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

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

1

Andrew Kreps Gallery

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.

Chelsea
2

Jack Shainman Gallery

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.

Chelsea
Advertising
3

Marianne Boesky Gallery

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.

Lenox Hill
4

Ricco Maresca Gallery

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.

Chelsea
Advertising
5

Mitchell-Innes & Nash

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.

Chelsea
6

Petzel Gallery

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.

Chelsea
Advertising
7

Sikkema Jenkins & Co.

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.

Chelsea
8

Metro Pictures

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.

Chelsea
Advertising
9

303 Gallery

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.

Chelsea
10

James Cohan Gallery

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.  

Chelsea
Advertising
11

Lehmann Maupin

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.

Chelsea
12

Mary Boone Gallery

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.

Chelsea
Advertising
13

Gagosian Gallery

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.

Chelsea
14

David Zwirner

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.

Chelsea
Advertising
15

Gladstone Gallery

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.

Chelsea
Advertising
17

Pace Gallery

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.

Chelsea
18

Greene Naftali

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.

Chelsea
Advertising
19

Luhring Augustine

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.

Chelsea
20

Matthew Marks Gallery

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.

Chelsea
Advertising
21

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.

22

Tanya Bonakdar Gallery

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.

Chelsea
Advertising
23

Paul Kasmin Gallery

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.

Chelsea
24

Cheim & Read

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.

Chelsea
Advertising
25

Sean Kelly Gallery

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.

Hell's Kitchen

Looking for more of the best in art?

Comments

6 comments
Harwood R

Psychic silhouette cut-art, collage by Silhouette fine artist, Cindi Rose of President Obama, President Bush, First Lady Barbara Bush.

Walter S

Check out ROCK STAR CRYSTALS.  Nature rules at Chelsea's newest Gallery, where rocks and mineral specimens take center stage.  This unique Gallery of Gems and Mineral Gallery is open every day and it's easy to get to:  the subway is only a block away and it's centrally located on  W 26th St between 6th and  7th Ave.  CALL 212 675 3065 or go to www.rockstarcrystalsmanhattanb.com

Jim Pratzon

From October 3 to October 19 at ENTRYWAY GALLERY, 122 W. 26 Street: "SMALL MONSTERS" A group show of award-winning artists, book-makers, and illustrators who were all asked to let their small monsters out. The exhibition includes works by Caldecott honoree Peter Sis, science-fiction legend Vin Di Fate, New Yorker cover artist Pete DeSeave, as well as Holly Elkins, Frances Jetter, Ann Marshall, Peter McCaffrey, Karen Ruelle, and Steve Ross. Gallery Hours Thursday - Friday 4 - 7 & Saturday 1 - 4 or by appointment. Entryway Gallery, located at Pratzon Art Restoration, in the Flatiron District. 212-807-7066 entrywaygallery.com

Leon Leigh

Love the space. www.designsinkart.com/leonleigh.htm. constructionist from London too CALIFORNIA. LOOKING FOR NY GALLERY FIND MY WORK

Nick Shah

A multi -million dollar depression time hand carved sculpture 5.5 feet x 2.5 feet x 5ft high available for sale..Contact me and I will email you all the information including a photo. Tel. 516-705-8758

Jim Pratzon

This is a missing listing. From September 27 through October 13 at Entryway Gallery: "Barbara Gray / Karen Gray Ruelle: New Paintings, Collage, and Prints" The first shared exhibition by this well-known mother and daughter – Barbara Gray, the Westport muralist, and Karen Gray Ruelle, award-winning illustrator for children and young adults. Entryway Gallery is located at 122 West 26th Street, Suite 1007. 212-807-7066.