Artforum Gives Us Scenes from the Gallery Opening
Artforum’s Philip Tinari filed this report (and took this picture of arrayed Pace Wildenstein worthies) from the opening of Pace’s new gallery in Beijing:
Paintings by Chinese artists met their Euro-American inspirations in combinations many have imagined but none have—until now—had the capital to realize. And so Wang Guangyi met Warhol, Liu Wei met Basquiat, and Zhang Xiaogang met Koons on temporary white walls beneath sprawling “Bauhaus” semi-arches. At one point, two Chinese artists got into a shouting match inches from a multimillion-dollar Murakami “Skeleton” painting. No one seemed to recognize them, but when Pace staff asked one to leave, the Chinese rumor mill spun into effect, all talk of colonizers come to cash in. “Encounters,” as the show’s title read, have always been fraught.
( . . . )
In the pedestrian promenade between the café and the restaurant, unlikely encounters ensued. At one point I darted over to say hello to Ullens Center director Jérôme Sans, who was holding court in the middle of the street with Guy Ullens himself. Murakami and dealer Tim Blum (who seemed reluctant to let his artist out of his sight for even a minute) formed another cluster. Masami Shiraishi, the founder of Tokyo’s SCAI the Bathhouse, came over to say hello to Sans, too. Not recognizing Ullens, he grunted, “Murakami, I gave him first show,” and asked who the Belgian was. In response, Baron Ullens pointed desperately at the kunsthalle to his left, saying, “See that! My building!” I promptly returned to sitting with the jaded Americans and their talk of fallen empires and surprisingly reasonable Olympic-week plane fares.
A Separate Pace (ArtForum)