On 12 September 2009, the Mary Boone Gallery will open at its Chelsea location A TRIBUTE TO RON WARREN, an exhibition of works by thirty artists that I have worked with during my twenty-five years at Mary Boone Gallery. Many of the artists have made works especially for the exhibition, or have contributed important historical works.
In the summer of 1984, I shared a house in Southampton, New York, with principals of the hotbed East Village gallery International with Monument. Through those friends, I had met Ross Bleckner, Peter Halley, and Sherrie Levine. At neighboring galleries, I caught the rousing openings of Philip Taaffe and Jean Michel Basquiat. In SoHo, the works of young artists Francesco Clemente, Eric Fischl, Barbara Kruger, David Salle, and Julian Schnabel were similarly defining my generation.
Southampton proved to be a dull place during the week. With daily walks into town, I soon realized that my neighbor, scrutinizing the world from his front porch, was indeed the legendary art advocate Henry Geldzahler. We began a friendship, talking frequently about — what else? — art and life.
One Saturday in July, David Salle and Mary Boone, an artist and dealer commanding a thoroughness of success that was redefining the art world, came out to visit Henry, and I met them briefly. Back in New York that Fall, looking for a new challenge and steady role, I received advice from Henry: “Call Mary”.
Twenty-five years later, through their shows at Mary Boone Gallery, I have been fortunate to have worked closely with all of the above artists and many others, both older and younger, who are among the most innovative and influential of our time. This exhibition is a tribute as well to their vision, and their generosity in allowing us to celebrate a history shared with me, Mary, and the Gallery.