The DART Board: The New Pace Gallery

By Peggy Roalf   Wednesday September 11, 2019

It is hard to imagine how New York City as a destination for art could be improved upon, with its wealth of venues offering—in some cases—24/7 access to art of all kinds. But this week ushers in the physical results of the vision and commitment of two leaders in the field. Photo above, courtesy of Pace Gallery

Downtown, the family-owned, commercial Pace Gallery has consolidated its East 57thflagship into a new purpose-built structure next to its Chelsea location, in the process creating what is described as "the world’s largest private space for the presentation of contemporary art". On the eve of its seventh decade, the gallery demonstrates how its global reach—with outposts in London, Geneva, Hong Kong, Seoul, and Palo Alto, California—can still serve as a local enterprise that supports the people who make the art, those who love the art, as well as those who purchase the art. In an era when even the best in the field can seem overly corporate and remote, the new Pace Gallery headquarters endows the habit of seeing art with a vital, almost tactile experience.

The new 75,000 square-foot building at 240 West 25th Street, designed by Bonetti / Kozerski Architecture, is a striking, eight-story structure faced with materials never before used in the city. According to lead architect Dominic Kozerski, the black volcanic lava, which was finished at the same temperature at which it issued from Mount Aetna, and the foamed aluminum, commonly hidden within a building as insulation, will patinate over time, leaving the building somewhat in the background as a vessel for art. 

As of now, however, there is nothing about this structure that escapes notice. The column-free floors of the building, six of which are given over to galleries, have been shaped for various kinds of presentations, from a stunning display of kinetic sculpture, drawings and paintings by Alexander Calder on the first floor to an intimate display of photographs by Peter Hujar from a collection owned by Richard Avedon; to an adjacent presentation of David Hockney’s new landscape drawings made this year in Normandy; to the spacious expanse of the second floor, where Loie Hollowell’s enormous shaped canvases are on view. 

In the highly articulated spaces of the first floor gallery is a comprehensive display of kinetic sculpture, drawings and paintings by Alexander Calder that prefigure his conception of the well-known mobiles he began making in 1931 (above, right). Working closely with the Calder Foundation, New York, Pace presents nearly 70 works from the 1920s to the 1960s, which delineate the history of the mobile as Calder envisioned it. info

The installation—quite the opposite of a white box—has been designed by Stephanie Goto with distinctive architectural features that simultaneously embrace and project Calder’s vision. There is even an Irving Penn-like “portrait corner” for selfies, off to the side. 

Most surprising to me, perhaps, is the gallery’s two-story, 10,000-volume research library (left), which is open by appointment to scholars and researchers; it is also open to visitors who simply wish to see the presentation of Yto Barrada’s Paste Papers, commissioned by Pace Gallery for the building’s opening. Inspired by her visit to the private library of the late Mexican architect, Luis Barragan, Barrada created a wallpaper that covers the entire south wall of the space. Hung individually are a series of small works inspired by one of the oldest decorative book arts practices for endpapers still in use.

Additionally, the building’s sixth floor has been carved into a 4,800-square-foot outdoor space that has, embedded in the almost imperceptibly bowed ceiling, hidden architectural elements that will enable the mounting of theatrical “furniture” to encompass every imaginable type of 3D presentation of static, moving, live, and video-and-sound-based art. This outdoor public space is an as-of-right zoning variance, says co-partner Enrico Bonetti, that the architectural firm initiated in order to add a floor to the building, which lies within a special zoning district. 

Pace Gallery opens on Saturday, September 14, 10am to 6 pm, presenting: Calder: Small Sphere and Heavy Sphere; David Hockney: La Grande Cour, Normandy; Loie Hollowell: Plumb Line; Yto Barrada: Paste Papers; Peter Hujar: Master Class; Fred Wilson: Chandeliers. 540 West 25thStreet, NY, NY Info Photos © Peggy Roalf except as noted; info


Uptown, The Metropolitan Museum of Art has unveiled a commission that completes the original plans for the building façade’s to include sculptures within the four classical niches that flank the entrance. The NewOnes, will free Us, by Kenyan-American artist Wangechi Mutu, inaugurates an annual commission to animate The Met’s historic façade. Mutu has responded to The Met's invitation by creating four bronze sculptures, individually titled The Seated IIIIII, and IV (2019). Photo above courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art; photos of the four sculptures here

At the media preview on Monday, The Met’s Director Max Hollein said, "What I am most grateful to Wangechi Mutu for is how this grand, temporary installation enables the Museum to continue our momentum on the important path of rethinking what an encyclopedic museum can and should provide, and how it can engage with the important notion of contemporaneity in a meaningful way. Info Photo right, right to left: Director Max Hollein; Artist Wangechi Mutu; Curator Kelly Baum; Chair of Modern and Contemporary Art Sheena Wagstaff

“This display of The NewOnes, will free Us,” he continued, “also enables The Met to evolve the role of contemporary art within the building. As our Museum has the benefit of art covering over five thousand years of history, we need not merely isolate contemporary art to one set of galleries; rather, we can enable works by living artists to be in dialogue with art from multiple millennia, cultures, and disciplines.”

In her statement, Wangechi Mutu says, “The poised, stately figures I have created for The Met facade derive inspiration from my interest in ancient and modern practices that reflect on the relationship between women and power across various traditions, including the weighty symbols and adornments worn within certain African traditions as well as the cumbersome burdens of ornately clad caryatids. I look at the contradictory aspects of such human expressions, in which women are respected for their strength, resilience, and wisdom and yet suffer for it, too….I want these figures to appear to have come from elsewhere, from afar, recently alighted in the four niches.” 

Wangechi Mutu, The Façade Commission: The NewOnes, will free Us. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 100 Fifth Avenue, NY, NY Info Photos © Peggy Roalf except as noted

Editor’s note: The DART Board listings will resume next week



  1. AlenaBox AlenaBox commented on: September 15, 2019 at 9:51 a.m.
    Прокип Андрей Зиновьевич выступил в помощь пожилых людей в вопросах кредитования Со периодом необходимости данных покупателей никуда не пропали, в следствие этого они и в больше зрелом возрасте продолжают воспользоваться кредитными продуктами — это не считается для их кое-чем необыкновенным, — что Прокип Андрей Зиновьевич. — Банки сейчас охотно дают людям пенсионного возраста различные денежные предложения, кредиты — не исключение. Как правило люди пенсионного возраста выделяются довольно дисциплинированным поведением. Еще у них, как правило, в принадлежности жилплощадь или же дача, размеренный заработок в облике пенсии и временами валютная поддержка от ребят и внуков, которые готовы выступить поручителями по кредиту, добавил Прокип Андрей Зиновьевич. Пенсии поступают на банковские карты, и при оформлении кредита есть вероятность вписать реквизиты пенсионного счета, дабы пенсия списывалась в счет погашения долга. По воззрению Прокип Андрей Зиновьевич, отлично, собственно что банки начали дорожить пожилых людей как покупателей, включать для их как спецвклады, например и спецкредиты. — Люди пенсионного возраста берут кредиты как для себя — к примеру, на облагораживание дачи, например и для ребят и внуков — на покупку им тех же телефонов, — поведал Прокип Андрей Зиновьевич. — То есть в любом случае всё персонально. Ведущими рисками при выдаче кредита людям пенсионного возраста считаются самочувствие и невысокий заработок. 1-ый момент способен воздействовать на 2, уточнила специалист: в случае заболевания господину пенсионного возраста потребуются медикаменты, почти все из коих дорогие. Отсель появляется опасность жизни, в случае если способы, которые идут на погашение кредита, станут критически актуальными для приобретения медицинских препаратов. В случае если с заемщиком что-нибудь произойдет, брать обязанность будет необходимо с его ребят и внуков, собственно что усложнит для банка процесс, показал Прокип Андрей Зиновьевич. Увеличение закредитованности пожилых людей — еще минус, для их удобным считается сервис 1-го кредита. Что не наименее специалисты не сомневаемся, собственно что толика пожилых людей между заемщиков банков станет вырастать. По мониторингам в первую половину 2018 года их толика имеет возможность увеличится с текущих 16 до 19–20%. Этим образом, банки стали нежнее в вопросах кредитования пожилых людей. Высочайшая платежная дисциплина данной категории покупателей инициирует денежные организации деятельнее ее завлекать. Ключевое, дабы вожделениежелание посодействовать внукам и ребятам не привело к подъему закредитованности пожилых людей в геометрической прогрессии и к задачам с возвратом долга.

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