Star Sculptor Alicja Kwade Joins Pace Gallery, Leaving König in the Process

Alicja Kwade, a sculptor whose installations composed of spherical rocks and mirrors have been exhibited widely, has joined Pace, a mega-gallery whose roster has rapidly grown over the past few years.

Kwade, a star of the Berlin art scene, will continue to be represented by New York’s 303 Gallery, Paris’s Mennour gallery, and Reykjavik’s i8 Gallery. But she will be leaving a gallery that has long represented her: the Berlin-based König Galerie, making her one of the many artists to have departed that enterprise over the last year.

König’s founder, Johann König, was accused of sexual misconduct in a Die Zeit article in 2022. He denied the allegations and vigorously contested the reporting in court, successfully lobbying to have portions of the piece redacted. A range of artists, from Monica Bonvicini to Elmgreen & Dragset, left König in the months after the article’s publication.

It was not clear what had spurred Kwade’s defection to Pace, which recently hired König partner Laura Attanasio to lead its Berlin office, yet her departure will be significant for König, as she was one of that gallery’s biggest artists, with nine solo shows held there since 2009. She is the most significant Berlin-based artist to join Pace since Attanasio’s hire.

Many of Kwade’s works take the form of sculptural installations that consider forms of perception, often with an eye toward self-reflection and introspective psychological states. They have appeared in a range of biennials, from the Venice Biennale to Desert X, and in venues such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s roof and Paris’s Place Vendôme. More recently, Kwade tokenized her DNA as an NFT project.

People staring at a sculpture composed of spherical rocks atop and between a metal armature.

Alicja Kwade’s Met installation.

Photo Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

A survey of her art is currently on view at the Lehmbruck Museum in Germany. Next year, she is slated to have solo shows at the Museum Voorlinden in the Netherlands and Tai Kwun in Hong Kong.

Marc Glimcher, CEO of Pace, said in a statement, “Alicja is an artist who reveals the unknowable. In her practice, Alicja transforms our sense of perception and draws attention to nature’s relationship to human existence. There is deep affinity with our program in the philosophical and spiritual nature of Kwade’s work, and I’m honored to welcome her to our program.”

This is the tenth artist that Pace has taken on over the past year, with others including the filmmaker and artist David Lynch and the young British painter Pam Evelyn, whose abstractions notched a new auction record last week when one sold at Christie’s London for $137,480.