Marc Glimcher, President and CEO of Pace, says: “Pace has been operating permanent spaces in Asia for over a decade, and early on we saw the potential of Seoul as a creative hub. As we have demonstrated in Palo Alto, East Hampton, and Palm Beach, we have a strong interest in building artistic communities outside of the traditional art world centers. Seoul was one of our earliest experiments of this kind and we are excited to be doubling down on our commitment to the city with our beautiful new space in a time when its popularity is about to explode. Seoul is on the brink of new cultural investment, with major museums and art fairs interested in the opportunities it has to offer. We are thrilled to have been part of this transformation and look forward to the next phase.”
The Seoul gallery will be led by Youngjoo Lee, who has been a Senior Director at Pace for six years. Lee has fifteen years of career experience in the industry, joining Pace in 2015 after working as a curator and sales director at Arario Gallery for eight years. In her previous role, she contributed to globalizing the Asian market by introducing Asian artists to art markets beyond Korea.
Under Lee’s directorship, in its original location Pace has staged the inaugural Korean exhibitions for several contemporary artists of international renown, Tara Donovan, Richard Tuttle, Yto Barrada, Natalie Du Pasquier, Adam Pendleton, and Fred Wilson, among them. In addition to introducing these artists’ work to new local audiences, Pace has presented solo exhibitions by some of the most important artists in Asia, including Song Dong, Qiu Xiaofei, and Lee Kun-Yong, and group exhibitions of historically important artists including its inaugural exhibition In Line which featured works by Josef Albers, Robert Irwin, Sol LeWitt, Liu Jianhua, Robert Mangold, Robert Ryman, and Tony Smith. By Introducing these major artists to a Korean audience, Lee opened up local opportunities and further expanded their prominence in the global arts ecosystem while also diversifying the range of international artists introduced in the country.
Youngjoo Lee, Senior Director of Pace, says: “Over the past five years Pace has cultivated an unparalleled relationship with the local community in Seoul and our efforts have proved fruitful, especially in establishing Hannam-dong as a creative and commercial hub. During this time, I am also proud to say that Pace has introduced a number of new artists to the region with their first solo exhibitions in Seoul—in the gallery but also within Korea’s vast institutional scene, including Gwangju Biennale, the Seoul Museum of Art; the Daegu Art Museum, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Busan; and the Amore Pacific Museum of Art. Inaugurating our new space with a solo exhibition by Sam Gilliam, at the age of almost ninety, marks an exciting new chapter for us in Seoul.”
The inaugural exhibition in Pace’s new space will be devoted to Sam Gilliam, widely considered one of the great innovators in postwar American painting. He emerged from the Washington, D.C. scene in the mid-1960s with works that elaborated upon and disrupted the ethos of Color Field painting and expanded the opportunities of Abstract Expressionism. Inspired by his activism and always an aficionado of American jazz music, he extended the possibilities of picture making in a society undergoing dramatic change.