Conversation with an Art Dealer

by Carolyn Edlund

Lianne Pierce is a British curator and founder of Rhoko online gallery. We spoke about her current direction, the state of the art world, and cultivating collectors.


Art Dealer Lianne Pierce

Lianne Pierce opened Rhoko Gallery to share her personal aesthetic with an appreciative audience.


AS:  What led you to becoming an art dealer?

LP:  I’ve been fascinated with art from a very early age, and studied it at school and university. I spent most of my working life in animation and film, but decided I wanted to follow my passion for art and design and become involved in collecting and selling art. I’ve always had interesting pieces on my walls. Friends would often ask me to source art for their homes, so the business just grew from that really.

AS:  How have you connected with art collectors?

LP:  The use of social media and discovering collectors online, has been imperative for a relatively quick way to befriend and build relationships with art collectors and dealers all over the world. It’s a very effective way to find a whole manner of things you’re searching for. The internet opens up many possibilities in that respect. I’ve also met and become friends with collectors through travelling and sourcing trips. This has to be my favourite part of the process – meeting like-minded people and talking art!


Le Corbusier print offered by Rhoko Gallery

Vintage lithographic poster of a Le Corbusier exhibition is for sale by Rhoko Gallery


AS:  What type of art do you specialize in, and why?

LP:  I mainly specialise in the modern masters; they’ve always held a strong resonance for me. Whilst studying art, I was drawn to the modernist styles like cubism, expressionism and fauvism. I find these movements much more in keeping with my personal aesthetic, which is why I mainly choose to curate art from these artists. I also like to support contemporary artists and have been adding more work from current artists to the collection.

AS:  Have you cultivated any partners or collaborators as you source art?

LP:  I work very closely and have become good friends with Galerie Mourlot in New York. There’s a wonderfully rich history to the Mourlot name; they’ve worked with artists such as Matisse, Picasso and Chagall since the 1930’s. They produced limited edition lithographs for exhibitions, which in turn opened the door for everyone to be able to collect art from these huge modern giants.

Due to the nature of lithography, the artists would work very closely with the master printers at Atelier Mourlot, who developed techniques to create striking prints and were often involved in the process from start to finish. These pieces were affordable and highly collectible works of art from the likes of Picasso, Le Corbusier and Joan Miró.

I have also developed wonderful relationships with some contemporary artists from around the world. We have collaborated to offer limited edition prints and works of art that are exclusive to Rhoko. This is a really exciting and interesting part of what I do, and I would love to support and offer a platform for artists to sell their work.


Rhoko Gallery Instagram feed

Rhoko Gallery Instagram feed displays Pierce’s curated choices.


AS:  How do you see your place in the art world as a younger female dealer?

LP:  The art world has unfortunately often had a reputation for pretence and arrogance. I have witnessed this myself in certain situations and circles. It’s usually a very male dominated world, and I would like to offer a more accepting and less intimidating way for people to buy and learn about art.

The Mourlot lithographs are a wonderful example of incredibly famous artists wanting to create artwork that would appeal to the common man on the street and not just the wealthy upper classes, who were predominantly the only people seeing and collecting these artists’ work at the time. I believe art should be enjoyed by absolutely everyone.


Lithograph of Matisse exhibition

Lithographs in Rhoko’s collection include work by Matisse.


AS:  Your concept moves beyond the gallery and makes a more direct connection with the online buyer. Do you believe this is the future of buying art?

LP:  The online gallery has been a great platform to make connections with people all over the world. Many of my sales come from international customers and clients. It’s certainly a much more effective and affordable way for independent art dealers to make a living. There is something really special about curating an art exhibition in a beautiful gallery, though. You do get a sense of the art from online pictures, but it is always better to see the quality of the pieces in person.

Building up trust with online customers and being able to reach a wider audience is certainly appealing. I will continue to host an online gallery. I will be doing pop up exhibitions worldwide in the coming years. Merging the contemporary and modern masters in carefully curated exhibitions will be fun and informative.


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  1. Great article Carolyn! Well done to you Lianne. It will be interesting to see where you take your collection. I hope to stay in touch and have signed up for your newsletter. Thank you Carolyn.

    • Hi Cindy! I always love speaking with artists who have taken their businesses to a high level (like yourself!) and sharing that with my readers. Lianne has embarked on a fascinating project and my intuition says she will do well with this. I wish her every success.

  2. Valluri Venkata Swamy says

    Great article Carolyn! Well done to you Lianne. It will be interesting if Ms Lianne looks at my FLICKR Link for collection of my paintings. They are figurative and semi-abstract.. I hope to stay in touch with you.

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