The Gallery, founded by British-born Sean Kelly in 1991, operated privately in SoHo until 1995. During these formative years, it established a reputation for diverse, intellectually driven, unconventional exhibitions. The original list of artists represented included Marina Abramović, Joseph Kosuth and Julião Sarmento, who exemplify the Gallery's commitment to exhibiting important, challenging contemporary art.
In 1995, the Gallery relocated to 43 Mercer Street, where it continued to enhance its reputation by taking on representation of such significant international artists as James Casebere and Callum Innes.
In 2001, Sean Kelly Gallery moved into a converted 7,000 square-foot industrial space on 29th Street in the Chelsea gallery district. The move to the new, spacious Chelsea location enabled the Gallery to mount increasingly ambitious, museum-quality exhibitions to great critical acclaim. The Gallery's roster of artists also expanded to include such notable figures as Iran do Espírito Santo, Antony Gormley, Rebecca Horn, Frank Thiel and the estate of Robert Mapplethorpe. In addition, over the last few years, the Gallery has initiated relationships with Leandro Erlich, Los Carpinteros, Johan Grimonprez, Wolfgang Laib, Peter Liversidge, Anthony McCall, Laurent Grasso, Tehching Hsieh, Alec Soth and Kehinde Wiley. The Gallery also represents the estate of the renowned Danish furniture designer Poul Kjærholm.