Pace has announced the inaugural programme for its new London gallery located on Hanover Square, opening Autumn 2021. On view between 7th October and 13th November, Pace will stage two pivotal presentations of work by Mark Rothko and Torkwase Dyson. Mark Rothko’s jewel-like paintings on paper from the late 1960s will be displayed across two gallery spaces, marking the first exhibition solely dedicated to this masterful body of work in the United Kingdom. Experimental multidisciplinary artist Torkwase Dyson will transform the third gallery with Liquid a Place: In Two Acts. Part of Pace Live, the gallery’s multidisciplinary live art programme, this collaborative performance and sculptural installation interrogates issues of environmental racism and spatial liberation in contemporary society. Presented in parallel, these exhibitions underscore the full spectrum of Pace’s programme, which combines a longstanding dual commitment to the artists who shaped art history as we know it, and those who are directing its trajectory for future generations.
This exhibition, the first in the United Kingdom to focus on the poignant body of work created in Rothko’s final years, embodies the artist’s long-time endeavour to eliminate ‘all obstacles between the painter and the idea, and between the idea and the observer’ by allowing viewers unparalleled closeness. Executed in the late 1960’s in the wake of a particularly tumultuous and difficult bout of ill health, Rothko was forced to reduce the scale of his painting practice from his signature monumental canvases to more intimately sized paper. Despite physical limitations, Rothko worked feverishly with a renewed enthusiasm for colour, delighted by the effect of acrylic paint. These paintings showcase the artist’s enduring will to experiment and refine his vision of boundlessness. Mark Rothko is one of the 20th Century’s most revolutionary and influential artists. Pace has had the honour of representing Rothko’s estate for over four decades. This show continues the gallery’s legacy of presenting historic exhibitions that illuminate the artist’s unparalleled mastery, examples include The 1958–59 Murals (1978), The Dark Paintings 1969–1970 (1985), The Last Paintings (1994), and Bonnard-Rothko: Color and Light (1997).
American interdisciplinary artist, Torkwase Dyson describes her practice through the lens of painting despite working across a breadth of mediums, including performance, sculpture, film and drawing among others. Dyson’s work facilitates conversations around the relationship between Black and Brown bodies and the surrounding environment, using her incisive and original vision to explore the continuity between ecology, infrastructure, and architecture across time and space. With significant environmental projects in the US, and her ongoing involvement in the multi- disciplinary ecological project Back to Earth at the Serpentine Gallery, this exhibition comes at an inspired moment in Dyson’s thinking on black spatial liberation now.
The multi-media installation that forms Liquid a Place: In Two Acts will serve as a stage for Dyson and a range of collaborators, including South London based musician and writer Gaika, poet Dionne Brand, and writer Christina Sharpe. The programme will also feature choreographers, dancers, and poets that will perform under Dyson’s direction in a series of live events throughout the gallery’s opening week.
Conceived as a second iteration of her 2019 piece, I Can Drink the Distance: Plantationocene in Two Acts, performed at Pace in New York, Liquid a Place takes water as a symbol to explore historical and contemporary ecological racism in relation to the current climate crisis. In Dyson’s words, ‘This durational performative piece uses liquidity as an organizing principle to think through atmospheres, memories, refusals and liberations in black bodies. Thinking through relations of scale, distance, systems and movement in cities, Liquid a Place considers the complexities of memory and liquidity through the body.’
Approaching its 10th Anniversary in the capital, the Hanover Square gallery underscores Pace’s commitment to the city of London as a singular cultural community and one of the great international art world hubs. Embarking upon a new era in its new space, Pace will present an expanded programme that combines an ambitious exhibition schedule with regular multi-disciplinary events via its Pace Live platform.
Pace’s new London gallery has been designed by architect Jamie Fobert Architects. Fobert enjoys a longstanding relationship with Pace having been involved with the original gallery on Lexington Street in 2011. For Hanover Square, Fobert will completely transform the interior architecture of the existing building to incorporate flexible galleries across two floors. The levels will be connected by a feature staircase rendered in black steel, giving the impression of a fully integrated space. The new modular layout will allow for dynamic presentations and will accommodate installations of works ranging from intimate to monumental in scale.