New York Design Fair Organisers At War

Pavilion Of Art And Design

PAD vs SAD In Battle Over Domination of Manhattan’s Lucrative Design Market

Pavilion of Art & Design New York, the French organised fair that showcased at the Armory in Manhattan last November will not be returning to the Park Avenue Armory this autumn. The replacement fair was a lifeline to the tired ‘Modernism’ Fair which has been an Autumn season standard for over fifteen years. Pavilion brought in a whole new class of fair to the venue and it now seems that the decision to pull the fair is more political than aesthetic.

We were told in an ArtLyst exclusive, that the fair was not sold to PAD organiser Patrick Perrin by Sanford Smith as many of the exhibitors were led to believe, but that Mr Smith still owns the fair for the next five years and he was no longer willing to lease it out to Monsieur Perrin. One of the reasons given by Mr Smith was the implementation of extra charges said to have been slapped on the exhibitors, for example, charges to exhibitors for the removal of the stand fitting’s fascia boards. Smith stated this charge is unprecedented and something never llevied by Modernism.

The cancellation of the PAD fair  seems to be news to The Pavilion of Art & Design’s Web site which currently lists PAD NY’s return to the Armory from November 7-12, 2012. Sanford Smith has stated that the Salon of Art and Design will run from November 8-12. PAD has not commented concerning the status or location of the 2012 fair. He also added that the PAD fair had the worst gate results that he had experienced in his 35 years as a fair organiser.

The 2011 PAD fair was described by veteran ArtLyst reviewer Jerry Kaye as; “From the moment you walked through the doors of the Park Avenue Armory you could sense an energy not felt in years”. The fair, know as PAD  the Pavilion of Art and Design, making its debut in New York is a breath of fresh air. The fair began in Paris 14 years ago and since has branched out to London. It has brought a quality of 20th century art and design not seen in New York for a decade. Over the past 25 years the Armory was host to Modernism, a show featuring the best of decorative arts and design.  Since 2008, the show has suffered. Many of the best dealers in both the US and Europe stopped exhibiting making it difficult for the show to continue. Fortunately, PAD has come to the rescue” Perrin describe the fair as,” Building on the heritage of PAD Paris and PAD London, this inaugural fair coincided with New York’s fall cultural season of Impressionist, Modern, Contemporary Art and Design auctions to bring together a selection of 54 international galleries to the Park Avenue Armory. The fair provided a unique opportunity to see and buy works by blue-chip artists and historic and established designers vetted by a panel of experts allowing you to buy in confidence.

Smith has revealed; “Next years fair will feature 53 dealers, many of whom participated in PAD “We’ll have the highest quality of art and design there is, and it will be primarily 20th-century, with just a few dealers who specialize in earlier work”. PAD returns to Paris 23 March – 1 st April and London during Frieze week in October. Lets hope that the two organisers settle their differences and present the quality fair/fairs that New Yorkers have come to expect.


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