England & Co was founded in late 1987, holding its first exhibition in April 1988. In 1999, the gallery expanded and moved within Notting Hill to a specifically designed gallery space on Westbourne Grove, London. In early 2012, the gallery relocated to a transition space at 90-92 Great Portland Street in central London.
Over the past two decades, England & Co has established an independent and individual identity that reflects the eclectic, historically aware, research-based curatorial approach of gallery director/curator Jane England. There is no specific stylistic or generational specialization and from the beginning, the gallery programme has alternated between contemporary art and explorations of relatively recent art history.
The gallery represents a number of emerging and established contemporary artists; advises and acts for the estates of artists and collectors; and also holds a regularly changing stock of 20th and 21st century art. From the beginning, the gallery has regularly published exhibition catalogues, and recently has begun to publish editions of prints and multiples by contemporary artists.
Solo exhibitions of contemporary artists from Britain and abroad have been augmented by themed survey exhibitions such as The Map Is Not the Territory series that place contemporary work in a specific context and mix well-known with up-and-coming artists. Gallery director Jane England is also committed to researching and curating retrospective exhibitions that reappraise artists from the British and European avant-garde of the 1930s through to the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s: these have included the abstract pioneer Paule Vézelay; the action-painter William Green; founder Situationist Ralph Rumney; the kinetic sculptor Liliane Lijn; and a significant figure in British performance art and installation, Stuart Brisley. More recent art history – in 1980s London – was explored in The Neo Naturists.
The gallery cooperates with many institutions, lending works to numerous exhibitions, including to the Guggenheim, Bilbao; the Whitechapel Gallery, London; the Wellcome Trust Gallery; the Hayward Gallery, London; the Barbican Gallery, London; PS1 MOMA, New York; the Metropolitan Museum, New York; SF MOMA, San Francisco; the Grand Palais, Paris; and the Venice Biennale. Corporate collections that have acquired works from the Gallery include Deutsche Bank; Barclays Bank, London; and Penguin Books, London. England & Co has sold numerous contemporary and 20th-century works to public collections, including Tate; the Imperial War Museum; the Victoria & Albert Museum; the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery; the Museum of London; the National Gallery of Australia; the Smithsonian Institution, Washington; the Arts Council of Great Britain; and the British Museum.