Modern gallery owners on how the art world is changing

The art industry has been hit harder by the pandemic than most other industries. Thanks to the ability to adapt quickly, the industry not only “survived”, but also got given a completely new lease on life. Digital platforms are emerging, and there is an increasing focus on local art and local artists.

We would like to share the views of representatives of three well-known galleries with you: Victoria Miro, Kamel Mennour, and SETAREH about the future prospects and 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, with 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 spaces designed by Claudio Silvestrin in a building on Wharf Road in East London.

Gallery representative Glenn Scott Wright is convinced that today’s realities are no longer restrictions, but the adoption of new approaches, a quick 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. This is a microsite of the best artists that work with both sides. In addition, the unique augmented reality app Vortic Collect was launched, with which people can actually enter the gallery space and almost touch the beauty. This is much more interesting than just opening works of art on the screen, studying their history and details statically. In the app, you can walk around Grayson Perry’s sculpture and see it from all angles, you can walk up to Njideka Akunyili Crosby’s painting and look at it from all sides.

Glen Scott Wright says that most of their regular customers wrote to him very similar letters, the general meaning of which can be summarized in two words: “We are ready.” Yes, now it is impossible to travel at the same pace. Yes, in the past it was rare to buy art after digital viewing. But the world is changing, as are its conditions, and this is an extremely interesting paradigm shift.

Kamel Mennour, Paris & London

Another respected gallery owner in the world, Kamel Mennour, has been working in the field of art for more than 20 years. There are 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. 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.

This can be understood, the gallery owner literally returned to Paris the title of being the center of modern art, lost after the Second World War. Instead of getting something in New York, Mennour created something stable and powerful from scratch in his native Paris. He is used to an active rhythm, consisting of a series of continuous meetings with collectors and dealers, exhibitions and biennales. The new times have postponed everything. 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 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”.

SETAREH

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 the gallery, which today has three rooms in Düsseldorf, including two on the city’s largest avenue, Königsallee.