Paul Allen’s Brand-New Art Space in Seattle Scheduled to Close in March

The space is opening on December 5 with an ambitious group exhibition.

Paul Allen's Pivot Art + Culture. Photo courtesy of Vulcan.
Paul Allen's Pivot Art + Culture. Photo courtesy of Vulcan.

Sources close to Paul Allen say his new Seattle nonprofit arts institution Pivot Art + Culture—slated to open on December 5—is already scheduled to close in March.

The art venture of the art collector and software billionaire was announced in July amid much fanfare.

A press release at the time described Pivot as a “nonprofit arts institution focused on engaging with audiences in the Pacific Northwest and internationally through an ongoing program of exhibitions, projects, and installations of contemporary and modern art.”

The statement added that “exhibitions in 2016 will include a mixture of solo artist exhibitions and group exhibitions, curated by artists and international curators.”

Software billionaire and art philanthropist Paul Allen had a change of heart. Photo: Robin Twomey via Newsweek

Software billionaire and art philanthropist Paul Allen.
Photo: Robin Twomey via Newsweek.

However, according to the Stranger, in a surprising u-turn, Pivot will only present occasional exhibitions and will not function as an “ongoing” arts center.

Only last month, Pivot’s British director Ben Heywood said that the institution would organize five to six exhibitions a year within the impressive 2,600-square-foot space located in the Allen Institute building in Seattle’s South Lake Union district.

Interestingly, the statement on Pivot’s website seems to have changed too. It now describes itself as “a concept space.”

Director Ben Heywood only recently said Pivot would stage up to six exhibitions a year. Photo: The Stranger

Director Ben Heywood recently said Pivot would stage up to six exhibitions a year.
Photo: The Stranger.

Unnamed sources close to the institution’s staff have reportedly revealed that employees were only recently notified about Allen’s change of heart.

In any case, Pivot’s inaugural exhibition “Figure in Process: de Kooning to Kapoor, 1955-2015”  is still going ahead. A PR representative for Pivot, however, told the Stranger that “the next show has not yet been determined” and that “future exhibitions aren’t yet confirmed.”

Perhaps Allen has decided to focus his energy and resources on his newly founded Seattle Art Fair instead, after the event’s successful inaugural edition in July.

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