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NOMAD returns to Monaco this week for its second edition, taking place once again in the incredible setting of the Villa La Vigie in Monte Carlo. Recognizing the need for a new kind of showcase, set apart from the glut of international annual art fairs, Giorgio Pace and Nicolas Bellavance-Lecompte created NOMAD as a traveling fair for collectible design in the 21st century.
After a successful debut in 2017, NOMAD added an edition in St. Moritz this winter. Returning to Monte Carlo, the invitation-only fair will include exhibitors like Galerie BSL, Massimo De Carlo, Maniera, Alamaki, Nilufar, and Etage Projects.
Whitewaller caught up with NOMAD’s founders to get a glimpse of what we can expect for 2018.
WHITEWALLER: This will be the second edition of NOMAD Monaco. What are you focusing on in its sophomore year, as compared to the launch last year?
GIORGIO PACE: We are adding art galleries, special projects at a privately owned villa, and new partners and collaborations.
WW: NOMAD will be held at Villa La Vigie again. What about this location is so special? Why was it important for you that galleries present art and objects in such a venue, as opposed to a big convention center or tent?
GP: The concept of NOMAD is to host desirn or art galleries in a historical or architectural house where every piece is conceptualized into the house.
NICOLAS BELLAVANCE-LECOMPTE: The location is special in the sense that we aim to establish a dialogue between the works that are displayed within a domestic context.
WW: The fair is invitation only. Who are you targeting to attend?
GP & NBL: Discerning collectors, architects, and interior designers.
WW: One aspect of the invitation-only style is that you also don’t have the noise of so many satellite events. Would you say that the model of NOMAD is a result of a frustration with the experience of other fairs?
GP: Yes, I think so. We cater to a select audience who want a more intimate and special experience around art and design. We are always researching unique, extraordinary destinations.
WW: Thirteen galleries participated last year. Who will be returning in 2018, and are there any first-timers of note?
GP & NBL: Almine Rech (Paris, London, New York, Brussels) and Friedman Benda (New York) will participate for the first time at NOMAD Monaco. We are pleased we have such a high return from the galleries who participated last year, such as Etage (Copenhagen), Gallery FUMI (London), Maniera (Brussels), Nilufar (Milan), Massimo De Carlo (Milan, London, Hong Kong), David Gill Gallery (London), Carwan Gallery (Beirut), Galleria Giustini. Stagetti / Galleria O. Roma (Rome), Liz Swig (New York), and special projects with a lot of amazing talent.
WW: What kind of programming fits with the atmosphere of NOMAD? What are some of the programming highlights you’re looking forward to this year?
NBL: We like to create a dialogue around design, architecture, and art. The VIP Program includes Cap Moderne with the Eileen Gray villa and Le Corbusier’s Cabanon and Holiday Cottages, Riva Tunnel, Villa Santo Sospir, Fondation Maeght, and the Silvia Fiorucci design residence program in Grasse.
WW: It seems that with programming you want to create a much more intimate experience. Can you share an anecdote from last year’s edition that you’re still thinking about?
NBL: Last year we had a lounge by Rick Owens and we hosted intimate talks with Lord Norman Foster and Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum. It was an intimate experience and engaging conversation held in a beautiful setting, which the guests and speakers really loved. It was also nice to be inside Villa La Vigie, where the guests would stay all day and have intimate conversations with the gallery owners over tea and champagne. It felt like a nice family by the end of it, where everyone became friends.
We had visits with the Francis Bacon MB Art Foundation, and collaborations with Parley for the Oceans and French designer Mathieu Lehanneur.