The gallery was founded in 1997 by co-owners John Cheim and Howard Read. Its principal focus is the representation of an international group of contemporary artists whose diverse practices include painting, drawing, sculpture, and photography.
Each artist of the gallery has exhibited widely in museum and gallery contexts and has been regularly included in international exhibitions such as the Venice Biennale, Whitney Biennial, Carnegie International and Documenta. The program is best characterized by its adherence to a rigorous curatorial model that has incorporated critical monographic exhibitions for the work of its artists including William Eggleston, Louise Bourgeois, Jannis Kounellis and Joan Mitchell. The gallery is also known for organizing historically-significant group exhibitions including I AM AS YOU WILL BE, a survey of the skeleton in art, and THE NEW LANDSCAPE/THE NEW STILL LIFE, an in-depth examination of Chaim Soutine’s influence on Modern art.