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

Modern 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 quick thinking and an ability to adapt, it seems that the industry is not only going to survive but thrive, with a new wave of revolutionary development.

Digital platforms are emerging, and there is an increasing focus on local art and local artists.

We would like to share with you the views of representatives of three well-known galleries: Victoria Miro, Kamel Mennour and SETAREH, and their opinions about the future prospects of art and the anti-crisis solutions.

Victoria Miro, London & Venice

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

Gallery representative Glenn Scott Wright is convinced that today’s realities are no longer restrictions, but an adaptation towards newness and a quick step towards the future.

Recently, Victoria Miro collaborated with influential art dealer David Zwirner on a project titled ‘Side by Side’. Their venture is a microsite of the best artists that both sides work with. In addition, the unique augmented reality app Vortic Collect was launched, whereby people can actually enter the gallery space and almost touch the beauty. This is much more interesting than just opening works of art on your laptop screen, or statically studying their history and details in a book. With the app, you can walk around Grayson Perry’s sculpture from all sides, you can walk up to Njideka Akunyili Crosby’s painting and look at it from all vistas.

Glen Scott Wright says that he received very similar letters from many of their regular customers, with the general consensus being summarized into three words: “We are ready.”

We can no longer travel at the same pace of development that we did before. The world is evolving, as are its conditions and it is creating an extremely interesting paradigm shift.

Kamel Mennour, Paris & London

Another respected gallery on our list is, Kamel Mennour, and he has been working in the field of art for more than 20 years. Mennour has over 40 revered featured artists, including Tatiana Trouve, Anish Kapoor, Lee Ufan, Daniel Buren, Douglas Gordon, Philippe Parreno, Martin Parr, and Hugo Rondinone. Notorious for the quality of his exhibitions, Mennour goes to great lengths to satisfy the creative ambitions of his protégés, and to defend his hometown of Paris. He 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 often offered me opportunities to open up in a new place. Large spaces in London, New York, or Hong Kong, but I have always refused these offers. I prefer to be extremely stable and strong in my city. I decided a long time ago that being a Parisian is part of the gallery’s DNA,” says Mennour.

Lost and unbuoyed after the Second World War, the gallery owner returned to his native Paris, seeking out the core of the modern art movement, as opposed to finding a bolt hole in somewhere more mainstream such as New York. Here Mennour created something stable and powerful from scratch and became used to an active rhythm, consisting of a series of continuous meetings with collectors and dealers, exhibitions and retrospectives. But the current climate has paused everything. What does Kamel say about 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 all the best for the art. 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 grew out of a third-generation family business specializing in textile art. This background eventually led them to open a gallery, which today has three spaces in Düsseldorf, including two on the city’s largest avenue, Königsallee.