Pace Gallery, one of the biggest galleries in the world, has hired Kimberly Drew, a closely watched multi-hyphenate whose various projects have spanned the worlds of museums, fashion magazines, and activism. Starting this month, Drew will become a New York–based associate director at the gallery, which currently also has permanent locations in London, Hong Kong, Seoul, Geneva, and Palo Alto.
Over the past decade, Drew has earned widespread attention for a series of writing projects, including the popular Tumblr Black Contemporary Art; Black Futures (2020), a book, edited with Jenna Wortham, which addresses “what it means to be Black and alive”; and This Is What I Know About Art (2020), a book focused on art and protest that has been marketed toward young adults. She has also been on the communications teams of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Studio Museum in Harlem, and she recently was a curator at the NFT platform Voice. Drew currently hosts the podcast version of Hulu’s TV series Your Attention Please, which focuses on Black creatives, and she leads “Black Power Lunch Hour,” an online events series.
While she has worked in a gallery before—at Lehmann Maupin, where she was a communications assistant—Drew said in an interview that she is approaching her Pace job as a “novice.” At the gallery, she will be act as an artist liaison and facilitate sales.
“I’ve been thinking, like so many of us, about the future, and what some key goals are,” she said. “I looked into Pace because, though it is a commercial gallery space, there’s a dynamism and agility there. As an outsider looking in, I was like, ‘This looks like an appetizing place to pivot.’”
Marc Glimcher, Pace’s president and CEO, said in a statement, “Kimberly has an exceptional track record as a creative thinker, and we could not be more excited to welcome her to Pace, where we value original approaches across all aspects of the organization. A writer, activist, and curator, Kimberly has already left her mark on the art world through various contributions which have helped amplify the voices of Black artists and creators.”
Drew’s hire came as Pace hired Amy Baumann, who was recently a senior director at the now-defunct Lévy Gorvy gallery. Baumann was brought on with that same title at Pace. Meanwhile, Renée Brown, who was formerly at Hauser & Wirth, was hired as an associate director.
The gallery also announced a series of promotions. Jessica Mostow and Kaelan Kleber, formerly associate directors at Pace, will now become directors, and Erin Sigoloff, who was formerly a sales assistant, was named an associate director. Pace announced these hires and promotions the week after revealing plans to open a Los Angeles space after merging with Kayne Griffin gallery.
Drew is not the only writer to join a mega-gallery recently. Last year, critic Antwaun Sargent was brought on as a director and a curator at Gagosian, a main competitor to Pace.
At Pace, Drew will be working directly with artists, and as part of a team—a plus, she said, following a “lonely” period spent writing. “There’s an infrastructure that galleries provide for artists that I haven’t gotten an opportunity to get close to or be a part of,” she continued. “I want to be in an artist’s structural support system in a concrete way, because I am a traditional person at heart.”
Correction, 2/9/22, 3:25 p.m.: A previous version of this post featured a misspelled version of Amy Baumann’s last name. It is Baumann, not Bauman.