My dear friend Terri Lipman was able to get me into the preview of the Pavilion of Art and Design Fair in Paris. The purpose-built structure sitting on the edge of the Tuileries Garden reminded me of Gertrude Stein's description of Alice B. Tolkas attending the Salon of the Independents:
I went to the vernissage taking with me a friend, the invitation I had been given admitting two. We went very early. I had been told to go early otherwise we would not be able to see anything, and there would be no place to sit, and my friend liked to sit. We went to the building just put up for this salon. In France they always put things up just for the day or for a few days and then take them down again. Gertrude Stein's elder brother always says that the secret of the chronic employment or lack of unemployment in France is due to the number of men actively engaged in putting up and taking down temporary buildings. Human nature is so permanent in France that they can afford to be as temporary as they like with their buildings.
The invite admitted two as well and we went late but perhaps saw some of the same artists that Tolkas would have. Although not a massive event, the diversity and quality of the objects on display was splendid. Pieces ranged from antiquity to present day, some elegant, others tacky or strange and a few sublime. Perhaps it's the consumer in me, but to see works by Edouard Vuillard, Berthe Morisot, and Jean Dubuffet for sale is somehow more thrilling than on view in a public gallery. All this combined with a well heeled crowd made for a fine parade.
The 18th annual Pavilion of Art and Design (PAD) runs from March 27-30.