Karsten Greve, born in 1946, studied law and art history in Cologne, Lausanne and Geneva. He started his career as an art dealer and publisher in 1969. Since 1970, together with Rolf Möllenhof, he operated the Möllenhof/Greve gallery. He opened the first of his own galleries at the beginning of 1973, as his debut showing a solo exhibition by Yves Klein in the gallery building at Lindenstraße, Cologne.
His intimate face-to-face contact with foremost artists, such as Cy Twombly, Jannis Kounellis, John Chamberlain and others, provided the basis for the quality of his program which had been defined by the international avant-garde after 1945. Apart from Twombly, Kounellis and Chamberlain this includes artists like Joseph Cornell, Jean Dubuffet, Willem de Kooning, Pablo Picasso, Louis Soutter and WOLS.
During a career of 40 successful years as an international art dealer, Karsten Greve significantly contributed to the worldwide recognition of artists like Louise Bourgeois, John Chamberlain, Lucio Fontana, Gotthard Graubner, Jannis Kounellis, Piero Manzoni and Cy Twombly. In addition to this, the gallery also represents "young artists" like Norbert Prangenberg, Paco Knöller, Peter Schmersal, Leiko Ikemura, Loic Le Groumellec and Carole Seborovski, as well as the photographers Sally Mann, Adam Fuss and Lynn Davis since many years.
The gallery's program is characterized by a high diversity of artistic genres represented. Painting, drawing and graphic arts, sculpture and installation as well as photography are all bound to classic benchmarks. Bibliophile catalogue editions do accompany the shows, corresponding to the artist's and exhibition's high quality.
Galerie Karsten Greve Cologne is now located in the centre of the city, in a building classified as an architectural monument from the 50s, close to the “Museum für Angewandte Kunst – MAK” and the Cologne cathedral. Karsten Greve opened his other European galleries in Paris (in 1989) and in St. Moritz (in 1999).