Sources say that this lovingly remodeled new museum-quality space at the base of the Allen Brain Institute in South Lake Union is now being looked at as a high-end retail space or a restaurant.
Sources say that this lovingly remodeled new museum-quality space at the base of the Allen Brain Institute in South Lake Union is now being looked at as a high-end retail space or a restaurant. Courtesy Vulcan Inc

As if the news coming out of Paul Allen's corner this morning weren't bad enough—officials say the enviro/art/science/music mega-philanthropist's megayacht has destroyed most of a Caribbean coral reef—there's more.

Sources close to Pivot now say for sure that the contemporary art center that Paul Allen promised to Seattle last year, called Pivot Art + Culture, which opened on December 5, has now officially laid off its staff and Allen's company Vulcan's real estate arm is looking at potential high-end retail or restaurant uses for the space. (Here is my feature on Pivot's heralded beginnings, here is my first report upon hearing it might close back in November. Back then I asked Vulcan and Pivot why it might close; their only response was that the future was not set yet. I am trying again today for an explanation—I just sent an email to check.)

Left to right at Pivot: A Kehinde Wiley very close to a David Hockney very close to a Wayne Thiebaud (with an Alberto Giacometti wedged in there).
Left to right at Pivot: A Kehinde Wiley very close to a David Hockney very close to a Wayne Thiebaud (with an Alberto Giacometti wedged in there). Courtesy of Vulcan Inc
Pivot, on the ground floor of the Allen Brain Institute, was remodeled at a cost of $5 million to be a thoroughly museum-quality venue, with climate control and security for million-dollar artworks.

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But the first exhibition was apparently to be the last.

That exhibition, with works by Lucien Freud, David Hockney, Cecily Brown, and many others, several on loan from private collections around the country, is called The Figure in Process. It's thoroughly weird, and you should definitely go see it.

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