Founded in 2012, Richard Saltoun Gallery is based in Mayfair, London. The gallery specializes in post-war and contemporary art, with a specialism in Feminist, Conceptual, and Performance artists from the 1960s onwards. It is guided by a strong focus on rediscovering the work of important yet under-recognized artists.
Since its inception, Richard Saltoun Gallery has been driven by an interest in social responsibility and is now widely recognized for its critically and socially-engaged program. In 2019, the gallery launched a year-long initiative titled 100% Women that aimed to address gender inequality in the art world.
In 2022 Richard Saltoun opened its first international venue in the center of Rome, Via Margutta.
Roman Allegories & Greek Mythologies, Eleanor Antin, Giorgio De Chirico
“I discovered the space that houses the Rome branch while walking along Via Margutta on my way to the dry cleaners.”
In conversation with Richard Saltoun
What is the value offered to contemporary society by the art on display in galleries? What is the role of a gallery owner in Italy today?
I don’t think galleries have a social role any longer, nor do they have anything in particular to offer the society of today. We mostly organise exhibitions for ourselves, featuring artists who pique our curiosity; then, if they also happen to be appreciated by the public, that’s wonderful! But this should never be taken for granted.
When and how did you open your gallery?
The London branch was established in 2012 and was the result of hard work and a bit of luck.
Tell us about the space you’ve chosen for your gallery and the context in which it is set.
I discovered the space that houses the Rome branch while walking along Via Margutta on my way to the dry cleaners. The iconic street has always been considered the “artists’ street”, and it’s here that great figures such as Picasso and Twombly had their studios. This street perfectly embodies the capital’s unique charm.
Why did you choose this city?
In Rome you can only fail. Everything has already been seen and nobody is surprised by anything anymore. And besides, Rome is the city of great food and great sex!
Your programme: what kind of art do you focus on?
The gallery handles post Second World War and contemporary art, with a focus on feminist art. We had the great fortune to launch the Roman branch with an exhibition on Bertina Lopes, one of the greatest African artists, who lived just a ten-minute walk from the gallery. Unfortunately, we never met her, but we are honoured to be the first private gallery to dedicate a solo exhibition to her in Rome, her hometown for over fifty years.