Barnard was founded in 2010 by owner and director Christiaan Barnard and is home to a select group of contemporary artists. The gallery has hosted a number of significant solo exhibitions by its represented artists whose works have also been included in group shows at significant museums and institutions including amongst others IZIKO South African National Gallery, Cape Town; Zeitz MOCCA, Cape Town; Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon; Pratt Institute, New York; Foto Museum, Antwerp; BOZAR, Brussels, Museo Carlo Bilotti, Rome; Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice and The Center for Book Arts, New York.


Art Fairs have increasingly become a feature of the gallery schedule with participation in the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, New York  (2019); Cape Town Art Fair (2013-2019); FNB Joburg Art Fair (2012-2018); START London (2018); VOLTA Basel (2018); AKAA (Also Known as Africa), Paris (2017-2018); VOLTA NY, New York (2017); and 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, London (2016-2017).


In 2013 the gallery extended its activities to include Barnard Publishing, an initiative aiming to further explore and support the work and careers of the gallery's stable of artists through the medium of the book. To date these limited edition and signed publications have been added to the library collections of the University of Cape Town (UCT); Wits Art Museum (WAM), Johannesburg; Jack Ginsberg Collection, Johannesburg; Pratt Institute, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York.