Contemporary gallery owners on how the art world is changing | AX Capital

Contemporary gallery owners on how the art world is changing

The art industry has been hit harder by the pandemic than most industries. Thanks to the ability to quickly adapt, the industry not only “survives”, but receives a completely new round of development. Digital platforms are emerging, and the focus on local art and local artists is increasing.

We would like to share with you the opinions of representatives of three famous galleries: Victoria Miro, Kamel Mennour, and SETAREH, regarding future prospects and anti-crisis solutions.

Victoria Miro, London & Venice 

Founded in 1985, Victoria Miro is one of the most significant contemporary galleries in the London art scene, featuring some 40 international artists. The gallery has a boutique space in Venice and a space in Mayfair. Without a doubt, the gallery’s spiritual home is its extraordinary, complex and voluminous spaces designed by Claudio Silvestrin in a building on Wharf Road in East London.

Gallery representative Glen Scott Wright is convinced that today’s realities are no longer about limitations, but about the adoption of new things, about a rapid step into the future.

Recently, Victoria Miro gallery made a joint project with the influential art dealer David Zwirner. It’s called Side by Side. A micro site featuring top artists that both sides work with. In addition, a unique augmented reality application Vortic Collect was launched, with the help of which people can actually enter the spaces of the gallery and virtually touch the beauty. This is much more interesting than just opening artworks on the screen, statically studying their history and details. In the application, you can go around the sculpture of Grayson Perry from all sides, you can approach the painting by Njideka Akunyili Crosby and look at it from all plans.

Glen Scott Wright says that most of their loyal clients have written him very similar letters, the general meaning of which can be summed up in a couple of words: “We are ready.” Yes, now there is no way to travel at the former pace. Yes, in the past it was rare to buy art after digital dating. But the world is changing, as are its conditions., and this is an extremely interesting paradigm shift.

Kamel Mennour, Paris & London

Another respected gallerist in the world, Kamel Mennur, has been working in the art field for over 20 years. He has over 40 artists on his list, including Tatiana Trouve, Anish Kapoor, Lee Ufan, Daniel Buren, Douglas Gordon, Philippe Parreno, Martin Parr, and Hugo Rondinone. Mennour is known for the quality of his program, which goes to great lengths to fulfill the creative ambitions of his protégés, and to defend his hometown of Paris. It has three galleries in the city, two on the left bank and one on the right bank of the Seine, on the prestigious Avenue Matignon, as well as a boutique in the Claridge building.

“People have often offered me opportunities to open up in a new place. Large spaces in London, New York, or Hong Kong, but I have always said no to these proposals. I prefer to be extremely stable and strong in my city. I decided long ago that being a Parisian is part of the gallery’s DNA,” says Mennour.

And it can be understood. The gallery owner literally returned to Paris the title of a center for contemporary art, which had been lost after the Second World War. Instead of getting something in New York, Mennur created something stable and powerful from scratch in his native Paris. He was accustomed to a reactive rhythm, consisting of a series of incessant meetings with collectors and dealers, exhibitions, and biennials. The new time put everything on hold. What does Kamel think of this?

“Every day I think about how lucky I am. A strong intuition left me in France, next to all the artists and galleries. I sincerely wish the best for the arts. But for those galleries that have their places scattered around the world, it will be extremely difficult to manage them in the new realities”.


Founded in 2013 by two brothers – Samandar Setareh and Elham Setareh – SETAREH has grown from a third-generation family business specializing in textile arts. This background eventually led them to open the gallery, which today has three rooms in Düsseldorf, including two on the city’s largest avenue, Königsallee.