Michael Werner opened his first gallery in 1963 in Berlin, Germany, with the first solo exhibition of Georg Baselitz. In 1969, galerie Michael Werner moved to Cologne. Under the direction of Gordon VeneKlasen, the gallery added its New York branch in 1990 and subsequently opened a London location in 2012.
The gallery represents and exhibits many of the most important artists of the 20th and 21st centuries including Georg Baselitz, Marcel Broodthaers, James Lee Byars, Aaron Curry, Enrico David, Peter Doig, Jörg Immendorff, Per Kirkeby, Eugène Leroy, Markus Lüpertz, A. R. Penck, Sigmar Polke, Don Van Vliet and Michael Williams.
Since 2009, the gallery has operated VeneKlasen/Werner in Berlin, which features special curatorial projects and regularly exhibits young and emerging artists. Notable artists presented include Harold Ancart, Huma Bhabha, and Gianni Piacentino.
In addition to contemporary European and American art, the gallery specializes in works by modern masters including Hans Arp, Joseph Beuys, Friedrich Schröder-Sonnenstern, Wilhelm Lehmbruck, Piero Manzoni, Ernst Wilhelm Nay, Francis Picabia and Kurt Schwitters.
Important gallery exhibitions include "Sigmar Polke: Lens Paintings," "Wilhelm Lehmbruck: Sculptures and etchings," "James Lee Byars: The Rest Is Silence," "Major Works of Marcel Broodthaers" and "Players Ball," an exhibition of works by Markus Lüpertz selected by Peter Doig.