Inner Cosmos, Outer Universe

On View
Mar 15 – May 4, 2024

Inner Cosmos, Outer Universe
Mar 15 – May 4, 2024


Quai des Bergues 15-17, 1201


Press Release (ENG)
Press Release (FR)


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Above, Richard Pousette-Dart, Imploding Black, 1985-86 © 2019 Estate of Richard Pousette-Dart / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Pace is pleased to announce Inner Cosmos, Outer Universe, a group exhibition showcasing works from across the gallery’s international programme by artists that share a fascination with space, from cosmological heights to the molecular foundations of the self.

Running from March 15 to May 4, this exhibition will include over thirty paintings, sculptures, textiles, and works on paper, all of which investigate—at some level—structures of being and nothingness.

Spanning over eight decades of artmaking, the works in Inner Cosmos, Outer Universe encompass a broad range of artistic responses to the celestial imagination over the past century, both literally and metaphorically. Recalling the polished chrome and sleek surfaces of space-age design, the exhibition will include sculptures by Alexander Calder, Jeff Koons, Alicja Kwade, and Leo Villareal. Chromatic eruptions course through works by Latifa Echakhch, Sonia Gomes, Hermann Nitsch, Richard Pousette-Dart, and Lucas Samaras, suggesting nebulae that refract spectrums of speckled colour. Other, more oblique references to the cosmos recur in works by Tara Donovan, Torkwase Dyson, Adolph Gottlieb, Matthew Day Jackson, Robert Longo, Robert Rauschenberg, Arlene Shechet, Kiki Smith, and Mika Tajima, which will also be featured in the show.

Many of the works in Inner Cosmos, Outer Universe are united by the formal motif of the circle. This simple geometric shape, which can be found depicted in visual art from pre-historic sites across the globe, commonly signifies the infinite and cyclical nature of existence. Yet it also figures in pictorial depictions of basic elements invisible to the human eye: molecules, for example, and the atoms that form them are typically represented as spherical clusters.

Richard Pousette-Dart’s Space Continuum, Part II (1989), featured in the exhibition, is composed of fields of the artist’s characteristic pointillist marks that coalesce into kaleidoscopic arrangements of whorls and shapes suggestive of stellar clusters, at once atomic and celestial. Monochromatic circles resurface in works by both Adolph Gottlieb, in Untitled (1966), and Robert Longo, in Untitled (After Malevich, Circle – 1915) (2008), underscoring the salience of the form of the circle to the history of Modernist pictorialism. Meanwhile, the circular canvas of Torkwase Dyson’s (Bird and Lava #03) (2021)—whose internal geometry refers to the hulls of ships that carried enslaved peoples across the Atlantic Ocean—proposes the possibility that utopias of liberation might emerge from new formulations of space, shape, and geometry.

Sculptural works in Inner Cosmos, Outer Universe bridge the effervescence of the celestial with the solidity of geology. In Kiki Smith’s Standing Stars II (2013), seven- and nine-pointed stars burst skyward from a bronze base. Sungrazer I (2018), also by Smith, depicts a shooting star in earthy hues, with single stalks of wheat cast on its surface as if emerging from the soil itself. Openings in Mika Tajima’s Pranayama (Monolith, K, Rose Quartz) (2023), determined by applying the logic of acupuncture to sculpture, create channels in the piezoelectric material that suggest the spiritual practice of ‘opening’ the body to flows of energy and breath. These works, while substantial in their physical presence, undergo both material and conceptual transformations at the hands of the artist, inviting contemplation on the interplay between materiality and ephemerality.

Jeff Koons’s Gazing Ball (Bottlerack) (2016) invites viewers to inhabit the contemplative depths of reflection, meditating on their own place within the cosmic expanse, and, in doing so, becoming part of the artwork itself. In a seeming inversion of Koons’s crowning Gazing Ball, a stitched azure sphere pendulates from the apex of Sonia Gomes’s Nebulosa 1 (2022). Gomes's sculpture incorporates familiar textiles and patterns—checkered plaid, polka dots, a lace doily—yet exudes an organic and ethereal quality. The tensioned appendages, projecting from the work’s nucleus, evoke an internal pulsation that transcends human comprehension, placing the work in an intuitive realm beyond ordinary reasoning.


Installation Views