Press and News - GalleryOne celebrates 10 years of success
14th September 2011
This September, GalleryOne celebrates its 10th anniversary. Opening in Barnes, a mere three days before the September 11th attacks, GalleryOne entered the world staring straight into the stony, somewhat preoccupied face of adversity. The art world was, of course not silenced by these events; a point demonstrated by the controversy surrounding Damien Hirstís aesthetic interpretation of current affairs. It was apparent, still, that the nubile gallery would have to shout at some volume to receive attention.
Rather than a plaintive cry, though, the gallery still in its infancy, produced a clear and resonant tone. With early exhibitions of the likes of Picasso, Piper and Bacon, GalleryOne made itself heard. Under the guidance of Marian Orchard-Webb, the gallery chose not to simply draw on the credibility of these established artists in order to gain recognition. Instead it was able to establish its own distinctive voice, by working with young contemporary artists. These artists, in a similar developmental stage to the fledgling gallery, were given the opportunity to grow in confidence, able to hang alongside the masters of their form. As these young contemporaries grew in stature and confidence, so did the gallery. Soon both had outgrown the childhood home.
After nearly five, successful, formative years in Barnes, the decision was taken to relocate to Grayshott. This proved to be a shrewd move, as the rapidly maturing gallery met a new market with a real hunger for contemporary art. It was also in Grayshott that the investment aspect to GalleryOne really took flight. Such artists as Damien Hirst, Sir Peter Blake and Lucien Freud caught the imagination of the new clientele. Unfortunately, while Marian and her team were occupied with enhancing the galleryís already strong reputation, in its new locale, and advising wise investment, American mortgage lenders were busy under-fuelling one aspect of the American Dream. The recession may not have been seen to affect the art industry, with new records constantly being set for the price of articles at auction, but at gallery level, the downturn was palpable.
For GalleryOne though, this did not represent an insurmountable task. The gallery, of course, had to adapt to the change in the market, but through the experience of its director was able to do so without compromising the vision and character already established. It managed to continue to expand upon and cement its client base while maintaining its support for contemporary art.
With the benefit of ten years experience now safely under its collective belt, GalleryOne can look back on what may have proven turbulent years, with pride. To have navigated the turmoil of the past ten years successfully is a not insignificant achievement for a new gallery. The focus now, however, is not on reminiscing, but on progression. GalleryOne then, looks forward, not to tricky teenage years, but to a bright future with a strong sense of direction and identity with which to tackle the many more challenges that may be thrown its way.