For the seventh edition of artgenève (1-4 February), the Swiss fair's founders Thomas Hug and Laura Meillet are teaming up with Patrick Perrin, founder of the Pavilion of Arts + Design (PAD), to launch PAD Genève. Perrin is bringing over an eclectic mix of 27 design, decorative and primitive arts, antiquities and jewellery galleries to exhibit in a separate yet connected hall to artgenève at the Palexpo exhibition and congress centre in Geneva.
“We wished for several years that the design sector could find its place in a stronger manner within the fair,” Hug and Meillet told The Art Newspaper. “It seemed judicious to wait for a renowned third-party organiser in design who esteemed artgenève to be sufficiently strong to envisage a collaboration. PAD presents the same frame of mind as our fair with its human size and refined scenography.”
Hug and Meillet are hoping that the collaboration will have bilateral benefits. “It's about enlarging the offer towards art collectors who like the finest and most original [works] in general, but we'll also be able to attract a new clientele that's close to the worlds of design and primitive arts,” say the duo, who are also the directors of the Artmonte-carlo fair (28-29 April) in Monte Carlo.
For Perrin, PAD Genève presents an opportunity to capitalise on the strong Francophone link and collector base in the area. “In Geneva, but also in this region in Switzerland, Germany and the Rhône-Alps [in France], we find great art lovers and collectors with future prospects in the decorative arts, design and visual arts markets,” says Perrin, who launched PAD in the Tuileries gardens in Paris 21 years ago and at Berkeley Square, London, 11 years ago. “Geneva is a city that I like a lot and I spent part of my education in Switzerland,” he adds.
Perrin declined to comment on why he expects PAD Genève to succeed in contrast to PAD New York or on his aborted idea to launch PAD in Los Angeles, but referred to an “ideal complicity” between PAD and artgenève.
Artgenève is hosting 86 modern and contemporary galleries from 15 countries. First-time exhibitors include Perrotin, Giò Marconi, Art : Concept and Galerie 1900-2000. Pace—which just announced a Geneva location, opening in March—is also participating for the first time and presenting Louise Nevelson's metal sculpture Maquette for Transparent Horizon (1972-73) along the banks of Lake Geneva as part of the fair's outdoor sculpture programme (until April 2018). Additional highlights include non-selling presentations by the Swiss publisher Michael Ringier's collection, an entrancing indoor sculpture park from the estate of Swiss artist Max Bill and a tree installation by Arte Povera artist Giuseppe Penone.