Mark Beasley, former curator of media and performance art at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, has been named the Pace Gallery’s curatorial director of their new Pace Live programme. Pace Live is an interdisciplinary programme that will bring together music, film, dance, conservation, and of course, performance. It will be a part of Pace’s soon-to-open expansive and sleek new headquarters on 25th Street in New York City. Leading up to the start of Pace Live, Beasley will begin his time with Pace acting as a consulting curator for an upcoming solo exhibition of works by artist Vito Acconci opening August 27th at Pace’s London gallery.
Beasley said that he looks forward to working with Pace Gallery stating that ‘[i]n recent years performance has become a priority for museum and gallery programming; what was once subcultural now demands global attention. Performance art is a social form; it’s essentially an unmediated encounter that isn’t experienced through a filter or a screen.’
Since 2016, Beasley has worked with the Hirshhorn honing his reputation as one of the leading experts in performance art. While there, he worked with artists including Yoko Ono, Kim Gordon, Tino Sehgal, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Arthur Jafa, Frances Stark, and Laurie Anderson, to name only a few. He has also held positions at London’s British Council and Institution of Contemporary Arts. While at New York’s Creative Time and Performa, Beasley led programmes and commissioned special artists projects and vocal concerts including Mike Kelley’s ‘A Fantastic World Superimposed on Reality.’
‘Performance and time-based art are now central to the art being made at this moment,’ said president and CEO of Pace Gallery Marc Glimcher in a press release. ‘As part of our strategy to bring the curatorial world into the decision-making process of how to run and program an art gallery, adding an extraordinary curator whose expertise in this area is essential for us. Mark’s experience with feeling for, and understanding of, these artists is unmatched and we’re so fortunate that he will be part of the Pace team.’
When Pace’s new HQ opens on September 14th, Pace Live will boast a seventh-floor gallery that will seat 150 people and allow space for an array of creatives, including artists, critics, and scholars, to engage with the public as Pace Gallery nears its 60th birthday as a gallery. Working closely alongside Glimcher and Andria Hickey, senior director and curator at Pace, Beasley will be tasked with developing the new programme not only to approach the arts from a different angle but also to accommodate the ‘diverse practices of today’s artists.’