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The best Chelsea galleries, ranked

These mainstays of Chelsea’s gallery scene offer the best in contemporary painting, sculpture and more

Photograph: Annik Wetter
Helen Marten, Brood and Bitter Pass, 2015

By some estimates, there are approximately 1500 galleries in New York City, spread out across Soho, Tribeca, Greenwich Village, the Lower and Upper East Sides, and on 57th Street in Midtown (not too mention various locations in Brooklyn and Queens). But the greatest concentration by far can be found in Chelsea on the far West Side. By itself, Chelsea is home to several hundred galleries carved out of old warehouses and garages lining the sidewalks between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues, and between West 15th and West 35th Streets. Needless to say the neighborhood is a magnet for young artists, looking to make their mark, while the biggest Chelsea galleries play host to the leading figures in contemporary painting, sculpture, video art, etc. Many of these spaces also mount so-called art museum-quality exhibitions of historical greats. There’s something for everyone’s taste in Chelsea, where you can easily spend an entire day gallery hopping without seeing everything.

RECOMMENDED: See more of the best art galleries in NYC

Best Chelsea galleries

Gagosian Gallery

Larry Gagosian’s mammoth (20,000-square-foot) contribution to 24th Street’s galleries was launched in 1999.

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Chelsea

David Zwirner

Zwirner mixes museum-quality shows of historical figures with a head-turning array of contemporary artists.

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Chelsea

Gladstone Gallery

Gladstone is strictly blue-chip, with a heavy emphasis on the Conceptual, the philosophical and the daring.

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Chelsea

Hauser & Wirth New York

Rivaling Gagosian Gallery for art-world clout, this powerhouse gallery founded in Switzerland by Iwan and Manuela Wirth and Ursula Hauser in 1992 has since expanded to six locations, including two here in New York—one Uptown on East 69th Street, the other on West 18th in the former home of Roxy NYC, a nightclub and former roller disco. In 2017, the gallery’s Chelsea branch and its blue-chip stable of artists (which includes Paul McCarthy, godfather of bad-boy art) will be moving to a five-story purpose-built home on West 22dn treat.

Photograph: Genevieve Hanson

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Lenox Hill

The Pace Gallery

To view shows by some of the 20th century’s most significant artists, head to this NYC institution.

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Chelsea

Greene Naftali

Celebrating its 20th year, and still going strong, this gallery with a conceptualist bent mounts some of the smartest shows in town. These have included exhibits of such gallery stars as Rachel Harrison and Jacqueline Humphries, but also revivals of lesser-known historical figures. In recent years, the gallery has opened an expansive ground-floor, but still retains its original eighth-floor location lit by huge windows offering a stunning, north-facing view of Midtown.

Helen Marten, Brood and Bitter Pass, 2015
Photograph: Annik Wetter; courtesy of the artist and Greene Naftali; New York

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Chelsea

Luhring Augustine

This cool gallery features work from an impressive index of artists that includes Rachel Whiteread and Pipilotti Rist.

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Chelsea

Lisson Gallery

While a newcomer to Chelsea’s gallery scene, London’s Lisson Gallery has been one of the world’s leading showcases for contemporary art since 1967. Numerous bold-face names-Ai Wei Wei, Marina Abramović and Sol LeWitt, to name a few—have shown with Lisson over the years. In addition to its New York venue, two London spaces, Lisson has an outpost in Milan, Italy.

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Cheim & Read

This international group of established contemporary artists includes such superstars as Diane Arbus and Jenny Holzer.

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Chelsea

Sean Kelly Gallery

This gallery has a strong reputation for supporting work based in installation and performance.

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Hell's Kitchen

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Comments

6 comments
Harwood R
Harwood R

Psychic silhouette cut-art, collage by Silhouette fine artist, Cindi Rose of President Obama, President Bush, First Lady Barbara Bush.

Walter S
Walter S

Check out ROCK STAR CRYSTALS.  Nature rules at Chelsea's newest Gallery, where rocks and mineral specimens take center stage.  This unique Gallery of Gems and Mineral Gallery is open every day and it's easy to get to:  the subway is only a block away and it's centrally located on  W 26th St between 6th and  7th Ave.  CALL 212 675 3065 or go to www.rockstarcrystalsmanhattanb.com

Jim Pratzon
Jim Pratzon

From October 3 to October 19 at ENTRYWAY GALLERY, 122 W. 26 Street: "SMALL MONSTERS" A group show of award-winning artists, book-makers, and illustrators who were all asked to let their small monsters out. The exhibition includes works by Caldecott honoree Peter Sis, science-fiction legend Vin Di Fate, New Yorker cover artist Pete DeSeave, as well as Holly Elkins, Frances Jetter, Ann Marshall, Peter McCaffrey, Karen Ruelle, and Steve Ross. Gallery Hours Thursday - Friday 4 - 7 & Saturday 1 - 4 or by appointment. Entryway Gallery, located at Pratzon Art Restoration, in the Flatiron District. 212-807-7066 entrywaygallery.com

Leon Leigh
Leon Leigh

Love the space. www.designsinkart.com/leonleigh.htm. constructionist from London too CALIFORNIA. LOOKING FOR NY GALLERY FIND MY WORK

Nick Shah
Nick Shah

A multi -million dollar depression time hand carved sculpture 5.5 feet x 2.5 feet x 5ft high available for sale..Contact me and I will email you all the information including a photo. Tel. 516-705-8758

Jim Pratzon
Jim Pratzon

This is a missing listing. From September 27 through October 13 at Entryway Gallery: "Barbara Gray / Karen Gray Ruelle: New Paintings, Collage, and Prints" The first shared exhibition by this well-known mother and daughter – Barbara Gray, the Westport muralist, and Karen Gray Ruelle, award-winning illustrator for children and young adults. Entryway Gallery is located at 122 West 26th Street, Suite 1007. 212-807-7066.