The best Chelsea art galleries

These top flight Chelsea art galleries offer the very best in contemporary painting, sculpture and more
Photograph: Courtesy Greene Naftali
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When New Yorkers think of which neighborhood they should head to for an art walk, they usually think of Chelsea. While new gallery districts have sprung up in recent years in Brooklyn and on the Lower East Side, Chelsea remains home to one of the largest concentration of galleries in the world. So whether you're a casual gallery-goer or a dedicated connoisseur, Chelsea is still the place where you can catch up on the latest and best of what's happening in the art world.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to art galleries in NYC

Best Chelsea art galleries

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Credit: Photograph: Courtesy Andrew Kreps Gallery
Art, Galleries

Andrew Kreps Gallery

icon-location-pin Chelsea

This mid-size contemporary art space has been a fixture on the Chelsea scene since 1996, which is when the neighborhood first took off as a gallery district. Dealer Andrew Kreps remains focused on introducing emerging talents, though some of the artists on his roster have shown with him since the beginning, making them more midcareer at this point. Nontheless Kreps's stable—which includes Ricci Albenda, Roe Ethridge, Robert Melee and Ruth Root—is nothing if not adventurous.

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Photograph: Courtesy Jack Shainman
Art

Jack Shainman Gallery

icon-location-pin Chelsea

Jack Shainman Gallery transplanted to New York from Washington, D.C., back in 1984, at the height of the ’80s East Village gallery scene. Like many venues dating to that era, Shainman subsequently moved to Soho, before alighting in Chelsea in 1997. It's always maintained a consequently high level of quality, representing artists such as Kerry James Marshall, Odili Donald Odita and Nick Cave—among many others—over the years. Currently, it has two Chelsea locations, this one and another at 524 W 24th St.

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Photograph: Courtesy Marianne Boesky Gallery
Art, Galleries

Marianne Boesky Gallery

icon-location-pin 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.

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Photograph: Courtesy Ricco/Maresca
Art, Sculpture

Ricco Maresca Gallery

icon-location-pin Chelsea

Ricco/Maresca has been championing the cause of self-taught artists (be they outsiders, visionaries or folk practitioners) since 1979 when it originally opened in Soho. In 1997, the gallery decamped for Chelsea, where it has continued its mission of the promoting such figures as Henry Darger, William Hawkins and Martín Ramírez, while also presenting the work of formally-educated contemporary artists.

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Photograph: Courtesy Mitchell-Innes & Nash
Art, Galleries

Mitchell-Innes & Nash

icon-location-pin Chelsea

Partners Lucy Mitchell-Innes and David Nash started their gallery uptown in 1996 after working in high-powered positions at Sotheby's auction house. The space quickly established a reputation for mounting high-quality exhibits of modern and postwar masters. In 2005, the couple opened a Chelsea branch, which focuses on contemporary artists.

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Photograph: Courtesy Petzel Gallery
Art, Galleries

Petzel Gallery

icon-location-pin Chelsea

Founded in 1994, Petzel Gallery represents some of the brightest stars on the international scene, so you can count on some intriguing shows. Sculptor Keith Edmier, photographer Dana Hoey, painter and filmmaker Sarah Morris, and installation artists Jorge Pardo and Philippe Parreno are just some of the names on the gallery’s high-powered roster.

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Art, Galleries

Sikkema Jenkins & Co.

icon-location-pin Chelsea

Sikkema Jenkins & Co. is a midsize powerhouse of a Chelsea gallery, featuring a number of art stars—most notably Kara Walker, Vik Muniz and MacArthur grant recipient Mark Bradford—in its stable of painters, photographers and installation artists. The artists here share what might be called a figurative or narrative bent, strained through a quasi-Conceptual sensibility, and they are all well served by the gallery's elegantly proportioned exhibition spaces.

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Photograph: Courtesy Metro Pictures
Art

Metro Pictures

icon-location-pin Chelsea

Metro Pictures is best known for representing art-world superstar Cindy Sherman, along with such big contemporary names as multimedia artist Mike Kelley, Robert Longo—famous for his works produced using photography and charcoal—and the late German artist Martin Kippenberger.

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Photograph: Courtesy 303 Gallery
Art, Galleries

303 Gallery

icon-location-pin Chelsea

A mainstay of Chelsea (and before that the Soho and East Village scenes of the late 1980s and early 1990s), this gallery actually got its start in an offbeat location: the Park Avenue South apartment of principal Lisa Spellman (hence the name; it's her old address). Over the years, 303 has fostered the careers of critically acclaimed artists working in a variety of media—among them photographers Thomas Demand and Stephen Shore and painters Inka Essenhigh, Mary Heilmann and Karen Kilimnik.

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Photograph: Courtesy James Cohan Gallery
Art, Galleries

James Cohan Gallery

icon-location-pin Chelsea

This swank, blue-chip Chelsea gallery opened September 1999 with an inaugural exhibition of early photo pieces by Gilbert & George.  It's maintained a similar focus on international contemporary art ever since, with a stable divided between established and emerging artists—including the Estate of Lee Mullican, Richard Long, Yinka Shonibare MBE, Fred Tomaselli and Bill Viola.  

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Photograph: Courtesy Lehmann Maupin
Art, Galleries

Lehmann Maupin

icon-location-pin Chelsea

This gallery left its Rem Koolhaas–designed loft in Soho for new Koolhaas-designed digs in an old Chelsea garage. Epic exhibitions feature hip Americans and Europeans, including Teresita Fernández, Do-Ho Suh, Kutlug Ataman and Tracy Emin.

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Photograph: Courtesy Mary Boone Gallery
Art, Galleries

Mary Boone Gallery

icon-location-pin Chelsea

Mary Boone made her name repping Julian Schnabel, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Francesco Clemente at her Soho gallery in the ’80s. She later moved to midtown (see 57th Street) and, in 2000, added this sweeping space in Chelsea, showing established artists like Ross Bleckner, Barbara Kruger and Damian Loeb.

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Photograph: Robert McKeever
Art, Galleries

Gagosian Gallery

icon-location-pin Chelsea

Larry Gagosian’s mammoth (20,000-square-foot) contribution to 24th Street’s top-level galleries was launched in 1999 with a thrilling Richard Serra show. Follow-up exhibitions have featured works by Ellen Gallagher, Damien Hirst, Anselm Kiefer, Ed Ruscha, Julian Schnabel and Andy Warhol.

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Photograph: EPW STUDIO
Art, Galleries

David Zwirner

icon-location-pin Chelsea

German expatriate David Zwirner mixes museum-quality shows of historical figures and movements (Dan Flavin; West Coast Minimalism) with a head-turning array of international contemporary artists that includes such luminaries as Marcel Dzama, Luc Tuymans, Chris Ofili, Neo Rauch and Lisa Yuskavage.

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Photograph: David N. Regen
Art, Galleries

Gladstone Gallery

icon-location-pin Chelsea

Gladstone is strictly blue-chip, with a heavy emphasis on the Conceptual, the philosophical and the daring. Matthew Barney, Richard Prince, Anish Kapoor and Rosemarie Trockel show here.

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Photograph: Courtesy Hauser & Wirth
Art, Galleries

Hauser & Wirth New York

icon-location-pin Chelsea

This is downtown location for the powerhouse international gallery serves as a transistional, temporary space. 

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Photograph: Kerry Ryan McFate
Art

Pace Gallery

icon-location-pin Chelsea

In a space designed by artist Robert Irwin, this welcoming branch of the famous midtown gallery houses grand-scale shows by big-time contemporaries, including Georg Baselitz, Chuck Close, Alex Katz, Sol LeWitt, Elizabeth Murray and Kiki Smith.

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Photograph: Courtesy Greene Naftali
Art, Galleries

Greene Naftali

icon-location-pin Chelsea

This gallery is worth a visit just for its wonderful light and spectacular bird’s-eye city view. Greene Naftali has a reputation for hosting potent rock-’em-sock-’em Conceptualist group shows.

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Photograph: Courtesy Luhring Augustine
Art, Galleries

Luhring Augustine

icon-location-pin Chelsea

Designed by the area’s architect of choice, Richard Gluckman, this cool gallery features work from an impressive index of artists that includes Briton Rachel Whiteread; Swiss video star Pipilotti Rist; Japanese photo artist Yasumasa Morimura; and Americans Janine Antoni, Larry Clark and Christopher Wool.

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Photograph: Stephan Sagmiller
Art, Galleries

Matthew Marks Gallery

icon-location-pin Chelsea

The Matthew Marks gallery was a driving force behind Chelsea’s transformation into an art destination, and it remains one of the neighborhood’s biggest draws; its 9,000-square-foot, two-story locale has a second-floor public gallery. Marks showcases Nan Goldin, Andreas Gursky, Ellsworth Kelly, Willem de Kooning, Brice Marden and Ugo Rondinone.

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Photograph: Courtesy Lisson Gallery
Art, Contemporary art

Lisson Gallery

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.

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Photograph: Courtesy Tanya Bonakdar
Art, Galleries

Tanya Bonakdar Gallery

icon-location-pin Chelsea

While this elegant Chelsea space doesn't quite match the footprint of supergalleries like Gagosian or Zwirner, it does include some powerhouse names on its roster of artists, such as Uta Barth, Ernesto Neto and New York City Waterfalls maestro Olafur Eliasson.

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Photograph: Courtesy Paul Kasmin Gallery
Art, Galleries

Paul Kasmin Gallery

icon-location-pin Chelsea

Established contemporary artists as well as such blue-chip heavy-hitters as Morris Louis, Robert Indiana and Robert Motherwell are the specialty of this Chelsea mainstay.

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Photograph: Brian Buckley
Art, Arts centers

Cheim & Read

icon-location-pin Chelsea

This international group of established contemporary artists includes such superstars as Diane Arbus, Jenny Holzer, Milton Resnick and Pat Steir. The practices showcased here include painting, drawing, sculpture and photography; a number of individuals on the gallery's roster are venerable New Yorkers.

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Photograph: Courtesy Sean Kelly Gallery
Art, Galleries

Sean Kelly Gallery

icon-location-pin Hell's Kitchen

Representing established and midcareer artists, this gallery has a strong reputation for supporting work based in installation and performance; Laurie Anderson and Iran do Espírito Santo are a couple of the notable talents here.

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