What separates Brooklyn’s galleries from those in Chelsea, the Upper East Side and the Lower East Side? They’re located in the neighborhoods where most of New York City’s artists actually live. From Greenpoint and Dumbo to Bushwick and Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn’s gallery scene brings a farm to table freshness to shows by emerging artists, many of them straight out of graduate school. In terms of the quality of the art shown, and the sheer number of spaces, Brooklyn’s scene holds its own against Manhattan’s. If you want to find the must-see venues in the Borough Of Kings, look no further than our guide to the best Brooklyn art galleries.
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Best Brooklyn art galleries
Greenpoint Terminal Gallery is run by artist and Boston native Brian Willmont, who opened shop in 2013 in an historic warehouse once occupied by the American Manufacturing Corporation rope factory. Just a stone's throw away from the Greenpoint waterfront, Willmont's space offers an engaging mix of shows by emerging artists working in a variety of mediums.
Silas Von Morisse made his bones as a gallerist by working in some high-powered places including the former Haunch of Venison (affliated with the auction house Christie's NY) and Helly Nahmad Gallery, a blue-chip outfit located on the Upper East Side. That background is reflected in Von Morisse's taste, which goes for establishmentarian aesthetics and shows that are reliably polished.
It's rare to find a gallery that restricts its program to a particular genre, but that is what Minus Space has done since it opened in 2003. Dedicated to what it calls, "reductive abstract art" this space located in the heart of Dumbo has presented an international roster of artists adhering to the idea that less is more with paintings that emphasize color, flatness and simplified form.
A small storefront space with a big iconoclastic vision, Kustera Projects is run by namesake Anna Kustera, a long time dealer who got her start more than 20 year ago with a gallery in Soho. Over the decades Kustera's operation migrated first to Chelsea and then in 2015 to its current address in Red Hook.
After two years of orginazing various projects online or in pop-up locations American Medium founders Daniel Wallace of Philadelphia's Extra Extra gallery and Travis Fitzgerald and Josh Pavlacky of Portland's Appendix Project Space opened this proper exhbition space in Bedford-Stuyvesant in 2014 with an eye towards showcasing young emerging artists working in all mediums.
Originally founded in 1981 by artists Martin Weinstein and Teresa Liszka, this non-profit was a stalwart of the Downtown art scene for more than three decades before moving in January 2016 to its current location in Brooklyn, bringing its program of exhibitions, artist residencies and commissioned projects to a flexible ground-floor space in Dumbo.
The Brooklyn branch of the powerhouse gallery founded in 1985 by co-owners Lawrence R. Luhring and Roland J. Augustine is notable for being the only blue-chip operation of its kind in Bushwick. Like the home office in Chelsea Luhring Augustine Bushwick presents work by some of the leading names in contemporary art.
This Bushwick gallery, founded by artist-curators Elle Burchill and Andrea Monti in former auto parts shop in 2010, specializes in film, video, sound, digital and performance art (one particular standout in the last category was a 2011 event in which artist Marni Kotak gave birth to a child in the gallery). Microscope Gallery is also notable for showing the work of such pioneering figures of the 1960s and ’70s avant-garde as Jonas Mekas, George Maciunas and Michael Snow.
While it may seem confusing, this Greenpoint gallery is actually located at 104 Green Street instead of at 106 Green as it’s name implies. It’s abbreviated hours—open for only five hours each Sunday–is necessitated by the fact that 106 Green serves as the living room of a ground floor apartment during the rest of the week. Nonetheless, this space founded in 2012 by artists Mitchell Wright, Ridley Howard and Holly Coulis, has become a noted player in Brooklyn’s emerging contemporary artist scene, especially since the appointment of independent curator Jon Lutz as the gallery’s director in 2016.
This Red Hook non-profit, founded in 2012 by artist Dustin Yellin, occupies a warehouse dating from 1866, that was once home to one of the country's largest ironworks. With 27,000 square feet and ceilings soaring 40 feet high, the space hosts a lively program of exhibitons, installations, performances, artist residences and classes.
This venue originally started out as a studio shared by artists Alexander Johns and Kyle Clairmont Jacques who decided to become gallerists because they felt that local art wasn’t being served well by the neighborhood’s existing exhibition spaces. Since then, they’ve been presenting young emerging artists from Brooklyn and beyond.
Opened in March 2017, this Bedford-Stuyvesant space is the side project of Joeonna Bellorado-Samuels, a neighborhood resident and also director at Jack Shainman Gallery in Chelsea. Along with partner Aryn DrakeLee-Williams of The Mistake Room in Los Angeles, Bellorado-Samuels conceived of We Buy Gold as a "roving" enterprise that will periodically change locations.