Paula Cooper Gallery

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The Paula Cooper Gallery is an art gallery in New York City founded in 1968 by Paula Cooper (nee Johnson).[1][2]


The gallery is primarily known for the Minimalist and Conceptual artists it has represented and whose careers it helped launch; such artists include: Carl Andre, Tauba Auerbach, Jennifer Bartlett, Lynda Benglis, Jonathan Borofsky, Cecily Brown, Sophie Calle, Mark di Suvero, Robert Gober, Donald Judd, Sherrie Levine, Sol LeWitt, Elizabeth Murray, Walid Raad, Meg Webster among others.[3]

History (1968-1975)[edit]

According to The New York Observer, "The history of Paula Cooper Gallery is, in many ways, the history of the New York art world." Cooper opened the first gallery at 96 Prince Street with $4,400 in October of 1968.[4][5] “I didn’t like uptown,” Ms. Cooper told The Observer. “I thought it was just little shops. I looked downtown, and people told me that I was crazy to open there. That no one would go there.” The gallery opened with an exhibition to benefit the Student Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, working alongside Veterans Against the War. The exhibition featured LeWitt’s first wall drawing, and included works by Carl Andre, Jo Baer, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, and Robert Ryman; that show is now widely recognized as seminal in the development of a new generation of rigorous and challenging work.[6]

By 1975, the neighborhood had been renamed SoHo, and included 83 other art galleries.[7]

History (1996-today)[edit]

Cooper relocated the gallery to Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood in 1996. Critic Michael Kimmelman, reviewing a Carl Andre exhibition, wrote in The New York Times, "The news here is how good Paula Cooper's new gallery looks: the main room is like a big chapel. Too bad for SoHo, which Ms. Cooper, one of its pioneering dealers, recently abandoned to the hordes of retail stores."[8]

In 2007 Paula Cooper gave the extant records of Park Place, dating from 1966 to 1967, and the early records of the Paula Cooper Gallery, from 1968 to 1973 to the Smithsonian Archives of American Art.

In 2013, the gallery opened two pop-up spaces, in a former auto parts shop at 197 10th Avenue, near 22nd Street, as well as on the ground floor of 521 West 21st Street.[9]

In 2015, Paula Cooper was awarded France’s Order of Arts and Letters, the country’s highest distinction for contributions to French arts and culture.[10]

The Clock[edit]

In February 2011, Christian Marclay's twenty-four-hour multi-visual exhibit The Clock was exhibited in the gallery space. The Clock had recently received The Golden Lion award at the 54th Venice Biennale.[11] Critic Roberta Smith wrote in The New York Times, "It is ensconced in a theaterlike installation at the Paula Cooper Gallery in Chelsea, where it should not be missed...The presentation at the Paula Cooper gallery reiterates the synthetic nature of 'The Clock.' The combination of carpeted floors, walls hung with velvet curtains and a dozen long couches lined up in four rows, with the screen high and large on the wall, evocatively conflates living room, screening room and movie theater, while even hinting at drive-in movies (the couches as parked cars)."[12] In The New York Observer, Michael H. Miller wrote, "[When] Ms. Cooper exhibited Christian Marclay’s 24-hour paean to cinematic history, The Clock, for several weekends, the gallery stayed open 24/7 and a line stretched around the corner into the early hours of morning...Models mingled with art handlers. Reporters and rival dealers waited patiently amongst the late-night swell of people."[7]


  1. ^ Smith, Roberta (November 26, 1993). "Art in Review". The New York Times. Retrieved October 29, 2008.
  2. ^ "About the gallery-- from the Paula Cooper Gallery website". Archived from the original on August 4, 2008. Retrieved October 29, 2008.
  3. ^ Paula Cooper Gallery
  4. ^ "Paula Cooper - Interview Magazine". Interview Magazine. August 2, 2012. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  5. ^ "My Life in Pictures: Paula Cooper". The New York Times. October 11, 2016. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  6. ^ Répétition II, February 23 – March 23, 2013 Paula Cooper Gallery, New York.
  7. ^ a b Michael H. Miller, "Clock Stopper: Paula Cooper Opened the First Art Gallery in SoHo and Hasn’t Slowed Down Since," The New York Observer, September 13, 2011.
  8. ^ Michael Kimmelman, "Art In Review: Carl Andrew," The New York Times, November 15, 1996.
  9. ^ Carol Vogel (September 19, 2013), Another Cubist Gift for the Met, and New Art at MetroTech New York Times.
  10. ^ "Carl Andre, Paula Cooper Get French Honor - artnet News". artnet News. December 4, 2015. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  11. ^ "La Biennale di Venezia - Christian Marclay". Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  12. ^ Roberta Smith, As in Life, Timing Is Everything in the Movies," The New York Times, February 4, 2011.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°44′49.21″N 74°0′24.69″W / 40.7470028°N 74.0068583°W / 40.7470028; -74.0068583