| Mary Boone Gallery was founded in New
York in 1977. The first Gallery was a small ground floor space at the renowned Soho address 420 West
Broadway. From the outset, the Gallery was committed to showing the work of innovative young artists.
By the early 1980s, two artists who started with the GalleryDavid Salle
and Julian Schnabelhad attained international recognition. Both were given dual exhibitions with
the Gallery's upstairs neighbor, Leo Castelli Gallery. Matching the heroic output and ambition of these
artists, in September 1981 Mary Boone Gallery expanded by completing a dramatic renovation of a truck
garage directly across the street.
Other prominent New York-based
artists under Gallery representation during this period include Richard Artschwager, Jean Michel
Basquiat, Ross Bleckner, Eric Fischl, Barbara Kruger, Brice Marden, and Richard Tuttle. Many of the most
significant international artists also had solo exhibitions at the Gallery during the 1980s: Georg
Baselitz, James Lee Byars, Francesco Clemente, Jorg Immendorff, Anselm Kiefer, Jannis Kounellis, Malcolm
Morley, Sigmar Polke.
The Gallery intermittently mounted historical
shows such as works by Francis Picabia, an installation by Marcel Broodthaers, 1960s works by Agnes
Martin, the rarely seen paintings of Clyfford Still, and the "Mirror Paintings" of the 1970s by Roy
Lichtenstein. These exhibitions proved to be influential to the upcoming generation of artists.
By the 1990s, Soho had evolved into a lively commercial district no longer
chiefly inhabited by, and nurturing to, artists. In May 1996 the Gallery moved uptown to Fifth Avenue
and 57 Street, long established crossroads of the art world.
|| With the move came the opportunity to
show the work of young artists associated with “downtown” (Will Cotton, Luis
Gispert, Aleksandra Mir, Kevin Zucker) in a new context. The Gallery also initiated the ongoing VIEW
series of exhibitions, in which an invited curator is free to present the work of compelling young
artists alongside contemporary masters.
The Gallery in this manner functions
as a Kunsthalle or project space, stimulating observation and discourse. Through this program the
Gallery has shown and developed relationships with new artists such as Pierre Bismuth, Carol Bove,
Thomas Demand, Douglas Gordon, Aleksandra Mir, and Mika Rottenberg. A number of these artists have
proceeded to mount solo shows at the Gallery.
In November 2000, Mary
Boone Gallery opened an additional space in Manhattan's developing Chelsea art district - again in a
former garage. This Gallery allows for an expanded exhibition schedule and provides facilities for
large-scale works and dramatic installations, such as Peter Halley's explosive hanging of paintings and
wallpaper, Marc Quinn's complete series of carved marble statues of persons with missing limbs, a
four-channel DVD installation by Barbara Kruger, and monumental sculpture by James Lee Byars.
In addition to artists long-associated with the Gallery – Ross
Bleckner, Francesco Clemente, Eric Fischl, Barbara Kruger, David Salle – the gallery now
represents established artists such as Barry Le Va and Keith Sonnier alongside intriguing new artists
like Pierre Bismuth, Patty Chang, Chie Fueki, Luis
Gispert, Hilary Harkness, Jacob Hashimoto, and Aleksandra Mir. Mary Boone Gallery is actively involved
in the secondary market of artists important to its history, including Jean Michel Basquiat, Jeff Koons,
Brice Marden, and Julian Schnabel.