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Installation view, Lisa Yuskavage New Paintings, David Zwirner, New York, 2018
Photograph: EPW Studio, courtesy David Zwirner, New York/London/Hong Kong

The best galleries in NYC

At the best galleries in NYC you'll find works by established and up-and-coming artists

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Howard Halle
Contributor
Shaye Weaver
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New York is a hotbed of artistic expression. The city’s art museums—including The Metropolitan Museum Of Art, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum—display some of the best artists spanning centuries. And with more than 1000 galleries, you can check out the latest and greatest artists at any time, in all mediums from painting to sculpture. You’ll find the best galleries in NYC concentrated in Chelsea, but also Brooklyn and Queens to the Upper and Lower East Sides of Manhattan. Visit NYC’s legendary art galleries and you’ll see some of the best artists from around the world.

These galleries are at the forefront of the latest trends in art and design, so you know you’re catching a glimpse of the cutting edge. You can also see work from big name artists, from Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst to Yayoi Kusama and Richard Serra. Whether you’re looking for gorgeous paintings, mind-boggling sculpture or thought-provoking installations, these galleries have the goods. The best part? While you may not be able to afford to make a purchase, perusing these galleries to enjoy amazing works of art is completely free. And if you’re inspired? Check out the best art classes in NYC.

Best galleries in New York City

  • Art
  • Galleries
  • 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.

  • Art
  • Galleries
  • 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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  • Art
  • Galleries
  • 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.

  • Art
  • Galleries
  • 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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  • Art
  • Galleries
  • Chelsea

With spaces at street level and on its building's eighth floor, this gallery plays host to such big name talents as Rachel Harrison, Paul Chan and Peter Halley, and also has a reputation for mounting potent group shows. Upstairs is worth a visit just for its wonderful light and spectacular bird’s-eye view of the  Hudson Yards and midtown. 

  • Art
  • Contemporary art
  • Chelsea

According to the gallery itself, “uniqueness, integrity and authenticity” are the qualities that have its defined its program over 30 years of operation. With a particular focus on exhibitions of self-taught and visionary artists, Cavin-Morris has also mounted shows by contemporary ceramicists and has presented indigenous artworks from Africa, Asia, the South Pacific and the Americas.

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  • Art
  • Galleries
  • East Williamsburg

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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  • Art
  • Galleries
  • Lenox Hill

Founded in Soho in 1996, Marianne Boesky Gallery migrated to Chelsea in 2005, taking up an elegant purpose-built space right next to the High Line. After opening and closing venues on both the Upper and Lower East Side, Boesky re-consolidated her operation at her Chelsea shop, adding an annex—Boesky East—next door. She also operates a space in Aspen, Colorado. Throughout her career, Boesky has exhibited a mix of established, mid-career and emerging artists that includes such high-profile names as Frank Stella and John Waters.

  • Art
  • Galleries
  • 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.

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  • Art
  • Galleries
  • Chelsea

This 9,000-square-foot space devoted to emerging artists is located on Chelsea’s West 24th Street drag, and is the brainchild of Turkish Internet mogul and art collector Emre Kurttepeli, who opened the place in late 2011 with help from partners Mel Dogan and Erkut Soyak.

Best art galleries by neighborhood

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Best art galleries by type

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