Since Pace Gallery announced in July 2021 that it would create its own NFT platform, watchers in the art world, tech, and beyond have been curious to see how one of the world’s largest galleries would tackle this new venture.
The gallery debuted that platform, Pace Verso, in November 2021, followed by a new charitable initiative by artist, Glenn Kaino. Pace Verso will exhibit a variety of handpicked digital projects on blockchain, catering primarily to artists on the gallery’s roster, which includes Torkwase Dyson, Jeff Koons, and Maya Lin.
About Pace Verso
The platform, which will be led by Christiana Ine-Kimba Boyle, Pace’s head of digital sales, debuted on November 22 with NFTs based on Lucas Samaras’ “XYZ” series (2021). NFTs from Kaino and DRIFT (Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta) were also available on Pace Verso on November 29, just in time for Art Basel Miami Beach.
Despite the fact that the NFT platform was built in just four months, the journey to get there was not without its challenges. In their Journal post, the gallery shared:
“We work with a number of artists who want to make NFTs, so building a dedicated platform where they can show their work was an obvious next step for us. It will allow us to create the optimum environment in which our artists’ work is shown, ensuring the highest quality interface and user experience. By offering artists’ work on our own platform we can better support them in setting appropriate prices and by managing the sales process more seamlessly than through third parties. We will occasionally work with other platforms, as we do now, on a case-by-case basis depending on what makes the most sense for the artist and project.”
What does this mean for the future?
Pace Gallery has always prided itself on being at the forefront of innovation, whether it be through establishing an early outpost at the heart of Silicon Valley, or through support for artists who are exploring the intersection of art and technology.
Their first foray into NFTs was through the support of John Gerrard’s Western Flag NFT, “an artwork classified by Gerrard as the first “superneutral” NFT in the marketplace, aiming to create an entirely ethical and radically transparent NFT sale to capture the philosophy of the Blockchain.”
It seems that NFTs and digital artworks are slowly taking over the art world, making for a historical shift that we are witnessing as we go about our lives.
Photo via Pace Gallery, Lucas Samaras