Pace Gallery has unveiled its new London home at 5 Hanover Square with inaugural shows by New York-based artist Torkwase Dyson and late abstract expressionist legend Mark Rothko

Dyson’s Liquid a Place will serve as a dynamic inaugural offering for the gallery. On view from 8 October –  6 November, coinciding with Frieze Week 2021, the multi-media installation transforms one of the new gallery spaces with sculptures, activated by a site-specific sound piece.

 Damian Griffiths
Exterior view of Pace’s new gallery at 5 Hanover Square, London. Photography: Damian Griffiths

The artist, self-described as a painter across different media, grapples with how space is perceived and negotiated, particularly by Black and Brown bodies. On 7, 9 and 11 October as part of Pace Live, Dyson’s installation becomes a stage for leading writers, poets, dancers and musicians, selected by the artist, to engage with issues of environmental racism, spatial liberation and sensoria. 

‘Working in London offers me the opportunity to lengthen my questions around human geography. This history/timeline of carving the earth, the construction of the canals and all the mechanistic infrastructure and architecture connected to it. And the River Thames’ history of docks and dispossession,’ says Dyson. ‘What is systemic world building? How do we separate planetary world building and issues of climate change and relationship/difference to the Western construction of the universal that flattens and disappears people? When I continue my research in the space it simply also opens up space to hold liberation strategies and recognise autonomy/self-possession.’

Detail of Torkwase Dyson’s Liquid a Place at Pace gallery, London. Photography by Damian Griffiths
Detail of Torkwase Dyson’s Liquid a Place at Pace gallery, London. Photography by Damian Griffiths

Elsewhere in the gallery, Mark Rothko’s ‘1968: Clearing Away’, offers a show of rarely seen paintings on paper created during the final years of the artist’s life. These works, developed during a time of ill-health and personal troubles for Rothko, mark a shift in scale from his characteristically monumental canvases to smaller works on paper. Though intimate in scale, these works are no less intense, meditative or intoxicating.

The gallery, previously home to Blain Southern, which closed in 2020, has been reimagined by Jamie Fobert Architects, the practice involved with Pace’s original London gallery on Lexington Street. 

Fobert has transformed the interior architecture of the existing building, creating versatile galleries across two floors. The levels will be connected by a new feature staircase rendered in black steel. ‘At the beginning of the project, Pace considered carefully the way gallery spaces should relate to workspaces within the new gallery. This became the generating idea of our work,’ says Fobert. ‘The positioning of volumes and connections, both horizontal and vertical, has created a sense of fluid movement through the building. Art spaces and workspaces are integrated, giving the visitor a continuous dynamic experience.’ §

 Damian Griffiths, courtesy Pace Gallery
‘Mark Rothko 1968: Clearing Away’, Pace Gallery, 5 Hanover Square, London, 8 October – 13 November 2021. Artwork on paper by Mark Rothko Copyright © 2020 by Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko. Photo: Damian Griffiths, courtesy Pace Gallery