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.
Art galleries are everywhere in New York City, from Brooklyn and Queens to the Upper and Lower East Sides of Manhattan. And, of course, they are in Chelsea, which continues to have the larger concentration of spaces in a single neighborhood—not just in New York, but in every city in the world. By some estimates, there are something like 1,500 galleries in NYC, an astounding number when you think about it. By contrast, NYC only has some 100 bookstores overall, and that's counting chains like Barnes & Noble. Broadway has approximately 40 theaters (though, admittedly, that doesn't include Off or Off Off Broadway venues because those are harder to quantify). Amazingly, that's roughly the same figure for cinemas, at least in Manhattan. So yeah, there are a lot of galleries here, covering all periods in art history, though the preponderance of them feature contemporary art (meaning artworks produced from the second half of the 20th century to the present). Did we mention that galleries are free? Yes they are, but even if your pocketbook can handle visiting all of NYC's galleries, your feet probably couldn't. So with that in mind, we've assembled guides of recommended galleries organized by neighbors, which you can find below. Meanwhile, if you're only looking for the creme de la creme, check out our list of the top ten best art galleries in New York City.