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Todd Kelly

This online exhibition, titled Wildflowers in the Concrete Jungle, highlights artworks by staff across four of Pace’s global locations. On view from Wednesday, August 17 through Saturday, September 17, this presentation amplifies the diverse lived experiences of Pace’s staff through an exhibition format that is accessible to a wide audience.

Featuring 39 works by 31 staff members from Pace’s New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, and Geneva galleries, Wildflowers in the Concrete Jungle serves as a group portrait of the creativity and imaginative power of the gallery’s staff. Focusing on ideas and representations of home amid various ongoing global crises, the exhibition facilitates communal celebrations of beauty, spotlighting the unique backgrounds and familial histories of Pace’s staff members.

For many, home is not a fixed place. Banan Al-Nasery, a staff member at Pace in Geneva, describes a kaleidoscope of movement and beauty in her video work Made Some Friends Along the Way (2021), saying, “Having experienced war, immigration, and their attendant changes and adaptations, I was able to realize how love can be found in the collapse of separations, frontiers, and distances: in movement.”

For others, the idea of home is linked to explorations of spiritual connections and imagined altered realities. Tapestry of Home (2022), a work by Joyce Lee, a staff member at Pace’s Hong Kong gallery, “invokes thetheme of a spiritual home where subjects drawn from Chinese imperial art and iconography represent thelove, harmony, and blessings that sustain us daily.”

Some works in the show make use of abstraction as a tool to navigate memory and emotion. Jason Peabody, a staff member at Pace in Los Angeles, states, “The inspiration behind The Departure of Our Creature Comforts Into Their Own Voids (2022) evolved out of observing loss and change of comfort all over the world. The pandemic, civil rights protests, armed conflict, and countless political absurdities have kept us at home, prevented us from going home, and in many cases, stripped people of their homes.”

Works in this online exhibition traverse time, cultures, and global histories to bring us to central connecting point: art. As Amanda Kopp from Pace’s New York gallery says, “Painting evokes a sense of comfort that, forme, is similar to home, as it's something I've always been able to come back to.”

Continuing the tradition of Pace staff exhibitions, Wildflowers in the Concrete Jungle follows the 2021 group exhibition Atmospheres in New York. This online exhibition is presented by the Exhibition Engagement sub-committee of Pace’s Culture & Equity Committee.


Todd Kelly

"Each piece I make begins with the structure of traditional painting: canvas over wooden stretcher bars. I then challenge that tradition by exasperating compositional norms, piercing the canvas surface, collaging photographs, adding sculptural elements, and including various unconventional materials. The collaged images are chosen for their formal qualities directly from my iPhone camera roll as a traditional artist would choose colors from a palette. The images depict my living and working spaces and a variety of candid moments from my life, guaranteeing that however far from tradition my work may travel, it feels very much like 'home' for me." ~ Todd Kelly


Image: Todd Kelly, "Golden Boy Rice Cake," 2022, oil acrylic, collage, brown rice, blue tinted mirror, canvas and wooden stretcher bars, 24" × 18" × 2" (61 cm × 45.7 cm × 5.1 cm).