In 1990, Mario Cristiani, Lorenzo Fiaschi, and Maurizio Rigillo founded Galleria Continua to cultivate a bridge between historical and contemporary art. This journey began in the Tuscan town of San Gimignano, Italy, and since then, has expanded to encompass eight physical gallery locations: in Beijing; Les Moulins, France; Havana, Cuba; Rome; São Paulo; Paris; and Dubai. As it has expanded, the gallery’s program has become global in scope.
“Our artists come from all continents and generations; we therefore embrace differences in our artists’ work,” the founders explained, spotlighting their diverse and inclusive approach to art. This ethos has been central to the gallery’s identity, marked by a commitment to evolution and a keen interest in public engagement with contemporary art. Over the years, the gallery has worked with a wide range of notable artists, including Ai Weiwei, Antony Gormley, Anish Kapoor, Chen Zhen, and Daniel Buren, among many others.
The gallery’s approach to artist collaboration is personal, noting that they often become “friends with each of them first before embarking on a professional pathway together.” Integrating Artsy into the gallery operations has broadened its reach to different audiences beyond the gallery’s physical locations. “A new audience has the chance to explore a curated selection of our artworks, which are available for purchase online,” the founders stated, noting the platform’s pivotal role in expanding their audience.
Galleria Continua has been able to leverage Artsy’s online platform to nurture new relationships with collectors worldwide. This is exemplified by the success experienced by the Argentine sculptor Leandro Erlich, who “skillfully merges reality and illusion in his creations.” The founders emphasized how the artists’ “Cloud” series of sculptures has captivated a broad audience on Artsy. “A new audience has the chance to explore a curated selection of our artworks, which are available for purchase online,” they said. The gallery’s founders also leverage a suite of Artsy tools to finesse their broader sales strategies, which are undergirded by the data that is made available to them.
“On Artsy, users are strongly encouraged to enrich their profiles with vital information, such as their geographical location or the names of artists they currently collect,” they said. “This allows us to anticipate logistical dynamics and develop a deeper understanding of the collector’s preferences. Another noteworthy tool is the access to analytics on the inquiries we receive. This feature enables us to consistently assess and refine our sales strategy.”
For Galleria Continua, Artsy is ultimately a bridge to engage digitally with art enthusiasts and collectors worldwide. One “invaluable” tool is the Conversations feature, which enables them to “directly communicate with potential clients.”
Likewise, the gallery’s physical expansions have all been motivated by the shifting art world. “In the last few years, the art world has decentralized, and there’s a lot of work going on from the ‘peripheral’ areas of the world,” they explained. “Great art isn’t only found in big cities and the gallery has always foretold this, evident in our decision to open spaces in diverse locations.”
As the art world becomes increasingly decentralized, Galleria Continua still prioritizes meaningful connections between artists and collectors. With Artsy, they are able to turn initial connections with potential clients into lasting connections. “The platform not only facilitates the sharing of information but also serves as a tool for building meaningful connections and relationships,” the founders said. “By engaging with both passionate art enthusiasts and esteemed collectors, we have successfully cultivated a network founded on a shared love for art.”
This strategic integration of digital platforms like Artsy—combined with a commitment to fostering strong relationships with artists—positions Galleria Continua as a forward-thinking player in the contemporary art world. As the gallery continues to expand and evolve, the founders are able to use Artsy to elevate the diverse art forms and cultures that have become a cornerstone of their success.
“Artsy unquestionably plays a crucial role in increasing awareness for both our artists and gallery within the art community,” the founders said. “Artsy goes beyond the confines of physical art galleries and fairs, therefore bringing us closer to people who cannot, for whatever reason, be in or come to those spaces. Our artists and our gallery can, therefore, resonate with a wider and more accessible audience.”