Financial Times, July 2, 2012: Ever since New York’s Pace Gallery set up a temporary base in London in 2010, the art world has been agog to discover where its permanent space would be. Now the news is out – Pace is hiring a 9,000 sq ft gallery in the west wing of 6 Burlington Gardens from the Royal Academy, which will open just before the Frieze art fair in October. Pace has a 15-year lease on the gallery, which will be renovated by architect Sir David Chipperfield as part of a “master plan” for the RA. Charles Saumarez Smith, chief executive of the RA, says the income generated will “stabilise the economics of the plan”, describing it as “a public/private partnership”. With help from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the rest of the building will be renovated, starting in 2013, with the east wing turned into a lecture theatre. The first floor is being retained by the RA for exhibitions. The entire Burlington Gardens space was previously occupied by Christie’s-owned Haunch of Venison, during refurbishment of its gallery off Bond Street.
Pace is one of the world’s pre-eminent galleries, representing both living artists such as Bridget Riley and Chuck Close and lucrative estates including Mark Rothko and Alexander Calder. It will open the gallery with Rothko/Sugimoto: Dark Paintings and Seascapes, juxtaposing Rothko’s late black and grey paintings with photographs by the Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto. Marc Glimcher of Pace says that for the gallery, the RA “is a dream neighbour, this makes a great fit for us”. The new space brings Pace’s empire to seven, with one in Beijing, two in London and four in New York.
- Georgina Adam