAD, Galerie Yves Gastou has set the tables in front of a backlit screen of floating shapes by François Chapuis; the effect is nothing short of illuminating
It’s no wonder that Franck Laigneau won the Prix du Pad for Best Stand. By dividing the space in three, imposing a bulkhead ceiling along the horizontal axis and sticking to an all-over vanilla hue, he created an ambiance that feels minimalist yet warm – an equally apt description of the handcrafted wood furniture on display.
Bonus points for the lighting, which brings out the honey and caramel tones across his selection of pieces, from Franz Xaver Sproll and Scottish designer Tim Stead
Galerie Downtown, François Laffanour
Thanks to his thoughtful staging of the furniture conceived for the city of Chandigarh by Pierre Jeanneret and Le Corbusier, François Laffanour’s space – located steps from PAD’s entrance – feels both deferential to that chapter of their work and decidedly modern. Among the mix is a concrete light bollard that would have lined outdoor walkways. Here, indoors and revived with a blue filter, its brutalist form gives off an insouciant glow. Pictured: 'Concrete Light', by Le Corbusier, c.1953.
Contemporary ceramics are having a moment in Paris, what with 'Ceramix', a two-part show at the Sèvres Cité de la Céramique and the Maison Rouge. Kristin McKirdy, whose residency at the former led to a retrospective in 2012, is debuting her first wall-mounted pieces at PAD. The grouping of amorphous shapes stands out in glossy and roughed-up relief – an abstract mingling of candy buttons and delicately scratched biscuit. Here’s hoping this is just the start
Victoria Wilmotte Project for Galerie Torri
PAD excels in treasures from the past, so a new design from a young designer always feels like a breath of fresh air. In soft blue beveled Corian, the mantelpiece (pictured) from Victoria Wilmotte (daughter of Jean-Michel Wilmotte) comes across as updated art deco. Formal with a whimsical twist, it’s as easy to imagine it fitting into a Hausmann apartment in Paris as a hotel lobby in Miami.
PAD Paris is on view until 3 April. For more information, visit the PAD website
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