Best art galleries in New York City

Find works by established and up-and-coming artists at the best art galleries in NYC
Photograph: Courtesy David Zwirner, New York/London/Hong Kong
By Howard Halle |
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There are 1,500 art galleries in NYC, according to some estimates, making it the largest concentration of galleries in the world. Though located in all five boroughs, these spaces tend to congregate in Manhattan neighborhoods that include Chelsea, the Lower East Side and the Upper East Side. And the galleries in each area tend to share certain architectural characteristics: Chelsea mega-galleries, for instance, are carved out of cavernous warehouses and garages, while LES galleries roost in the former footprints of funky little storefront businesses. Uptown, elegant old Gilded-Age townhouses and masionettes contain venues that, in some cases, have amenities such as winding marble staircases and extensive beaux-art molding on the walls and ceilings. To find out more, check out our complete gallery guides by neighborhoods below, but in the meantime, if you're wondering which places represent the cream of the crop, here is our list of best NYC art galleries overall.

Best art galleries in New York City

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Art, Galleries

Gavin Brown’s Enterprise

icon-location-pin Harlem

Once a self-styled maverick, Gavin Brown has settled down to become a major player in the art market with two NYC spaces—one on the Lower East Side, the other in Harlem—and one in Rome, all of which present the work of such talents as Urs Fischer, Laura Owens and Rob Pruitt.

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Photograph: Courtesy Hauser & Wirth
Art, Galleries

Hauser & Wirth New York

icon-location-pin Chelsea

The New York branch of the powerhouse gallery with nine locations around the world has two branches in New York: One on W 22nd Street in Chelsea, the other on the Upper East Side at   32 E 69th Street. Both venues provide showcases for Hauser & Wirth's roster of global art stars (which includes major names like Louise Bourgeois, Martin Creed and Roni Horn) as well as for the numerous estates of important historical figures (like Philip Guston) that the gallery represents.

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Art, Galleries

Anton Kern Gallery

icon-location-pin Midtown East

The son of artist Georg Baselitz, Kern represents youngish and midcareer artists, including Ellen Berkenblit, Nicole Eisenman, Mark Grotjahn and Jonas Wood among others. After 16 years in Chelsea (and four years before that in Soho) Kern decamped in 2017 to a five-story townhouse in Midtown East that once housed a hairdresser who catered to New York's 20th-century elite. 

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Photograph: Robert McKeever
Art, Galleries

Gagosian Gallery

icon-location-pin Chelsea

With 15 spaces around the world Larry Gagosian is the undisputed master of the gallery world. His mammoth (20,000-square-foot) contribution to 24th Street’s top-level galleries is the centerpiece of this empire. It was launched in 1999 with a mammouth Richard Serra installation. Since then, exhibitions have featured works by Ellen Gallagher, Damien Hirst, Anselm Kiefer, Ed Ruscha, Julian Schnabel, Andy Warhol and many other top-shelf names.

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Photograph: Courtesy David Zwirner Gallery
Art, Galleries

David Zwirner

icon-location-pin Chelsea

Since 1993, German expatriate David Zwirner has grown his gallery from a relatively modest space in Soho to a global powerhouse with locations in London and Hong, as well uptown and down. A purpose built gallery building on West 20th Street in Chelsea is dedicated to museum-quality shows of historical figures and movements, while his West 19th Street space hosts exhibitons by his roster of international contemporary artists, a group that includes such luminaries as Marcel Dzama, Luc Tuymans, Chris Ofili, Neo Rauch and Lisa Yuskavage. In 2017, he opened an additonal NYC venue on East 69th Street.

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Photograph: David N. Regen
Art, Galleries

Gladstone Gallery

icon-location-pin Chelsea

Gladstone Gallery is strictly blue-chip, focusing on such Conceptualist and daring talents as Matthew Barney, Sarah Lucas and Anish Kapoor. With two locations in Chelsea, another on the Upper East Side and a branch in Brussels, Belgium, Gladstone is a major art-world player.

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Photograph: Courtesy CLEARING
Art, Galleries

CLEARING

icon-location-pin Bushwick

This space with an all-caps name is the New York branch of a gallery in Brussels, Belgium, and like the home office, the Brooklyn shop focuses on contemporary art by an international roster of young emerging artists with up-to-the-minute sensibilities. The gallery recently added an Upper East Side location.

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Photograph: Charles Benton
Art, Galleries

JTT

icon-location-pin Lower East Side

Dealer Jasmin Tsou, a veteran of Maccarone and Kimmerich galleries, as well as Karma, the West Village bookshop and gallery, started this LES showcase for emerging and under-appreciated artists in 2012 with money she raised at the NADA art fair in Miami where she'd mounted a small project booth. The success of the gallery since then has meant that its roster of artists (among them, Jamian Juliano-Villani, Cole Sayer and Becky Kolsrud) are no longer under-appreciated.

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Photograph: Courtesy 47 Canal
Art, Galleries

47 Canal

icon-location-pin Lower East Side

The term cutting-edge doesn’t have much meaning anymore, but if there was any gallery out there that you could say was still pushing the envelope, it would be 47 Canal. Run by artist Margaret Lee and her boyfriend Oliver Newton, the gallery originally opened on Canal Street around 2008 in a office kept by Lee as part of her day job managing Cindy Sherman’s studio. The gallery has since located to a second-floor location on Grand Street with a line-up of artists that includes Antoine Catala, Trevor Shimizu and Anicka Yi. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Acquavella Galleries
Art, Galleries

Acquavella Galleries

icon-location-pin Upper East Side

This well-established uptown gallery is the ultimate in blue-chip venues, one of the best in the city, offering museum-quality shows of Impressionist and modernist masters complimented  by Beaux-Arts architectural details. A select group of contemporary artists are also on the roster, including Zeng Fanzhi, Damian Loeb and Enoc Perez.

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11
Photograph: Michael Werner
Art, Galleries

Michael Werner

icon-location-pin Lenox Hill

Legendary German art dealer Michael Werner opened his New York gallery in 1990 under the direction of Gordon VeneKlasen. Michael Werner represents some of the most important artists of our time, including Marcel Broodthaers, James Lee Byars, Aaron Curry, Peter Doig, Thomas Houseago, Jörg Immendorff, Per Kirkeby, Eugène Leroy, Markus Lüpertz, A.R. Penck, Sigmar Polke and Don Van Vliet. In addition to contemporary American and European painting, sculpture and drawing, the gallery specializes in works by modern masters including Hans Arp, Wilhelm Lehmbruck, Piero Manzoni, Francis Picabia and Kurt Schwitters. He's along partners in Chinatown venture: Tramps and Michael Werner

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Photograph: Courtesy Half Gallery
Art, Galleries

Half Gallery

icon-location-pin Upper East Side

This hideaway gallery founded by man-about-art-world Bill Powers foucses on the most recently emergent of emerging artists.

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Photograph: Courtesy Lévy Gorvy
Art, Galleries

Lévy Gorvy

icon-location-pin Lenox Hill

Formerly a partner in L&M Fine Art, Dominique Lévy opened her namesake gallery in 2013 in a tony three-floor space located in a former bank building on the Upper East Side. A the end of 2016, she partnered with Brett Gorvy, formerly Chairman and International Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art at Christie’s and renamed the gallery Lévy Gorvy. In addition to New York, Lévy Gorvy has a location in London.   

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