Heiner Friedrich, born in Stettin in 1938 to Erika and Harald Friedrich, grew up in Berlin and Upper Bavaria and studied philosophy in Munich. Together with his first wife, Six Friedrich, and his companion Franz Dahlem, he opened the gallery "Friedrich & Dahlem" in Munich's Maximilianstraße 15 in 1963.
He was one of the first gallery owners to show works by German artists Georg Baselitz, Joseph Beuys, Imi Knoebel, Uwe Lausen, Blinky Palermo, Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter. Through his early and close contacts with the American avant-garde, he exhibited artists such as John Chamberlain, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Walter de Maria, Barnett Newman, Cy Twombly and Andy Warhol, in some cases for the first time in Europe, thus making visible the parallel awakening in American and German art of the time.
As co-founder of the Dia Art Foundation in 1974, he initiated numerous projects such as Walter de Maria's "Lightning field" in New Mexico in 1977, the "Vertical Earth Kilometer" in Kassel in 1977 and the "New York Earth Room" in 1979, the Dan Flavin Institute in Bridgehampton in 1983, Joseph Beuys' "7000 Oaks" from 1982 in Kassel and supplemented from 1988 in New York, Donald Judd's "Chinati Foundation" in Marfa in 1987, the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh in 1994, the Cy Twombly Gallery in Houston in 1995 and the DIA: Beacon in 2003 - with a good 30.000 m² of exhibition space, it is one of the world's largest museums of contemporary art.
With the Ayn Foundation 1990, Friedrich realized, among other things, the Arnulf Rainer Museum in New York in 1993-1995, the presentation of extensive series of works by Maria Zerres in New York and Marfa, and the permanent exhibition of Andy Warhol's "Last Supper" cycle in New York and Marfa. Last but not least, with the DASMAXIMUM Foundation in Traunreut, he sets another striking example against a fast-moving event culture and for a lasting and intensive encounter with contemporary art.