Almine Rech

In 1997, Almine Rech opened her own gallery in the 13th arrondissement of Paris, which then moved to the Marais district in 2006. Then came the years of expansion: first Brussels in 2009, then London in 2014, New York in 2016 and finally Shanghai in 2019. In January 2021, she opened a second space in Paris, avenue Matignon. Exhibiting only one artist at the very beginning of her career, Almin Rech now represents 84 artists, some of whom are world-famous, such as Jeff Koons, Julian Schnabel, Richard Prince or Jannis Kounellis. More than ever, the gallery continues to support and invest in a new generation of talent.

Almine Rech

In 1997, Almine Rech opened her own gallery in the 13th arrondissement of Paris, which then moved to the Marais district in 2006. Then came the years of expansion: first Brussels in 2009, then London in 2014, New York in 2016 and finally Shanghai in 2019. In January 2021, she opened a second space in Paris, avenue Matignon. Exhibiting only one artist at the very beginning of her career, Almin Rech now represents 84 artists, some of whom are world-famous, such as Jeff Koons, Julian Schnabel, Richard Prince or Jannis Kounellis. More than ever, the gallery continues to support and invest in a new generation of talent.

Contemporary Art

64 Rue de Turenne
75003 Paris, FR
+33 145 83 71 90
[email protected]

18 avenue Matignon
75008 Paris, FR
+33 143 87 30 66
[email protected]

Abdijstraat 20 Rue de l’Abbaye
1050 Brussels BE
+32 26 48 56 84
[email protected]

Grosvenor Hill, Broadbent House
W1K 3JH London UK
T +44 20 72 87 36 44
[email protected]

39 East 78th Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10075, USA
+1 (212) 804 8496
[email protected]

27 Huqiu Road, 2nd Floor
200002 Shanghai, China
+86 21 63120260
[email protected]

Matisse Nature Morte aux aubergines
Battleship Potemkin (1925)

Directed by Sergei Eisenstein
Script by Nina Agadzhanova
Actors: Aleksandr Antonov, Vladimir Barskiy, Grigoriy Aleksandrov

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Interview with Almine Rech ~ Founder

Samia Saouma Galerie Max Hetlzer

Courtesy of Almine Rech. Photo: Léa Crespi

Interview by Pauline Loeb-Obrenan, founder of Artfairmag

It was in 1989 that Almine Rech truly began her career as a gallery owner by making the bold choice to exhibit a single artwork – a Light Piece – by the American James Turrell. Today, she is one of the most influential female art dealers, owning 6 galleries on three contients. We spoke with this powerful woman, member of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, about how she came so far, her present and future.

artfairmag: Almine, you have created a gallery which is today world famous and acknowledged. Can you tell us more about your background and how you got there?

Almine Rech: I don’t have an art background but my parents were both very sensitive to aesthetic. My mother was partly Vietnamese and one of our ancestors a most famous calligraphist and my father painted during weekends when I was a child. Later, he stopped as he had too much work. He was in fashion business and it became a more and more active one. But he would still take us to museums during weekends in Paris and other places where we’d go.

artfairmag: You represent very well-established names such as Jeff Koons, Julian Schnabel or Franz West, and you have launched the careers of many artists like James Turrel or Alexis Israel. What were your selection criteria from the very beginning of your activity? Do you still have the time to discover emerging talent?

A. R.: I always tried to have an open mind and no dogma like movement, artists generation… I have time to discover artists because I keep time for that. For me it’s the most exciting part of my profession.

artfairmag: As an art dealer, especially since you once wanted to become a painter, what role do you play in the creative work of your artists? Do you have a say in what they produce?

A. R.: When an artist asks my opinion I’m very interested in discussing, sometimes I start the discussion myself when something new happens in the work and I’m intrigued. Though, I don’t think it influences the work.

artfairmag: You began by showcasing conceptual and minimal art. Today, you represent a much wider variety of art. What would you say is the DNA of Almine Rech?

A. R.: The corner stone of the gallery is the belief in art, wishing to show artists deeply committed to their creation, whatever the subject of their work is. Whether they succeed in imposing themselves depends on so many reasons, it’s another conversation.

“I have time to discover artists because I keep time for that. For me, it’s the most exciting part of my profession.”

artfairmag: After expanding to Brussels, London, New York and Shanghai, you have just opened a new exhibition space in Paris. Why this choice? Is Paris still an important place in the art market?

A. R.: Yes, very important. It’s a major city of culture, with fantastic museums and this makes it attractive to art lovers.

artfairmag: Before Covid-19, you were participating in many art fairs all over the world. When the art market returns to a kind of normality, are you thinking of reducing your participation or on the contrary are you eager to start again as before?

A. R.: I wish we go back to a safe situation that allows traveling again,visiting museums, fairs.
It might be a bit different, like after every crisis it happens some things change or new ones start.

artfairmag: Almine Rech is part of the powerful and highly mediatized mega-galleries. What were the advantages and disadvantages of being a woman to achieve this?

A. R.: From the beginning I didn’t feel I had problems directly related to being a woman. I was very decided to continue my work anyway and never felt blocked.

artfairmag: To conclude this interview, could you present us an artwork – which may or may not come from your gallery – that is special to you?

A. R.: I’ll choose a movie by Sergei Eisenstein, Potemkine, it’s one of the artworks that made the biggest impression on me, it covers so many human, aesthetic and political aspects. I saw it first when I was a teenager, its imprint on me hasn’t diminished.

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