Founded in 1979, Modernism has since presented more than 450 exhibitions, both historical and contemporary, in media ranging from painting to photography, sculpture to performance, by an international roster of artists.
Throughout its 39 years, owner Martin Muller has striven to keep the gallery's challenging, museum quality program at the forefront of the art world.
Early landmarks included being the first gallery to show Andy Warhol in the Bay Area (1982), and holding the first exhibition on the West Coast (in a gallery or museum) of the Russian Avant-Garde 1910-1930 (1980, 17 more retrospectives have since been mounted).
In the 1990s Modernism highlighted its strong abstract program with the exhibition of "Four Abstract Classicists" (1993), a recreation of the show presented by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1959, while at the same time introducing America to the confrontational, and ofttimes disturbing, conceptual works of Austrian born artist Gottfried Helnwein (1992).
Modernism will celebrate its 38th anniversary in October, and with it, many more firsts of recent years, including the first major exhibition of the works of Le Corbusier on the West Coast (2003), and in 2006, the first major retrospective in the U.S. of the paintings, drawings, collages, and photographs of Erwin Blumenfeld.
In addition to the milestones above, Modernism prides itself on the scope of its program:
Historical exhibitions encompass areas including Dada, Cubism, Surrealism, Vorticism, German Expressionism, and foremost, the Russian Avant-Garde 1910-1930.
The contemporary program features rotating shows, six to seven weeks in duration, of the nearly 50 gallery artists—including various representational and abstract modes, sociopolitical, and conceptual works—presented at both Modernism and Modernism West, as well as at art fairs in the United States and Europe.
Modernism publishes numerous books, monographs, catalogs, and fine art editions.
Modernism is a member of the prestigious Art Dealers Association of America and the San Francisco Art Dealer's Association.