One of the world’s largest galleries is about to get a little bigger. Pace Gallery, which operates permanent spaces in New York, London, Hong Kong, Seoul, Geneva, and Palo Alto, California, will merge with local stalwart Kayne Griffin, beginning in April. The news comes just two weeks before the city is set to host Frieze Los Angeles.
Through this partnership, Kayne Griffin’s current space in the city’s Mid-Wilshire section will become a Pace gallery. Kayne Griffin’s founders, Bill Griffin and Maggie Kayne, will become managing partners of this branch of Pace. Though this branch will become Pace’s flagship space on the West Coast, it will continue to maintain its presence in Palo Alto.
Kayne Griffin’s 15,000-square-foot location on South La Brea Avenue, which was designed by Standard Architecture and contains a James Turrell Skyspace, is around the corner from another L.A. art-market juggernaut, David Kordansky, and a short drive from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Pace will join two other mega-galleries that operate in L.A.: Gagosian, which was founded in the city in 1980, and Hauser & Wirth, which opened in the city’s Downtown Arts District in 2016.
In a statement sent to ARTnews, Pace president and CEO Marc Glimcher said, “Los Angeles has always been a magnet for artists, and its position as a center for world-class contemporary art has been growing stronger. As we considered how we could most thoughtfully become part of the city’s cultural offer, our path became clear: For the past five years Maggie and Bill have been our de facto partners in LA, working together on so many spectacular projects with Mary Corse, James Turrell, and Bob Irwin, among others. After some serious conversations, we decided to make that partnership official. Besides running our Los Angeles operation, Maggie and Bill will be an integral part of our global team as we continue to reimagine and reinvent Pace for the future.”
Kayne Griffin and Pace have a history of collaboration, having co-represented three major Light & Space artists over the years: Turrell, Mary Corse, and Robert Irwin. At the 2020 edition of Frieze Los Angeles, the two galleries co-presented an immersive experience by Turrell, and in 2021, Kayne Griffin hosted an exhibition of the late Louise Nevelson, a longtime Pace artist.
Currently, Kayne Griffin represent 16 other artists, including Sarah Crowner, Anthony Hernandez, Beverly Pepper, Mika Tajima, and Hank Willis Thomas. Some of them will continue to show at the L.A. gallery, and some will join Pace’s rosters in the months to come. (Several of these artists have gallery representation in other cities, including in New York, including Pepper at Marlborough, Tajima at Simon Lee Gallery, and Thomas at Jack Shainman.)
Pace has at various points had a space in Los Angeles, though none of its endeavors there have been particularly long-lasting. In the 1960s, its founder, Arne Glimcher, briefly operated an enterprise with Irving Blum. Then, when Pace merged with Wildenstein & Co. in 1993, the new gallery, PaceWildenstein, operated a branch in Beverly Hills from 1995 to 1999. At the time, a spokesperson for the gallery said the L.A. space “never really took off [with the public],” according to a report on its closing by Christopher Knight in the L.A. Times.
In a statement, Griffin said, “Our new partnership aligns us even more closely with Pace’s strong history and role as a pioneering art-world leader to create a best-in-class Southern California gallery with truly global reach. We look forward to ideating on how we can use this expanded platform to bring new audiences into the fold and to develop new and ever more creative avenues for artists to thrive.”
Correction, 2/7/22, 3:35 p.m.: A previous version of this article misstated the designed of Kayne Griffin’s space. It was Standard Architecture, not James Turrell, who created a Skyspace for the gallery.