In 2018 the gallery moved into the Piper Building in Fulham, a primarily residential building, allowing the gallery the ability to provide a private and personalized experience for visitors and collectors. Collaborating on institutional exhibitions, hosting pop-ups, and offering private viewings, as well as maintaining a rigorous exhibition program (in-person and online), Plus One Gallery is able to platform and create a focus for a wide variety of hyperrealist art—from still life, urban and natural landscape, and figurative—illustrating the breadth of the style.
We reached out to the gallery’s owner and director Maggie Bollaert to learn more about the decision to focus on hyperrealist art as well as the specific ways the gallery has embraced technology.
The gallery specializes in British and international hyperrealism—what inspired this focus?
When we opened the gallery in 2001, Colin and wanted to specialize in a specific genre to give our gallery a strong identity, we both liked figurative art, so hyperrealism was the perfect movement to build the identity of Plus One Gallery. As the natural successor to photorealism and Pop art, hyperrealism is truly a contemporary and dynamic art movement that evolves with the times which not only keeps it relevant but also exciting to us and our clients.
Within the realm of hyperrealist art, the gallery’s roster of artists presents an incredibly diverse range of subject matter and individual styles. What do you look for in artists you represent or show?
We are very proud of the roster of artists that we represent, showcasing some of the best British and international hyperrealist artists working today specializing in landscape, portrait, and still life. The gallery maintains a high standard of painters and sculptors, representing a number of masters within the field alongside an array of emerging artists as well as a select number of original Photorealist artists from the 1960s. It is important for us to keep a very diverse range of subject matter within each category to keep it exciting and appealing to our collectors. Each artist has their individual style that makes their works different, unique, and recognizable.
Like many galleries, Plus One Gallery adopted virtual reality exhibitions and other tech-forward modes of showing art and connecting with collectors. What has the reception to these digital advancements been like from collectors you work with?
Throughout the pandemic we embraced technology even more than we had before as circumstances made this essential; we created online experiences so that we could still connect with potentially new and existing clients. We have regular virtual reality exhibitions, FaceTime/ WhatsApp/Zoom viewings, and an augmented reality function on your phone where you can view a painting on your wall or a sculpture by your window. We have benefited enormously by embracing the digital advancements available today and we intend to continue to do so so that we can cater to our clients’ and artists’ needs going forward. We have noticed that collectors really enjoy being able to see what a work would look like in person through the VR shows, video viewings, and the augmented reality tool.
With the gallery’s relocation to the Piper Building in Fulham in 2018, it now operates on a by-appointment model. What are some of the benefits you’ve observed operating this way?
We do operate by appointment but not exclusively. The gallery is open Monday to Friday from 10 am to 6 pm and we do have many walk-ins without previous arrangements. The feedback we have is that collectors prefer booking their visits to the gallery in advance, especially if coming from abroad. They really enjoy the experience of having the gallery and our attention to themselves. Once a collector makes an appointment to come to the gallery, we make sure that the works they are interested in are hanging on the walls.
Of all the exhibitions the gallery has presented, do you have a favorite, or one you found particularly memorable?
We take a lot of time and care in planning our exhibitions to make sure that each one is perfect and successful, so I would find it very difficult to choose one.
Learn more about Plus One Gallery, London, here.