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534 West 21st Street
New York, NY 10011
212.255.1105

Also at:
521 West 21st Street
New York, NY 10011
212 255 1105

243A Worth Ave
Palm Beach, FL 33480
561.282.0505

192 Books
192 Tenth Avenue
New York, NY 10011
212 255 4022
Paula Cooper Gallery, the first art gallery in SoHo, opened in 1968 with an exhibition to benefit the Student Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam. The show included works by Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Robert Mangold and Robert Ryman, among others, as well as Sol LeWitt’s first wall drawing. For fifty years, the gallery’s artistic agenda has remained focused on, though not limited to, conceptual and minimal art.

In 1996, the gallery moved to Chelsea to occupy an award-winning redesigned 19th century building. The architect was Richard Gluckman. In 1999, Paula Cooper opened a second exhibition space on 21st Street. In 2020, the Gallery was pleased to open a new, seasonal location in Palm Beach, Florida.

Beyond its immediate artistic program, the gallery has regularly hosted concerts, music symposia, dance performances, book receptions, poetry readings, as well as art exhibitions and special events to benefit various national and community organizations. For 25 years until 2000, the gallery presented a much celebrated series of New Year’s Eve readings of Gertrude Stein’s The Making of Americans and James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake.
Artists Represented:
Carl Andre
Estate of Terry Adkins
Tauba Auerbach
Jennifer Bartlett
Estate of Bernd and Hilla Becher
Céleste Boursier-Mougenot
Cecily Brown
Sophie Calle
Beatrice Caracciolo
Estate of Sarah Charlesworth
Estate of Bruce Conner
Mark di Suvero
Sam Durant
Estate Luciano Fabro
Matias Faldbakken
Ja'Tovia Gary
Liz Glynn
Robert Grosvenor
Hans Haacke
Estate of Douglas Huebler
Michael Hurson
Julian Lethbridge
Estate of Sol LeWitt
Eric N. Mack
Christian Marclay
Justin Matherly
Peter Moore
David Novros
Claes Oldenburg
Claes Oldenburg & Coosje van Bruggen
Paul Pfeiffer
Walid Raad
Veronica Ryan
Joel Shapiro
Rudolf Stingel
Kelley Walker
Dan Walsh
Meg Webster
Robert Wilson
Jackie Winsor
Bing Wright
Carey Young
Works Available By:
Jonathan Borofsky 
Dan Flavin 
Donald Judd 
Sherrie Levine 
Jan Schoonhoven 
Atsuko Tanaka 
Alan Shields

 

 
Exhibition view of Carl Andre, at Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, 2014. © Carl Andre / VAGA 2014. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York.


 
Online Programming

Donald Judd

Donald Judd Online Viewing Room



On the occasion of the Museum of Modern Art’s Donald Judd retrospective, Paula Cooper Gallery is looking back at the gallery’s long relationship with the artist. A brass floor piece by Donald Judd featured in the first exhibition at Paula Cooper Gallery in 1968. This work was purchased by Phillip Johnson, donated to the Museum of Modern Art, and is included in the current retrospective. Since 1968, hundreds of Judd’s works have been shown at Paula Cooper Gallery in over fifty exhibitions. The gallery formally represented Judd for six years, from 1985 to 1991. During this significant period, Judd’s market was dramatically transformed and his reputation even further expanded. The MoMA exhibition reveals Judd’s formal innovation, the great range of his work, and his exceptionally bold use of color in sculpture. The multiplicity on display in Judd is the inspiration for a selection of works in the gallery’s first online Viewing Room. Spanning the artist’s career, the Viewing Room includes important paintings, sculpture in a range of materials, as well as prints and woodblocks.

 
Current Exhibition

Sol LeWitt

Sol LeWitt: Wall Drawings & Structures



September 9, 2022 - October 22, 2022
Paula Cooper Gallery celebrates the return to its principal location at 534 West 21st Street with an expansive exhibition of works by Sol LeWitt across both New York galleries. Rebuilt by Richard Gluckman in 1996 and recently renovated, the award-winning space at 534 was one of the first galleries to open in Chelsea. The exhibition encompasses monumentally-scaled wall drawings and structures from the 1960s through the 1990s, and is a fitting homecoming for the gallery, which hosted LeWitt’s first ever wall drawing in its inaugural exhibition in 1968. Opening on what would be LeWitt’s ninety-fourth birthday, the rich variety of work on display underlines the artist’s lifelong inventiveness and fearless experimentation. At 534 West 21st Street a radiant wall drawing from LeWitt’s Pyramids series rendered in colored ink wash wraps around four walls. Realized by a team of trained installers who followed the artist’s original diagram and instructions, Wall Drawing #485 questions ideas of permanence, uniqueness, and authorship through its potential to be recreated. Beginning with the earliest examples executed in pencil on white walls, the wall drawings are manifestations of an idea that shirk the condition of objecthood through their radical two-dimensionality. LeWitt began using ink wash to create vibrantly-colored wall drawings in the 1980s, adapting his primary palette of red, yellow, blue, and black by superimposing transparent colors and grey washes to achieve a range of hues and tones. Accompanying the wall drawing are irregular structures from LeWitt’s Complex Form series, developed in the 1980s from the flat polygonal shapes that populated his wall drawings at the time. Adapting similar shapes on paper, LeWitt used connecting lines to draw a plan or “footprint” for the three-dimensional work, before assigning heights to the points where the elevated lines would meet. Translated into structures, the Complex Forms confound the geometric order of LeWitt’s earlier three-dimensional works, introducing an intriguing degree of unpredictability. Although LeWitt had stated in 1966 in reference to his geometric structures that “a more complex form would be too interesting in itself,” he would contradict himself twenty years later by using this term to describe the new vertiginous and multifaceted works.

 
Past Exhibitions

Sol LeWitt

Sol LeWitt: Wall Drawings & Structures



September 9, 2022 - September 29, 2022
Paula Cooper Gallery celebrates the return to its principal location at 534 West 21st Street with an expansive exhibition of works by Sol LeWitt across both New York galleries. Rebuilt by Richard Gluckman in 1996 and recently renovated, the award-winning space at 534 was one of the first galleries to open in Chelsea. The exhibition encompasses monumentally-scaled wall drawings and structures from the 1960s through the 1990s, and is a fitting homecoming for the gallery, which hosted LeWitt’s first ever wall drawing in its inaugural exhibition in 1968. Opening on what would be LeWitt’s ninety-fourth birthday, the rich variety of work on display underlines the artist’s lifelong inventiveness and fearless experimentation. At 521 West 21st Street a presentation of LeWitt’s modular structures examines the artist’s first mature body of work and its evolution in subsequent decades. LeWitt identified seriality as the best system for the physical manifestation of his ideas in the early 1960s, establishing a creative process of profound rationality and originality. In the works on display, LeWitt has systematically combined cubic forms into simple and austere modular structures that yield complex perceptual experiences. LeWitt’s proclivity to seriality was visually compelling, infinitely generative, and egalitarian: by refusing to privilege a single element of a work or its production, the artist allowed multiple points of entry.

Sarah Charlesworth

Modern History



October 23, 2021 - December 4, 2021
“This is real time, it is modern history in the making.” [1] Sarah Charlesworth’s first photographic series, Modern History reproduces newspaper front pages with the text removed, shifting the focus onto the masthead and images to reveal underlying patterns and visual conventions. A concise body of work comprising only fourteen pieces, Charlesworth officially dated the series to 1977-79, although she would revisit it in the early 1990s and 2000s. The nine pieces on display at Paula Cooper Gallery include the first and last in the series, as well as three little-known predecessors that reveal how the artist arrived at the final format. This is the largest number of Modern History works ever assembled in an exhibition. The Modern History works either compare the front page of multiple newspapers published on the same day, or the front page of the same newspaper on consecutive days. Herald Tribune, September, 1977 follows the latter format, reproducing every front page in a month. By removing the text, Charlesworth unveils a hierarchy of images that privileges male leaders, weaponry, and diplomatic events. Each front page is notably similar, underlining the dependency of the photographs on their original context. Movie-Television-News-History, June 21, 1979 presents twenty-seven different US newspapers on the day following the televised murder of ABC newscaster Bill Stewart in Nicaragua. The blurry and barely discernible images often appear framed by a television window, making the media the overt subject of the news. In 1991, Charlesworth was compelled to revisit Modern History to catalogue the Herald Tribune’s use of images to report on the US invasion of Iraq during the Gulf War. Throughout the thirty-six days of conflict, remarkably aestheticized machines of war prevail. In United We Stand/A Nation Divided and Reading Persian (both 1979) Charlesworth juxtaposes pairs of newspaper pages. The former shows the dramatically divergent viewpoints championed by two opposing newspapers reporting on Scotland’s failure to establish a National Assembly, and is unusual for its isolation of headlines rather than images. Reading Persian also attends to the relative power of text by presenting two versions of the same Iranian newspaper on the day following the collapse of the Shah’s regime. A blank rectangular space is surrounded by Arabic text on the left and the missing image appears on the right, emphasizing how images function as a global language. The three works installed in the smaller gallery examine Charlesworth’s early experimentations with newspapers as subject matter. Two versions of Historical Materialism: Chile Series (For O.L.) address a period of political unrest in Chile through twenty-five front pages of the New York Times from 1970 to 1976. In one version, the pages are reduced in size and mounted on wood panels but otherwise unchanged. In the other, Charlesworth has highlighted stories about Chile by lightening the surrounding text, without focusing specifically on image selection and placement. With the trial proof for Herald Tribune, September 1977, Charlesworth arrives at her signature technique of masking the entirety of the text to leave only images, transforming the news into readymade mythologies tinged with mystery. [1] Sarah Charlesworth, Modern History (Second Reading), exh. cat. (Edinburgh: The New 57 Gallery, 1979), p. 32.

Julian Lethbridge



September 18, 2021 - October 16, 2021
In a group of paintings completed over the past two years, Julian Lethbridge has contained gestural brushstrokes within structured lines to produce richly textured abstractions of immense spatial depth. An underlying formal geometry informs the overall composition of each work, and is revealed to varying degrees across the surface of the canvas. In the new paintings, the structural foundation and liberated hand are illuminated in radiant color.

Douglas Huebler, Sherrie Levine, Walid Raad

No More Than Three Other Times



April 24, 2021 - May 28, 2021
No More Than Three Other Times brings together three generations of conceptual artists whose work explores the slippage between image and text, or image and sign, variously using reflexivity, repetition, and documentary practices. The title is taken from an unintentional misreading of a work by Douglas Huebler, and is indicative of the ways in which the artworks in the exhibition creatively engage with historical and material facts. Douglas Huebler is known for his work combining carefully chosen, simple descriptive language with other materials, such as photographs, drawings, and maps, to wryly deconstruct the ways meaning is derived from visual information. In a focused selection of works from the 1970s, minimal abstractions are paired with instructive texts that suggest the viewer read the groups of lines or blocks of color not as flat images, but elements in a structure that expands through space along, behind, and beyond the gallery walls. The language playfully exaggerates almost to the point of incongruity the self-referentiality of the minimal art object. These lesser-known works are complemented by an exemplary photographic collage from Huebler’s celebrated Duration Piece series. Sherrie Levine’s White Mirrors are pointedly self-referential in their refusal to reflect their surroundings. Denied their true purpose as objects, the mirrors become blank surfaces that invite a critical engagement with their physical presence. Two sculptures cast from found objects are imbued with a fetishistic desire that manifests in their highly polished surfaces. A light bulb reproduced in stainless steel epitomizes this transformation of the quotidian, while a bronze parrot references Félicité, a character in a story by Gustave Flaubert who endlessly displaces her affections before finally settling on a bird named Loulou, who she stuffs and continues to adore after its death. Levine exacerbates the tension between the original and the reproduction by producing these works in editions that are frequently displayed together, challenging the significance of authenticity and singularity in art. Sweet Talk by Walid Raad is a set of self-assigned photographic commissions that study the city of Beirut. In plates designed to resemble the layout of an art historical textbook, documentary-style streetscapes captioned with meticulous museological cataloguing record the city’s physical transformation during the protracted wars. In other works, Raad appeals to the aesthetic of the archive to complicate the relationship between image and text. I want to be able to welcome my father to my house comprises pages from the diary of Raad’s father, in which he annotated the economic and material realities of daily life under warfare. In a new body of work made similarly beguiling through the illusion of coffee-stained and crumpled pages, anatomical drawings of birds are paired with maps. Against a backdrop of unannotated graphs and directionless arrows, the images gesture to the use of birds to transfer messages between factions during conflict, pointing to specific truths through the juxtaposition of otherwise arbitrary signs.

Carl Andre, Tauba Auerbach, Jennifer Bartlett, Cecily Brown, Beatrice Caracciolo, Bruce Conner, Mark di Suvero, Liz Glynn, Julian Lethbridge, Sol LeWitt, Christian Marclay, Justin Matherly, Claes Oldenburg, Walid Raad, Veronica Ryan, Joel Shapiro, Kelley Walker, Dan Walsh, Meg Webster

Carte Blanche: A Changing Exhibition



March 20, 2021 - May 2, 2021
To conclude the Winter season in Palm Beach and the gallery’s longest-running presentation outside of New York in over fifty years of business, we are pleased to present Carte Blanche: A Changing Exhibition. From March 20th through the end of April, a selection of works will be in rotation, highlighting the meaningful and prolonged dialogue between artists that is central to the gallery’s program. In the 1980s the gallery was located at 155 Wooster Street in Soho, and exhibitions often evolved with the changing of individual works, rather than according to a preordained schedule. These Changing Exhibitions responded to the needs of both artists wanting to show works outside of the context of a one-person exhibition, and a local community that enjoyed regularly seeing new art. We are delighted to adapt to the needs of art viewers in Palm Beach and introduce new audiences to our traditions.

Carl Andre, Meg Webster

CARL ANDRE and MEG WEBSTER



February 20, 2021 - March 27, 2021
Works by Carl Andre and Meg Webster will be on display in adjacent galleries at the Paula Cooper Gallery from February 20th through March 27th. Formed from elementary materials: wood, copper, and salt, these works share the provisional in their use of untransformed matter. A single sculpture by Carl Andre entitled Diarch (1979) will fill the larger gallery. Formed of sixty units of western red cedar, positioned against two opposing walls and arranged alternately upright and on their side, the work plays with verticality and mass and transforms the gallery into a sculpture in place. First installed in the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza Sculpture Garden, New York, in 1979, along with Fermi (1979) the work was one of a number of significant large-scale timber pieces produced that year on sites around the world. The present exhibition is the first time Diarch has been shown since the inaugural installation. Andre started his career in 1958-1959 carving timbers, using a chisel or saw to create abstract pieces with geometric patterns. These early works recalled both the verticality and symmetry of Brancusi’s sculptures and the logic of the paintings of Frank Stella, whose studio Andre was sharing at the time. In 1960, Andre started his Elements series, using timbers of equal size in various configurations. This series marks the moment when Andre definitively abandoned the manipulation of materials. He progressively moved on to materials such as granite, limestone, steel, lead and copper. A work by Meg Webster will occupy the smaller gallery. Copper Containing Salt II (2017) is a single sheet of chest-height copper curled into a cylinder and filled to the brim with coarse rock salt. In this elegantly simple arrangement the two materials are in perfect harmony, the one supporting and depending on the other to be filled and contained. Copper Containing Salt II is an exemplary sculpture from Webster’s celebrated body of work founded on shaping natural materials into simple geometric forms. Accompanying the sculpture is a mineral monochrome formed of a thin layer of pink salt adhered to a paper support. Together, the two works present their elementary material alternatively as a volume of pure mass and a delicately textured surface. Indoor sculptures made of salt, earth, sand, and other natural materials are one facet of Webster’s practice, which also encompasses outdoor installations designed to enhance a community’s appreciation for and understanding of the earth’s ecosystem. Bridging the conceptual vision of Land Art and the rigorous formal vocabulary of Minimalism, Webster has been long guided by an environmentalist impulse to celebrate and preserve the natural world.

SARAH CHARLESWORTH, JA’TOVIA GARY, CHRISTIAN MARCLAY, PAUL PFEIFFER

The Politics of Desire



February 12, 2021 - March 14, 2021
A group of works by Sarah Charlesworth, Ja’Tovia Gary, Christian Marclay and Paul Pfeiffer examine the subjects, objects, and politics of human desire. Having mined the archives for still and moving images of celebrated figures, fantastical sites, and idealized bodies these artists cut, rearrange and re-present manipulated images. The resulting works in a range of media reveal the unreality of the fabricated images that are their source material, and the spectacular nature of the culture that produced them. Sarah Charlesworth’s Objects of Desire series, produced between 1983 and 1989, sought to make visible the “shape of desire.” Meticulously excising images from a range of sources—including fashion magazines, pornography, fanzines, and archeological textbooks—she re-photographed the cutouts against fields of pure color. Enclosed within lacquered frames, the seductive Cibachrome prints propose an iconography of visual culture, and the values encoded within. Charlesworth’s desire is both broad and specific: iconic ‘must-have’ items such as a white T-Shirt and a red scarf are given the same treatment as the moon. The inclusion of celebrity figures such as Japanese movie star Toshiro Mifune as Samurai (1981) literalizes the objectifying power of the desiring gaze. The formation and fragmentation of identity through fame, particularly popular music, is also the subject of Christian Marclay’s Body Mix series (1990–92). Inspired by the Surrealist exquisite corpse, the artist stitches together record covers decorated with bodies to create strange, hybrid superstars of indeterminate race and gender. In one example, the head, shoulders, and outstretched arms of composer Erich Leinsdorf are completed by the stomach and thighs of an anonymous 1970s disco dancer, and the calves and feet of Tina Turner, clad in patent leather high-heeled shoes. With sly humor Marclay draws attention to the already fragmentary format in which the body is presented to us in this medium, and the degree to which a human is never whole but already a sum of parts. Known for his innovative manipulation of digital media, Paul Pfeiffer recasts the visual language of spectacle to uncover its psychological and racial underpinnings. In works from the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse series (2004–06) Pfeiffer uses a technique comparable to Charlesworth, removing the context from an NBA image of a basketball player in a key moment of play so that he is alone against an interchangeable crowd, his identity intensified by virtue of his isolation. In the video works Caryatid (De La Hoya) (2016) and The Long Count (Thrilla in Manila) (2001) Pfeiffer edits footage of boxing matches, superimposing background imagery over the performers to selectively erase their bodies and allow them to evade the desiring gaze. Screened on unusual, hybrid display monitors that are alluring objects themselves, the works both obstruct and incite desire. Shot on location in Claude Monet’s garden in Giverny, France, and imbued with the idealized beauty of that place, Ja’Tovia Gary’s Giverny I (Négresse Impériale) (2017) is a six-minute examination of the precarious nature of Black women’s bodily integrity, the continued violence of global imperialism, and the art historical canon. While Pfeiffer removes racialized bodies from a violent space to shift the focus to the structure of the spectacle and disrupt the act of looking, Gary does quite the opposite, inserting her own body into a traditionally white place that is also a site of fantasy, a verdant garden already emptied of bodies and primarily known through painted images that have been reproduced to oblivion. The insertion as disruption is emphasized by Gary’s flickering form and the interweaving of archival video and film—including Diamond Reynolds following the murder of Philando Castile in 2016 and Fred Hampton speaking on political education, c. 1968-69. Giverny I (Négresse Impériale) is the only work in the exhibition that includes the artist’s own body, and with it, Gary challenges the gaze by presenting the desiring self and the desired subject as one.

Sol LeWitt

Sol LeWitt: Cubic Forms



January 16, 2021 - February 7, 2021

Jennifer Bartlett

Jennifer Bartlett: Grids & Dots



January 16, 2021 - February 7, 2021

Dan Walsh



January 9, 2021 - February 13, 2021

Ja'Tovia Gary

flesh that needs to be loved



February 15, 2020 - March 21, 2020

Sophie Calle, Bruce Conner, Paul Pfeiffer

Documents & Recitations



October 26, 2019 - February 8, 2020

Amy O'Neill

THE ZOO REVOLUTION



September 7, 2019 - October 12, 2019

Veronica Ryan

The Weather Inside



September 7, 2019 - October 12, 2019

Walid Raad



April 13, 2019 - May 18, 2019

Matias Faldbakken



February 21, 2019 - April 6, 2019

Alan Shields



January 10, 2019 - February 16, 2019

Sol LeWitt

Large Gouaches



November 3, 2018 - December 15, 2018

Peter Moore

Peter Moore: 1968



October 6, 2018 - October 27, 2018

Charles Gaines



May 3, 2018 - June 23, 2018

Joel Shapiro



March 24, 2018 - April 28, 2018

Robert Grosvenor



February 10, 2018 - March 17, 2018

Beatrice Caracciolo

Il Bosco Lontano



January 6, 2018 - February 3, 2018