New York’s Pace Gallery has announced plans to relocate its London outpost to 4 Hanover Square in Mayfair, the former home of the now-defunct Blain Southern gallery. Pace has occupied a space at 6 Burlington Gardens inside the Royal Academy building since 2012. According to a report in the Financial Times, the gallery is slated to inaugurate its new space next fall. In addition to its London outpost, Pace operates spaces in New York, Geneva, Palo Alto, Hong Kong, and Seoul, as well as “seasonal” galleries in Palm Beach and East Hampton.
Blain Southern, which was founded in London in 2010, announced in February that it would close its entire operation amid financial troubles. Its former Mayfair location is 8,600 square feet, more than double the size of Pace’s Burlington location. Pace has enlisted Jamie Fobert Architects to renovate its main-floor galleries and basement. The plans include adding 1,000 square feet of exhibition space and creating a venue in the basement capable of accommodating experimental programming.
“We want to tear down the [metaphorical] velvet ropes and make the whole thing more open and interactive. You can’t really do that when you’re in someone else’s museum,” Marc Glimcher, the president and CEO of Pace, told the Financial Times.
The news comes as Brexit creates as a period of flux in the British art market. Last month, Marian Goodman Gallery shuttered its London space, blaming the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit. Glimcher told the Financial Times that he remains committed to London, however, saying that the “strength of London should far exceed the damage.”
Two of Pace’s top U.S. presidents have recently faced controversy. Earlier this month, Artnet News reported that workers had accused senior leadership of fostering a toxic work environment for years. One of the two subjects of the report, Douglas Baxter, has since taken a leave of absence from the gallery, and Pace said that it would investigate his and Susan Dunne’s behavior.