Mega-Gallery Pace Expands Its International Footprint With a New Office in Berlin Led by Former König Partner Laura Attanasio

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Pace Gallery is making a surprise expansion into Berlin with the appointment of Laura Attanasio as the gallery’s senior director, leading the establishment of a new private office in the German capital to explore the untapped potential of the region in Europe.

The announcement comes ahead of next week’s Art Basel, where Attanasio, a former partner of König Galerie, will be working in Pace’s booth at the Swiss mega fair.

Germany and the German-speaking regions in Europe have become more appealing to global art market players in recent years. Sotheby’s, for example, re-established its presence in the country with the opening of a Cologne office in 2021. Adding to the city’s appeal for Pace is the fact that half a dozen of the gallery’s artists are based in Berlin.

“It’s become clear from our many artists living and working in Berlin that there still is so much untapped potential in Germany and German-speaking Europe,” Samanthe Rubell, the president of Pace, told Artnet News, adding that Attanasio will be key to the gallery’s ambition in the region. But it is understood that Pace, which already has spaces in Geneva and London, has no plans to set up a full-fledge gallery in Berlin yet.

Institutional projects and new business opportunities are among the top priorities, according to the gallery’s statement.

The appointment of Attanasio also coincided with the challenges facing König after its founder, Johann König, was accused of sexual misconduct. The German dealer has denied the allegations, but a number of artists on König’s roster parted ways with the dealer after the case was reported in in August last year.

In November, Artnet News reported that artists including Katharina Grosse, Corinne Wasmuht, and Scandinavian duo Elmgreen & Dragset were no longer represented by König, but they declined to comment on whether their departures had anything to do with the scandal.

Prior to joining Pace, Attanasio became König’s first partner in 2022 and led the gallery’s sales team. According to Pace’s announcement, Attanasio worked closed with Grosse, Elmgreen & Dragset, and Alicja Kwade, among other major artists during her time with König. Kwade’s name can still be found on König’s website as of Monday. Elmgreen & Dragset is already on Pace’s roster, while the gallery hosted Kwade’s first solo in Seoul in December 2021.

Attanasio is excited about her new role with Pace. “We will expand Pace’s presence in Europe, forging strong relationships with artists, museums, curators, and collectors alike and contribute to the vibrant art scene in Berlin,” she said in a statement, “elevating the city’s cultural landscape to new heights.”

 

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