Bastian was founded in 1989 by Celine & Heiner Bastian. Its Berlin space was located at Kupfergraben, facing Museum Island, in the city's historical centre until 2019 when the Sir David Chipperfield designed building was donated to the Prussian Cultural Department. Coinciding with Bastian's 30th anniversary in Berlin, the gallery opened a new venue in Mayfair, London. The inaugural exhibition was devoted to Andy Warhol's Polaroid Pictures, and has been followed by solo presentations of Cy Twombly, Joseph Beuys, Dan Flavin and Hans Hofmann. In Berlin, recent exhibitions have included Pablo Picasso, Jean Dubuffet, and Anselm Kiefer.
Bastian has long-standing working relationships with the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Cy Twombly Foundation amongst others. The gallery frequently cooperates with leading scholars, museum curators and directors across the world by offering advice, lending works and co-curating exhibitions in different venues.