Pace Gallery threw open the doors to its new eight-story headquarters in New York for a press preview on Tuesday, offering a sneak peak at exhibitions already hung while awaiting a few finishing touches before a full public opening to gallery-goers in Chelsea on Saturday.
“As you can see, we are done with the building—kind of,” Marc Glimcher, Pace’s president and CEO, said during remarks held in a dramatic seventh-floor room with views of old-fashioned water towers and Hudson Yards rising up behind him. The seventh floor will be home to performance programming for Pace Live, a new initiative whose schedule for the season was revealed at the preview, and the levels below—each with its own character and sense of size and scale—were filled with new shows of work by Alexander Calder, Yto Barrada, David Hockney, Loie Hollowell, Peter Hujar, and Fred Wilson (whose suspended exhibition “Chandeliers” lends the seventh-floor a looming sense of expectancy).
ARTnews learned that a shaman had blessed the space in a ritual for employees on Monday, with a cacao ceremony that involved drinking bowls of bitter hot chocolate with special energy-giving properties. When cornered for details, Glimcher said, “Have you ever had ceremonial cacao? I was, like, on—you feel it! Everybody said blessings to the building and to each other.” (And the shamanic activities remain ongoing: “She’s still working—she’s in the boiler room right now,” Glimcher added.)
During his prepared remarks, Glimcher noted that 21 babies had been born into the Pace family during the years that the new building had been in its planning stages. And now that it’s opening, “We want people to come and take their time” in what has been imagined aspirationaly as “a communal space for thinking, transcendence, and contemplation.”
News was announced, including the…
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