Bernard Jacobson Gallery was founded in 1969, publishing and distributing prints by artists including Robyn Denny, Lucian Freud, David Hockney, Leon Kossoff, Henry Moore, Richard Smith, Ed Ruscha and William Tillyer. By the mid 1970s, having established himself as one of the major dealers in prints, Jacobson began to show paintings and sculpture. The early 1980s saw the gallery open branches in Los Angeles and New York, expanding the range of international artists to include West Coast American artists such as Joe Goode and Larry Bell as well as modern British masters such as David Bomberg, Ivon Hitchens, Peter Lanyon, Ben Nicholson, William Scott, Stanley Spencer, and Graham Sutherland. From 1997, the gallery moved more firmly into American and international art, with shows of artists such as Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski, Larry Poons and Frank Stella. Recently, the gallery has held shows by the American artists Robert Motherwell and Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein and Tom Wesselmann, while European painters include Bram Bogart and Pierre Soulages and British artists William Tillyer, Bruce McLean and Marc Vaux.
In 2004, the gallery moved to its current address at 6 Cork Street in London's Mayfair, uniting Bernard Jacobson Graphics and Bernard Jacobson Gallery under one roof. Since then, the gallery has held major exhibitions including a two-part examination of Robert Motherwell's Open series (which provided the largest showing of the artist's work in the UK since the 1978 retrospective at the Royal Academy of Arts, London), a selection of works from Helen Frankenthaler's personal collection, a four-part exhibition of the work of British artist William Tillyer, and the first UK exhibition of new work by French painter Pierre Soulages, for over thirty years. The exhibition followed on the tail of a major Soulages retrospective at the Centre Georges Pompidou, and was received with huge success in London.
More recently, the gallery has hosted major solo exhibitions of work by modern masters Robert Motherwell (Robert Motherwell: Works on Paper, October - November 2011), Ben Nicholson (Ben Nicholson: Paintings, Drawings, and Reliefs, April - June 2012), and Kurt Schwitters (Kurt Schwitters: Collages and Assemblages, February - April 2013) and contemporary artists Karl Hyde (What's Going On In your Head while you're Dancing, July - August 2012), Bruce McLean (The Shapes of Sculpture, October - November 2012) and Marc Vaux (Full House: Paintings from 1964, November - December 2012). The 2013 exhibition programme includes a series of collage exhibitions, including a major show of collages by Robert Motherwell to coincide with Robert Motherwell: The Early Collages opening at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice in May 2013. An exhibition of William Tillyer's new work will take place to coincide with his upcoming retrospective at the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art in October.
In 2011 the gallery opened a new space in New York on East 71st Street with an inaugural exhibition entitled 60 Years of British Art, followed by 21 Americans, showing work by American artists including Robert Motherwell, Helen Frankenthaler, Roy Lichtenstein, and Robert Rauschenberg, among others.
Bernard Jacobson Gallery has a strong presence at major international art fairs, participating at The Armory Show, New York; Expo Chicago; Frieze Masters, London; and the prestigious Art Basel fairs in Hong Kong, Basel, and Miami Beach.