While the NFT (non-fungible token) space is and for the foreseeable future will likely remain an untamed corner of the art market, there have been moves by some of the most recognisable dealers to curate and sell artistic digital assets. The most recent comes from mega-gallery Pace, which will launch its custom-built NFT platform, Pace Verso, on 22 November.
The platform’s initial drop will feature works from the artist Lucas Samaras’s XYZ series. Collectors won’t have to wait long for the second drop, works by Glenn Kaino and Studio Drift artists Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta, which come on 29 November to coincide with the gallery physically presenting NFTs in its booth at Art Basel Miami Beach.
“Our philosophy is to build the tools our artists need,” says Marc Glimcher, Pace’s president and chief executive. “We became interested in creating a dedicated NFT platform for Pace when our artists expressed curiosity about making NFTs, and after we supported their first few NFT projects with other platforms.” Glimcher says that while the gallery’s artists will be able to promote and sell NFTs on Pace Verso, they will also continue to support standalone NFT projects with other partners.
According to an announcement, Pace Verso was created in partnership with the Palm Network, a new NFT-optimized blockchain network, built for the Ethereum ecosystem. The Palm Network offers reduced gas costs, fast transactions and a reduction in energy consumption of more than 99.99% when compared to proof of work systems.
Pace Verso follows a number of high-tech projects from the gallery, including the PaceX initiative that eventually spun off into the independent entity Superblue, which offers ticketed experiential art installations at its Miami headquarters and in exhibitions elsewhere. The gallery first dipped its toe into the NFT space last spring, when it partnered with MakersPlace to offer a series of NFTs by Swiss artist Urs Fischer.