David Zwirner (born October 23, 1964) is a gallerist and art dealer and owner of the David Zwirner Gallery in New York City and London (which opened in October 2012 with an exhibition by Luc Tuymans). In 2013, Zwirner was listed at number two in the ArtReview annual "Power 100" list  and in 2012, he was listed at number two in Forbes magazine's "America's Most Powerful Art Dealers." 
Zwirner was born in Cologne, West Germany. He left Germany for the United States after high school and attended New York University. He studied music and performed as a jazz drummer. He returned to Germany and worked in Hamburg in A&R for an affiliate of the PolyGram record label. The son of art dealer Rudolph Zwirner, he was exposed to art at an early age, and soon moved from working with musical talent to visual artists. He also began to build his own art collection, acquiring works by Bernd and Hilla Becher, Hanne Darboven, and Dan Graham. His first job in the States was with the art dealer Brooke Alexander at Brooke Alexander Gallery.
In 1993, Zwirner opened his eponymous gallery in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City, with the intention of showcasing an international mix of contemporary artists. In its first year, the gallery sold out its Jason Rhoades exhibition. This reception, along with a gallery expansion in 1994, contributed to the gallery’s early recognition. In 1994 the gallery presented the U.S. debut exhibition of Belgian painter Luc Tuymans. Zwirner’s roster during this decade also included Raoul De Keyser, Stan Douglas, Marcel Dzama, On Kawara, Toba Khedoori, The Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark, John McCracken, Raymond Pettibon, Katy Schimert, Yutaka Sone, Diana Thater, Franz West, and Christopher Williams.
The Leipzig painter Neo Rauch had his U.S. debut exhibition at the gallery in 2000. In 2002, Zwirner moved his gallery from SoHo to Chelsea, and in 2006 expanded into its current three main gallery spaces, which allowed multiple simultaneous exhibitions.
Other artists who joined the gallery in this decade included Adel Abdessemed, Tomma Abts, Francis Alÿs, Mamma Andersson, Michaël Borremans, R. Crumb, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Marlene Dumas, Suzan Frecon, Isa Genzken, Jockum Nordström, Chris Ofili, Daniel Richter, Michael Riedel, Thomas Ruff, James Welling, Yan Pei-Ming, and Lisa Yuskavage.
From 2000 to 2009, David Zwirner also was a partner with Iwan Wirth in Zwirner & Wirth, a gallery on New York's Upper East Side which focused on private sales. The collaboration yielded a series of significant exhibitions, including Gerhard Richter: Early Paintings (2000); Bruce Nauman (2001); Cy Twombly: Letter of Resignation (2002/2003); Claes Oldenburg: Early Work (2005); David Hammons (2006); Joseph Beuys: Sculpture and Drawing (2007); and Dan Flavin: The 1964 Green Gallery Exhibition (2008).
2010s and Current Activity
In October 2010, the gallery announced its exclusive representation of Judd Foundation. The gallery presented its ﬁrst exhibition of Donald Judd’s work from May 6 to June 25, 2011. In October 2011, the gallery announced its representation of Carol Bove in partnership with Maccarone, New York and in January 2012, Doug Wheeler (known as a Light and Space artist) joined the gallery. Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama joined the gallery in February 2013. 
In March 2012, the gallery announced its expansion into Europe with a location in London's Mayfair neighborhood. It opened in October 2012 with an exhibition by Luc Tuymans. In February 2013, the gallery also opened an additional 30,000 square foot space in New York's Chelsea neighborhood. The five-story building was designed by architect Annabelle Selldorf and will become the first commercial art gallery to receive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.
In April 2011, actor, director, and philanthropist Ben Stiller joined with Zwirner to organize Artists For Haiti (Art Auction), an auction to raise funds for education and health programs for children. The auction took place at Christie's in New York on September 22, 2011. It raised a total of $13,662,000, which was above the original estimate of $7.5 to $10.5 million. One hundred percent of the sales will go to support non-profit organizations working in Haiti, including Architecture for Humanity, J/P Haitian Relief Organization, Partners in Health, Grameen Creative Lab, Artists for Peace and Justice, Ciné Institute, and The Stiller Foundation.
In October 2006 and May 2008, Zwirner organized two charity art auctions, 826NYC Art Show - An Auction to Benefit Children's Literacy, which took place at his gallery. One hundred percent of the 2006 and 2008 proceeds went directly to 826NYC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6–18 with their writing skills. A limited edition catalogue was published by McSweeney's on the occasion of the 2006 auction. The catalogue reproduces twenty-two works of art alongside criticism by eight-year olds.
In 2001, Zwirner organized the "I Love NY Art Benefit" exhibition at the David Zwirner Gallery to benefit the victims of the World Trade Center attacks. A few days after 9/11, Zwirner asked artists who the gallery represented to donate works to the exhibition. He then called on the help of other New York dealers to organize their own benefit exhibitions. The initiative led to a citywide benefit with more than 150 participating galleries and alternative spaces. As with the exhibition at the David Zwirner Gallery, all proceeds raised by the galleries benefited the Robin Hood Relief Fund, part of the Robin Hood Foundation.
Zwirner is married to Monica Zwirner. She is a designer and founding copartner of handbag and accessories company, MZ Wallace, located in New York City and Tokyo. They have three children and reside in New York City.
- David Zwirner Gallery
- David Zwirner interview in WSJ. Magazine
- David Zwirner article on Blouinartinfo
- Artists for Haiti
- Unattributed, "2013 Power 100," ArtReview, accessed, November 28, 2013.
- Noer, Michael. "America's Most Powerful Art Dealers". Forbes magazine. Retrieved May 7, 2012.
- Kelly Crow "Q&A with David Zwirner" WSJ. Magazine, April 30, 2009
- Vogel, Carol. "Andy Williams Art for Sale; James Turrell at Three Museums". New York Times. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
- Vogel, Carol (March 8, 2012). "Zwirner Galleries Here and There". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
- Judd Tully, "Ben Stiller and David Zwirner Exult as Christie's Star-Packed Artists for Haiti Sale Tops $13 Million," Art Info, September 23, 2011
- Melanie Grayce West. Artists Rally to Raise Scholarship Funds, Wall Street Journal, March 10, 2011.
- Angela Ashman, "Going Once, Going Twice...," Village Voice, May 20, 2008 
- Roberta Smith, "A Benefit for 'ers of Art and New York," The New York Times, November 1, 2001.