Pace Gallery

With over 10 international locations, Pace Gallery introduces a new wave of artists to the art scene.


Photos by Claire Li and courtesy of Pace gallery

In the Bay Area, the Pace Gallery has become synonymous with dreamlike, multicolored lights scattering down walls like rain. However, this past exhibit is only one of many to be displayed at the various Pace Gallery locations around the world.

The first Pace Gallery was opened by an art collector named Arne Glimcher. Located in Boston, the company’s mission was to dedicate the space to modern and contemporary American art. Today, the company is primarily based out of New York, containing three individual galleries. Ownership of the galleries has been passed onto Glimcher’s son, Marc Glimcher, who continues to uphold his father’s legacy.

Since the standard for “contemporary” is being redefined every day, the Pace Gallery selects artists who are leading modern movements. “We’re always trying to bring in people who are super engaged in today’s forward thinking mindset,” Calder Anderson, a guide and receptionist at Palo Alto’s Pace Gallery, said. Generally, the international locations of Pace Galleries are chosen based on the avant-garde innovations that are shifting the art scene today, encompassing iconic cities such as London and New York.


Beijing, known for its technological advancements, fosters many of the most innovative artists in the world. One of these artists is Xiao Yu, an important conceptual artist in China. Conceptualism is a method in which inventive ideology is emphasized over traditional aesthetic, technical and material concerns.

In his solo exhibit, Translocation, Yu touches upon issues regarding the human condition within contemporary society. The exhibit furthers the creative shift from intellectual thinking to a more aesthetic experience that Yu has been progressing since 2010. Often, Yu creates his art using bamboo as a sculpting material due to the plant being thought of as a powerful and spiritual symbol in the Eastern world.

Eventually, Yu aims to liberate items, such as bamboo, from the fixed cultural implications so that they are viewed in a more contemporary way. The exhibit begins with a hanging bamboo installation that features long pieces of bamboo that are twisted together and suspended from the air. Yu’s second piece in the exhibit features a similar design of bronze bamboo, which eliminates the literal meaning of the plant and instead focuses more on the experience of viewing the art. Yu creates an environment that presents aesthetic joy with his contemporary artwork, effectively defining the conceptualism movement.

New York

Barbara Hepworth, a modernist sculptor, is one of the many artists who occupies center stage in the New York Pace Gallery. Her exhibit “A Matter of Form” is composed of over 25 of her most well known sculptures and paintings.

The exhibit embodies her search for abstraction within the body. She uses a variety of mediums such as marble, bronze, aluminum and mahogany. Found among her sculptures are a variety of thematic messages such as the relationship between mother and child, man and nature and an individual versus a group.

Hepworth creates her pieces using a rigorous technique known as direct carving which allows her to explore spiritualistic connections with the materials. This method is one that takes many hours of commitment and practice to form the precise lines and perfect cut outs. Direct carving sculpts straight onto the material the artist plans on using. This is an uncommon technique, as artists usually form more heedful cast molds to form several different components separately, eventually melding them together into one cohesive piece. Her major works on display are Lyric Form, Elegy III and the three pieces within her Family of Man series: Ancestor I, Ancestor II, and Bridegroom. These particular pieces truly depict the vitality of form (physical and human) that is prominent throughout Hepworth’s work. Hepworth, unlike other sculptors, pursues a mystical, spirit-conjuring approach to art, attempting to forge a bond with her work.























Palo Alto

A series of moving masterpieces from artist Michal Rovner bedeck the pastel gray walls of the Pace Gallery, located on University Avenue. At a glance, Rovner’s collection, “Evolution”, is a puzzling jumble of script and color. Upon closer inspection, however, each individual piece contains thousands of moving, humanoid figures swaying in a continuous, hypnotic motion. Rovner is an Israeli artist, whose work is based off her skills of filming, sculpting, drawing and sound. When creating her work, she films models and uses digital softwares to manipulate the figures, eventually fusing them together into repetitive patterns. Rovner has become exceedingly famous in the art world due to her use of non-narrative film, a new concept of moving art which does not tell the story of a specific event. In the past, she has had her work displayed in prestigious museums such as the Louvre, The Whitney Museum of Art and the Israeli Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

“Evolution”, portrays the advancement of humans over time, and predicts how humanity will develop into the future. Stepping into the gallery, people are greeted by two heavenly figures projected onto a large stone imported from Israel. “She’s thinking about the first known marks made and the first time someone was making something creative,” said Anderson.

This piece sets the stage and provides context for the rest of the project. Walking into the second room, a large digital piece of a moving wolf, overlaying many humanlike creatures dominates the space. With this work, Rovner aims to introduce the themes of urgency and alertness, present in today’s society.

“You have this watchful animal, turning and watching you, and you have the people with something on their mind that indicates this movement and energy,” Anderson said. A key observation is that the humans are positioned to resemble text, to show how the invention of dialect was crucial to evolution. In the final room, Rovner uses a vibrant pink in her pieces along with a dramatic increase in the quantity of humanoid figures. As the gallery progresses, the order of the images dissolves and chaos begins to appear within the image. Perhaps this was meant to portray the future of humanity; how the population will continue to increase and with it will bring the promise of more advanced and exciting technology.

One of Rovner’s noteworthy features is the actual process that she follows to create her art. To begin, she uses videos of people who she has filmed. She then uses digital softwares to manipulate the figures and meld them together into repetitive patterns, all depicted in a video. “What’s interesting about these is that she’s using actual humans as the character, so- it’s sort of mind-melting.”