Paula Cooper Gallery
Paula Cooper Gallery first opened its doors in 1968, in SoHo, and was the first art gallery to do so. Its initial exhibition was held to support the Student Mobilization Committee, which was working to put an end to the war in Vietnam. The exhibition included works by prominent artists like Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Robert Mangold, and Robert Ryman, among others. It also marked Sol LeWitt's debut of his first wall drawing. The gallery's focus has always been on conceptual and minimal art, though it has never limited itself to these forms.
In 1996, the gallery relocated to Chelsea, where it was housed in a beautifully designed 19th-century building, redesigned by architect Richard Gluckman. Three years later, a second exhibition space was opened at 521 West 21st Street. In 2018, the gallery temporarily moved its primary space to 524 West 26th Street to commemorate its 50th anniversary with an exhibition that supported the March For Our Lives organization.
The Paula Cooper Gallery is not just about displaying art, but it has a rich history of hosting concerts, music symposiums, dance performances, book receptions, poetry readings, as well as exhibitions and special events to benefit various national and community organizations. For 25 years, until 2000, the gallery was known for its much-celebrated series of New Year's Eve readings of Gertrude Stein's "The Making of Americans" and James Joyce's "Finnegans Wake".