The Pace Gallery- an innovative approach to the gallery system

by leslierankowfinearts

 

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PACE GALLERY IS A LEADING CONTEMPORARY GALLERY THAT REPRESENTS MANY OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT ESTATES AS WELL AS A ROSTER OF VITAL CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS.  FOUNDED BY ARNE GLIMCHE AND NOW HEADED BY HIS SON, MARC, PACE HAS INTRODUCED MANY RENOWNED  ARTISTS TO THE PUBLIC AND CURATEDEXCEPTIONAL, SCHOLARLY SHOWS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO OUR ART HISTORICAL UNDERSTANDING.

PACE WAS ONE OF THE FIRST GALLERIES TO OPEN IN CHINA, THANKS TO A WONDERFUL DIRECTOR AT THE GALLERY, AND FRIEND, PETER BORIS, WHO HAS HAD A LONG AND ABIDING INTEREST AND KNOWLEDGE OF ASIA, ITS ARTS, CULTURE AND MARKET. THE GALLERY HAS MANY LOCATIONS, THE FLAGSHIP AT 32 EAST 57th STREET,  SEVERAL GREAT EXHIBITION SPACES  ON WEST 25th IN CHELSEA, A GREAT INSTALLATION SPACE FORMERLY ESTABLISHED BY DIA ON WEST 22nd, AND ITS NEWEST VENUE  IN LONDON, LOCATED IN THE BEAUTIFUL BURLINGTON GALLERY BUILDING. http://www.pacegallery.com/

PETER, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING THE TIME TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE LRFA BLOG. WE ARE FRIENDS AS WELL AS COLLEAGUES AND I HAVE ENJOYED OUR WONDERFUL CIRCUITOUS CONVERSATIONS COVERING A MULTITUDE OF TOPICS – ALL THE DANGEROUS ONES: POLITICS, ECONOMICS, PHILOSOPHY – SO IT WILL BE EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO STAY ON TOPIC.

I ALWAYS ADMIRED ARNE GLIMCHER, FOUNDER OF PACE GALLERY, FOR HIS INNOVATIVE APPROACH TO THE CHARACTER OF HIS GALLERY SINCE ITS INCEPTION.  MOST GALLERIES BEGIN AS A REFLECTION OF A GALLERY OWNER’S SPECIFIC EMPATHY FOR A PARTICULAR PERIOD OF ART OR AESTHETIC, THAT INCLUDE, IN THE PAST, ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM, COLOR FIELD, NEO GEO, CONCEPTUAL ART OR ANY OF THE OTHER “ISMS” THAT MARK THE HISTORY OF MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY ART.

I GATHER ARNE FOUNDED PACE, AS A YOUNG MAN, BY MAKING QUALITATIVE JUDGMENTS, SEEKING OUT THE BEST ARTISTS THAT ARE REPRESENTATIVE OF AN AESTHETIC FORM, FOR EXAMPLE, MINIMALISTS ROBERT RYMAN AND AGNES MARTIN, 20th CENTURY MASTERS SUCH AS THE PICASSO AND ROTHKO ESTATES, ARTISTS WHO EMBRACE THE FIGURAL/NARRATIVE ASPECTS OF ART SUCH AS ALEX KATZ AND CHUCK CLOSE. PLEASE TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT THE
PHILOSOPHY AND FORMATION OF PACE.

Thanks, Leslie and congratulations on creating this blog and thanks for inviting me. IT is fun to be here, wherever here “is”. You have correctly defined Arne  Glimcher as an innovator.    Pace Gallery actually began as a small gallery in Boston in 1960.  Arne and his wife Milly were art students  when they opened at  125 Newbury St.  Along with work by regional artists and their professors, they  showed New York artists like Oldenburg, Warhol, Wesselman, Lichtenstein, Robert  Indiana, George Segal, Marisol, Nevelson and many others, including European  masters like Albers, Arp and Giacometti.  Back then they would drive to New York  in his station wagon, pick up work ands and then drive back to Boston.  There were several dealers in New York who fueled their ambition.  Sidney Janis, Ivan Karp and Leo Castelli, Alan Stone, to name a few were very helpful.  The New York art world was a very small community then.  Everyone seemed to have a true passion for visual language.   Abstract Expressionism had established a foundation of credibility for American art and Pop Art, and later Minimalism added to it.  It was a dynamic mix of personalities and artistic talent that fed  off the excitement and growth within  the general culture of the 1960’s.  People  came to the art world from all different places.  And,other than a passion for art,  all they had in common was that nobody had any money!

DID ARNE HAVE A MENTOR OR SOURCE OF INSPIRATION FOR HIS UNIQUE THINKING ABOUT THE NATURE OF A GALLERY AND ITS REPRESENTATION OF ARTISTS?
As for influence, I think Arne would say influence, I think Arne would say that Sidney Janis was the closest thing to a
model for Pace.  Janis showed a mix of European modernism, Abstract Expressionism, and Pop Art so it  was not limited to a single style or school of artistic practice.  Janis was eclectic and that was the key.  When Arne, Milly and their new partner Fred Mueller opened in New York  in 1963, they built an exhibition program and stable of artists based on a “quality” of art, not a particular style or school.  It was not an Ab Ex, Pop, Minimal, Color Field, Surrealist, or Dada gallery.  It could be  all of them!  The approach allowed Pace Gallery to present any contemporary or modern artists as long as it was of a certain “quality.”  In those early years, the gallery exhibited “new” California artists like Bob Irwin, Craig Kaufman and Larry Bell to emphasize the point.

As a young gallery looking for clients, its eclectic program allowed Pace to reach out to a broader range of collectors. It was an innovative approach that allowed Pace to tap into the full spectrum of “isms” that were making simulataneous claims to being “True”.  Looking back, it is the legacy of Modernism applied to an art gallery business. And it worked!

IN OUR NEXT BLOG, PETER WILL INFORM US OF THE LEGENDARY HISTORY OF PACE, THE ARTISTS IT REPRESENTS, AND THE GREAT INFLUENCE THAT ARNE GLIMCHER AND HIS IMPECCABLE TEAM HAVE MADE ON THIE WAY IN WHICH ARTISTS, COLLECTORS AND DEALERS ALIKE APPROACH 20th CENTURY AND 21st CENTURY ART. HE WILL SHARE HIS PROFESSIONAL HISTORY AND HIS ENORMOUS CONTRIBUTION TO THE HISTORY OF THE GALLERY.

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS FOR PETER, HE IS ONE OF THE MOST KNOWLEDGEABLE EXPERTS IN THE FIELD. FIRE AWAY!