Pace Gallery is one of few art institutions who have set up a hub dedicated to NFTs. Its arm for Web3 projects, Pace Verso, launched in November with projects from Glenn Kaino, Lucas Samaras, and Drift. Now, Pace Verso has revealed the lineup for its spring seasons, with NFTs on tap from Zhang Huan, Lucas Samaras, and more.
In an interview, Christiana Ine-Kimba Boyle, head of digital sales at Pace and the director of the Verso program, underscored the importance of these works by mentioning that they’re digitally native. “It’s not a situation in which we’re putting JPEGs on the blockchain, or just recreating physical artworks into NFT’s and leaving it at that,” she said. “We’re really trying to create projects that make sense within a digitally native space and speak to the artist’s digital practice.”
This spring, through Pace Verso, Samaras will create NFTs that are part of his “XYZ” series of digital works, which he made using Photoshop in the 1990s. These new works come with physical prints. Zhang, who is known for his photographs and performances, is releasing two projects from his “NFT Art Trilogy” series, Ash Square and The Celestial Burial of an Artist, both of which were first shown at the Hermitage Museum 2021 virtual group exhibition “The Ethereal Aether.”
Pace is also collaborating with the NFT platform Art Blocks, which rose to prominence the summer of 2021 for creating an innovative, high-quality platform for minting generative art. Yesterday, Pace and Art Blocks released Cosmic Reef, a series of 1,024 generative artworks by artist Leo Villareal. The collaboration between the two will continue in the form of presentations at art fairs, including Frieze Los Angeles.
These projects are just the beginning of an ambitious longer term plan for Verso. “Some people think of us as just an NFT platform,” said Boyle. “But really, at its core, we’re trying to create a hub for Web3 technology that exists within the metaverse. Of course, we’re not at that point yet, technology-wise, but ultimately we’re hoping that what this will grow into.”