These days the art world has a global reach, with many different “capitals” feeding artists into a market dominated by contemporary art fairs. But going to galleries still matters, and there’s only one city in the world that can boast the largest and most varied concentration of them all: New York. There are hundreds of venues across the city, and many are closely located to one another in neighborhoods like Chelsea and the Lower East Side (they’re literally cheek by jowl in the former). Others are in more scattered locations in Soho, Tribeca, Brooklyn and even Queens. And there are always new gallery districts surfacing, most recently in Harlem. The point is, you can go just about anywhere in New York to see the latest in contemporary art or shows by modern and postwar masters. There is so much, it’s almost too hard to keep track of it all. With that in mind, we offer this guide of the city’s best art galleries.
Nov 17–Dec 18
Milk Gallery, a contemporary gallery and cultural space specializing in photography, kicks off autumn with an exhibition by legendary music photographer Michael Zagaris, showcasing the artist’s portraits of the most vital counter culture figures of the 1970s, including the Clash, Grateful Dead, Blondie, Bob Dylan, Patti Smith and others. 450 W 15th St (212-645-2797, themilkgallery.com). Mon–Fri 10am–6pm, Sat & Sun 11am–7pm.
Photograph: Courtesy Milk Gallery
On October 27, Max Laniado Gallery— VisioDell’Artewillpresentthelatest collection of works by the celebrated French artist Cosmina, in her second U.S. solo exhibition. “The External Facets of the Inner Self ” explores the way the inner self is expressed through performances of external identity. Cosmina evokes cosmic and universal themes through her unique and unclassifiable style of oil painting. Her philosophical vision of the universe is transcribed in an innovative pictorial language, in which feelings and meditations are expressed as dynamic interactions of light and color, in stunning compositions that invite the viewer towards introspection.
Max Laniado Gallery—Visio Dell’Arte specializes in contemporary painting. For almost 20 years, Max Laniado has promoted exclusive artists in London, Paris and New York. This includes highly credited artists Rasikh Akhmetvaliev, Cosmina, Chhour Kaloon and Ene, as well as fast emerging artists Bonus, Jeff Bortniker, Anik Legoupil, Vanessa Longo and Olivier Valli. 522 W 23rd St (212-796-5313, visiodellarte.com). Tue–Sat 10:30am–6:30pm, Sun 1:30–6:30pm.
Photograph: Courtesy Max Laniado Gallery
Featuring paintings and works on paper focusing on abstraction and abstracted landscapes, the diverse selection at Kathryn Markel Fine Arts is united by masterful technique, innovative exploration and an evident love of the creative process. Since 1975, Kathryn Markel has represented contemporary artists whose work is visually compelling and intellectually rigorous. 529 W 20th St, #6W (212-366-5368, markelfinearts.com). Tue–Sat 10am–6pm.
Deborah Zlotsky, Fata Morgana
Nov 8–Jan 2017
In 1969, Benny Andrews began conceptualizing the Bicentennial Series, in a time when the artist himself was deeply committed to political activism. After reading New York Times articles covering then President Nixon’s Bicentennial Commission and the American plan for coast to coast celebrations, Andrews became afraid that the American milestone would omit the voices of contemporary African Americans. To ensure inclusion, Andrews set out to document the America he knew and respected. Executed over six years, the Bicentennial Series remains a timeless body of paintings and drawings that address nationalism, war, feminism, sexism and hope. This is the first time that the Bicentennial Series will be presented in its totality. 100 Eleventh Ave (212-247-0082, michaelrosenfeldart.com). Tue–Sat 10am-6pm or by appointment.
Liberty #6 (Study for Trash), 1971
Photograph: Courtesy Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY
The Ross Art Group has specialized in original vintage posters for more than 20 years. From the Belle Époque period through the Pop Art era, the gallery represents more than 120 years of advertising posters. Subjects span from liquor to military, fashion, travel and more. Custom framing, delivery and installation are available. 532 Madison Ave, fourth floor (212-223-1525, rossartgroup.com). Mon–Fri 10am–6pm, Sat 10am–5pm.
Photograph: Herbert Suarez
Upper East Side
Through Dec 17
Housed in a landmark McKim, Mead & White mansion, the Americas Society art gallery is dedicated to exhibiting art from Latin America, the Caribbean and Canada. Since its founding in 1965 by David Rockefeller, the gallery has showcased works by major historical and contemporary artists including Carlos Cruz-Diez and Marta Minujín, among others. This fall, Americas Society continues this tradition with the first U.S. solo exhibition of Hungarian-born Mexican photographer Kati Horna (1912–2000).
“Told and Untold: The Photo Stories of Kati Horna in the Illustrated Press” traces the photographer’s life and career as it unfolded around the globe. From her native Budapest, Horna took part in the radical intellectual circles of Berlin, interwar Paris, the frontlines of war-torn Spain and, ultimately, Mexico City. Featuring both her photographs and the magazines and periodicals that put them in circulation, “Told and Untold” considers the previously lost histories and forgotten narratives underlying Horna’s politically engaged practice. 680 Park Ave at 68th St (212-277-8367,as-coa.org/visualarts). Wed-Sat noon–6pm.
Photograph: Cameron Blaylock
Lower East Side
Through Oct 30
Painter, sculptor, filmmaker and printmaking artist Ray Smith mixes art-historical elements with postmodern imagery. In “American Calendar,” he merges American pop-culture iconography from the ’50s and his dreamlike cartoons and, in this game juxtaposition, finds a medium with which to rewrite history. The exhibition features a series of interventions for which Smith uses images from vintage calendars depicting the American dream as his starting points. Then, drawing on plexiglass, he creates an inverse image that lays over the print, becoming a sort of antipainting. Idyllic American panoramas are contrasted with our charged sociopolitical situation. “Each one of these images can be read as surrealistic visions, but I can see them as nightmares as well,” says Smith. 139 Eldridge St (646-478-8055, lyleoreitzel.com). Wed–Sun 10am–6pm.
Through Dec 17
Ronald Feldman Fine Arts is proud to present the solo exhibition of Nancy Chunn and her 13-and-a- half year, site-specific painting-installation Chicken Little and the Culture of Fear, which updates the folk tale of the paranoid fowl. As Chunn describes it, after 9/11 the media went into overdrive, broadcasting every idiotic, innocuous, hilarious and—on rare occasions—real danger the country faced. In Michael Moore's Bowling For Columbine, Professor Barry Glassner referred to this as a “Culture of Fear” that flooded the public with stories about immigrants, welfare mothers, kidnappings and other threats. To maintain sanity in this age of absurdity, Chunn has embarked on a baroque, obsessive, labor-intensive process that has become as wild as the culture of fear that inspired it. 31 Mercer St (212-226-3232, feldmangallery.com). Tue–Sat 10am–6pm.
Photograph: Megan Paetzhold
The Untitled Space gallery, founded by Indira Cesarine, specializes in contemporary artists exploring conceptual framework and highlights a program of “Women in Art.” Recent exhibits include “SELF REFLECTION,” an exhibit of 21 female artists addressing self-portraiture through mediums of photography, painting, mixed media, textile art and video. 45 Lispenard St, #1W (212-780- 0960, untitled-space.com). Mon–Fri 11am–6pm, Sat noon–6pm.
Grace Graupe Pillard, Leni's Diver
Owen James Gallery is a contemporary art gallery focusing on emerging and mid-career artists from an international perspective. Through intrepid research, exploration and critical curation the gallery strives to present a balance of perspectives, methods and genders. The space aims to be a hub for the increasingly global scope of the contemporary art market, and to compare and contrast concurrent contexts, methods and narratives in art practices that span it. The gallery is a showcase for the interweaving histories of America, Asia and Europe, with special attention to emerging art from Southeast Asia. The gallery opened its doors in September 2014, in the historic Pencil Factory in Greenpoint Brooklyn, joining a diverse array of artist studios, designers, wood craftsmen, vintage furniture salons and internet projects. The building resides in the Eberhard Faber Pencil Company Historic District. 61 Greenpoint Ave, suite 215 (718-395-4874, owenjamesgallery.com). Wed–Sun 11am–6pm.
Photograph: Courtesy Owen James Gallery
A short trip away
Oct 25–Jan 8
It was an extraordinary period that shaped modern Mexico and captured the attention of the world. Artists took their ideas from the studio into the streets, painting the revolution. In a landmark exhibition—the first of such scope to be seen in the United States in more than seven decades—the Philadelphia Museum of Art in partnership with the Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City has organized “Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism, 1910–1950.” This timely exhibition looks at the achievements of Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros, along with Frida Kahlo and Rufino Tamayo; it also surveys the broader panorama of Mexican art during this period, contains many new discoveries and explores the artistic exchanges that continue to resonate on both sides of the border today. 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA (215-763-8100, philamuseum.org). Tue, Thu, Sat & Sun 10am–5pm; Wed & Fri 10am-8:45pm.
Diego Rivera, Liberation of the Peon, 1931
Photograph: (Philadelphia Museum of Art: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Cameron Morris; 1943-46-1) © Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York