Founded in 1987 in Soho, David Nolan Gallery specializes in modern and contemporary works by an array of international artists working in a variety of media. The gallery’s original mission was to exhibit contemporary works on paper along with painting and sculptures by American and European artists, and to produce monographs together with tightly curated historical exhibitions. The first solo show at the gallery – an exhibition of early drawings by Sigmar Polke - was followed by presentations of now-canonical German artists, including Georg Baselitz, Martin Kippenberger, Dieter Roth, Gerhard Richter, Rosemarie Trockel and Albert Oehlen. In this same period, the gallery began showing works by major American artists including William Copley, Carroll Dunham, Fred Sandback, Al Taylor and Barry Le Va.
In 1993, the gallery had its first exhibition with Richard Artschwager, which was succeeded the following year with a show of work by Scottish artist Ian Hamilton Finlay. In the late 1990s, the gallery introduced two further key American artists to the program, Jim Nutt and Peter Saul. Further growth was marked by the addition of New York-based artists Mel Kendrick and Steve DiBenedetto in the mid-2000s, a time that the gallery also began working more closely with the George Grosz Estate.
In 2007, the gallery mounted an important survey of contemporary Romanian art, which included work by Adrian Ghenie and Gabriela Vanga, alongside Ciprian Mureşan and Şerban Savu, both of whom continue to work with the gallery. The following year saw the gallery’s expansion and relocation to Chelsea, a move that was inaugurated by a major Artschwager exhibition along with the addition of gallery artists Julia Fish, David Hartt, Jonathan Meese, Wardell Milan, and Jorinde Voigt in the coming decade.
In Spring 2020, the gallery announced its newest location on the Upper East Side in a historic townhouse built in 1902 by architectural firm Buchman and Fox, inaugurated with an exhibition of works on paper by Jorinde Voigt.