How many art galleries are there in New York City? While there’s no official figure, estimates range from 500 to 1500 venues, displaying and selling everything from antiquities to the latest thing. And while there’s no exact numerical breakdown for contemporary art shows specifically, they, too, range in the hundreds, making New York City the single greatest concentration of galleries on the planet. For art lovers, this provides a literal cornucopia of stuff to look at—and all of it for free. Gallery shows are open to the public and often rival the quality of exhibits at art museums charging you $20 and up to get in. All it takes is a little walking, so to point you in the right direction we offer this guide of the city’s best galleries.
Current exhibition: Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, “The Marionette Maker”
Through June 11
Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller are internationally recognized for their immersive multimedia works that often engage viewers in mysterious and dreamlike narratives. For their fourth solo exhibition with the gallery, the artists present their kinetic installation The Marionette Maker (2014), comprising a full-scale vintage caravan that houses myriad characters in a haunting environment. The artists’ interactive sound installation, Experiment in F# Minor (2013), will also be on view. 531 West 24th St (212-206-9100, luhringaugustine.com). Tue–Sat 10am–6pm.
Photograph: Courtesy Luhring Augustine
Current exhibition: Park Chan-kyong
Through July 1
Tina Kim Gallery presents the first U.S. solo exhibition of works by South Korean artist Park Chan-kyong. The exhibition showcases videos, photographs and installation work, allowing individual projects to tell their distinct stories as well as provide an overview of his unique vision. Park’s ability to explore cultural vocabularies is perfectly highlighted by being named the Artistic Director of Seoul Media City in 2014, a role that allowed the polymath to curate a comprehensive overview of contemporary cultural idioms.
Founded in 2001, Tina Kim Gallery annually participates in more than 12 international fairs and is devoted to featuring contemporary art. The regularly collaborates with Kukje Gallery in Seoul, on exhibitions that feature both emerging and internationally renowned artists. Tina Kim Gallery also works closely with Vintage 20, a private dealer specializing in midcentury furniture and design. 525 W 21st St (212-716-1100, tinakimgallery.com). Tue–Sat 10am–6pm.
Park Chan-kyong, Flying
Photograph: Courtesy Park Chan-kyong
Max Laniado Gallery – Visio Dell’Arte
On May 12, Max Laniado Gallery– Visio Dell’Arte presents an exclusive collection including the works of highly credited artists, such as Akhmetvaliev, Burykin, Chhour, Cosmina, and Ene, alongside those of emerging artists, such as Bonus, Bortniker, Legoupil, Longo, Modébadzé, and Valli. On June 2, the gallery presents Jeff Bortniker’s second solo exhibition. Balancing both visual and tactile emotions, Bortniker’s latest work engages the viewer with a unique phenomenological experience. On June 23, Chhour Kaloon’s new solo exhibition arrives in NYC. A major actor of the Poetic Abstraction movement, Chhour continues his fast ascension on the contemporary-art scene.
For almost 20 years, Max Laniado has promoted emerging artists in London, Paris, and in New York, where he opened a prestigious gallery in the heart of Chelsea. From emergence to fame, Max Laniado has a unique eye for scouting the new masters of the 21st century. 522 W 23rd St (212-796-5313, visodellarte.com). Tue–Sat 10:30am–6:30pm, Sun 1:30pm–6:30pm.
Photograph: Courtesy Max Laniado Gallery
Current exhibitions: Radcliffe Bailey, “Quest”
Through June 4
“Quest” marks Radcliffe Bailey’s fifth solo exhibition at this gallery. Working primarily in sculpture, painting and found photography, Bailey explores the complexity of contemporary identity in the face of history, ancestry and collective memory. “Quest” plumbs the depths of American history in an attempt for a fuller understanding of this shared past. 513 W 20th St (212-645-1701, jackshainman.com). Tue–Sat 10am–6pm.
Shimon Attie, “Facts on the Ground”
Through June 4
This exhibition marks Shimon Attie’s sixth solo at the gallery. “Facts on the Ground” features his recent series (of the same name), which captures the artist’s poetic interventions at meaningful public spaces across Israel and Palestine. 524 W 24th St (212-337-3372, jackshainman.com). Tue–Sat 10am–6pm.
Current exhibition: “Francis Luis Mora (1874–1940)”
Through May 21
Francis Luis Mora was a renowned painter, muralist, illustrator and teacher. He exhibited widely during his lifetime and received many important public commissions. In 2005, ACA presented his first retrospective since 1940. This exhibition includes paintings, drawings and etchings.
Upcoming Exhibition: “Michael Netter: Cryptographics”
June 2–July 29
529 W 20th St (212-206- 8080, acagalleries.com). Check gallery website for hours.
Francis Luis Mora, Spanish Shawls (Rosemary)
Photograph: Courtesy ACA Galleries, New York
This gallery in the Flatiron district specializes in contemporary art. Currently on view through June 11 is an exhibition that pays tribute to American abstract artist Babe Shapiro (1927–2016) and focuses particularly on his paintings from the ’70s and ’80s. Following that is the very popular and much anticipated annual group exhibition “The Summer Show,” which opens June 17 and features more than 40 works in various media—including painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, video and installation—by gallery and guest artists. 39 E 29th St, second floor (212-576-2032, dmcontemporary.com). Wed–Fri noon–6pm, Sat noon–4pm (Please note: Summer hours begin June 17).
Photograph: Courtesy DM Contemporary
National Association of Women Artists, Inc.
Founded in 1889, NAWA kicks off spring in its bright new gallery in the Artists’ Studios Building, continuing its reputation for bold and brilliant artworks. May’s bouquet offers Dale M. Reid’s photography, June features Cornelia Kavanagh’s unique sculptures, and for July, it hosts the members’ exhibit “Small Works.” NAWA’S 2016 offerings are in full bloom. 315 W 39th St, suite 508 (212-650-0624, thenawa.org). Tue–Fri 10am–5pm.
With a focus on American and European art from the 18th century to the present, Hirschl & Adler specializes in paintings, sculpture, works on paper, furniture and decorative arts. The current show “Shout for Tomorrow” features works by Donald Baechler, Michael Berryhill, Katherine Bradford, Freddie Brice, Bendix Harms, Andy Mister and Gladys Nilsson. 730 Fifth Ave, fourth floor (212-535-8810, hirschlandadler.com). Tue–Fri 9:30am–5:15pm; Sat 9:30am–4:45pm; Mon by appointment.
Upper East Side
Michael Werner opened its gallery doors on New York’s Upper East Side in 1990. The space presents modern and contemporary European and American art. Since the opening of his first gallery in 1963, Werner & Katz in Berlin, Werner has represented artists such as Marcel Broodthaers, James Lee Byars, Peter Doig, Jörg Immendorff, Allen Jones, Per Kirkeby, Markus Lüpertz, A.R. Penck, Sigmar Polke and Don Van Vliet. Werner opened a new gallery location in Mayfair, London, in 2012. 4 E 77th St (212-988-1623, michaelwerner.com). Mon–Sat 10am–6pm.
Photograph: Courtesy Michael Werner Gallery, New York and London
17 E 82nd St (646-964-4276, galeriebuchholz.de). Tue–Sat 10am–6pm.
The Untitled Space specializes in contemporary artists exploring conceptual framework and highlights a program of “Women in Art.” Currently on view through Saturday 21, “In the Raw: The Female Gaze on the Nude” is an exhibit of 20 female artists and their intimate vision on the nude, curated by the gallery’s director Indira Cesarine and also Coco Dolle. 45 Lispenard St, unit 1W (212-780-0960, untitled-space.com). Mon–Fri 10am–6pm; Sat, Sun noon–5pm.
Michele Mariaud Gallery
153 Lafayette St, fourth floor (917-783-5737, michelemariaudgallery.com). Tue–Sat 11am–6pm.
This space specializes in contemporary art that is at the forefront of the most pressing issues of society.
Eleanor Antin, “I wish I had a paper doll I could call my own…”
Through May 27
Conrad Atkinson, “As u like it”
Through May 27
31 Mercer St (212-226-3232, feldmangallery.com). Tue–Sat 10am–6pm.
Lower East Side
The Hole NYC
312 Bowery (212-466-1100, theholenyc.com). Wed–Sun noon–7pm.
Current exhibition: “Jason Moran: STAGED”
Through July 30
“STAGED,” the first solo exhibition by the musician-composer-artist Jason Moran, presents objects and works on paper, including two large-scale sculptures with audio from Moran’s “STAGED” series that were exhibited in the 56th Venice Biennale. In this exhibition, Moran investigates the intersections of jazz, art and social history, provoking the viewer to reconsider notions of value, authenticity and time. 25 Knickerbocker Ave (718-386-2746, luhringaugustine.com). Thu–Sun 11am–6pm; also open by appointment.
Photograph: Roberto Marossi