Art world behemoth Pace Gallery, which currently has eight locations around the globe including its monumental Chelsea headquarters, is about to get even bigger. Pace announced today (September 5) that in the spring of next year, the mega-gallery will expand its footprint in Asia with a new permanent location in Tokyo.
Pace Tokyo will be situated in Azabudai Hills, a new development by property developer Mori Building, which owns Japan’s Mori Art Museum. The gallery will occupy three floors plus a private terrace in a building architected by Thomas Heatherwick of Vessel fame, and the 5,500-square-foot gallery interior (hosting 3,000 square feet of exhibition space) will be designed by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, who previously worked on both London’s Serpentine Gallery Pavilion and Tokyo’s Musashino Art University Museum and Library.
What is Pace’s connection to Tokyo?
The gallery’s long-standing relationship with Tokyo dates to the late 1960s when founder Arne Glimcher began regularly visiting the city to immerse himself in its arts community. In recent months, the city has actively expanded its art scene, hosting the inaugural edition of Tokyo Gendai, its first major international art fair, in July.
“Over the past few years, Tokyo’s increasing importance in the Asian art ecosystem has become even clearer,” Pace CEO Marc Glimcher said in a statement that called the city “a place where ancient and modern cultures combine with an incredibly vibrant contemporary art scene.”
Pace currently represents several artists and groups in Japan, including Yoshitomo Nara, Kohei Nawa, Lee Ufan and the experiential collective teamLab, which is also opening a new location in Azabudai Hills.
Since its founding in Boston in 1960, international expansion has been a key element of Pace’s growth. In addition to its gallery spaces in New York, Los Angeles, London, Geneva and Berlin, it was “one of the first international galleries to establish outposts in Asia,” according to Pace, with permanent galleries in both Hong Kong and Seoul and offices and a viewing room in Beijing.
More information about exhibitions and leadership will be announced in the lead up to its opening, according to Glimcher, who added that the new location will let Pace spend more time with its Japanese artists and collaborate more closely with colleagues in other galleries across Japan. “We believe that it is time for Japan to take its place again as one of the most prominent collecting communities in the world, and I hope that Pace can play an important role in that growth.”