The art world flocked to London this week to witness a cluster of New York galleries making their debut in the British capital. Among the star-studded openings was that of Pace Gallery, which inaugurated its major new space in the west wing of the Royal Academy with a comparative exhibition of Mark Rothko and Hiroshi Sugimoto. The show pairs the former's late, dark abstract paintings with the latter's foggy seascapes.
The opening party saw many boldfaced names, including actors Rebecca Hall and Jude Law, Tate director Sir Nicolas Serota, and curator Hans Ulrich Obrist. Rothko's children, Christopher Rothko and Kate Rothko Prizel, were also in attendance. They told the Guardian that their father did not like group shows, "feeling that they only detracted from the concentrated power of his work displayed in its own company." In a joint statement, however, they explained that they made an exception because Sugimoto was "not just a kindred spirit but a soulmate."
Sugimoto, for his part, told the British paper that it was a Rothko exhibition, at the Guggenheim in 1978, that pushed him to explore abstraction in photography. It seems only fitting that the artists' work would finally meet at the gallery's long-awaited official opening in a city it engaged with from afar for so long.
To see pictures from the opening of "Rothko/Sugimoto: Dark Paintings and Seascapes" at Pace Gallery's new London location, click on the slide show button above or click here.