New York
Art Guide

Contemporary art exhibitions, news and editorial from New York.

Read More

The exact date that New York became the perceived centre of the Western art world is debatable. Some say it was in the early 1940s—during World War II—when a number of European artists immigrated to the United States. Others argue that it was not until Abstract Expressionism was established later that decade. Regardless, over 70 years after Willem de Kooning had his first solo gallery exhibition at Charles Egan Gallery on 57th Street in 1948, New York remains an art world powerhouse.

One reason for New York's significance is the city's many well-endowed cultural institutions. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, founded in 1870, houses a behemoth collection that encompasses over two million works of art made over a period of 5,000 years. Devoted to the evolving story of contemporary art around the world, The Museum of Modern Art holds 200,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, media and performance art works, architectural models and drawings, designed objects, and films.

Other notable institutions dedicated to modern and contemporary art include the famed Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, designed by the legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, founded in 1930 by sculptor Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. MoMA PS1—an offshoot of the stalwart Museum of Modern Art—has been one of the largest American non-profit art institutions since its establishment in 1971, while The Met Breuer—the recently opened annex to The Metropolitan Museum of Art—provides ample opportunity to encounter 20th- and 21st-century masterpieces on Madison Avenue.

The concentration of galleries in New York is perhaps most important to its status in the art world. In total, the city is estimated to contain close to 1,500 galleries. These galleries range from blue chip institutions to non-profit art spaces and artist-run initiatives. While these spaces are spread out across the city's five boroughs, many of them can be found in the following six neighbourhoods: Chelsea, the Lower East Side, Soho, 57th Street, Williamsburg/Bushwick/Greenpoint, and Dumbo.

Chelsea—a former industrial neighbourhood ripe with wide-open warehouse spaces along the far west side of Manhattan between 14th and 34th Streets—is home to mega-galleries Hauser & Wirth, David Zwirner, Gagosian, Pace, Anton Kern, Gladstone, Marianne Boesky, and Lehmann Maupin, among many, many others. DIA Chelsea—the New York branch of the DIA Foundation—is one of the notable non-profit spaces in the area.

The Lower East Side is often cited as home to the more avantgarde or experimental spaces. These include Bodega, Chapter NY, CANADA, JTT, 47 Canal, Invisible Exports, Zach Feuer Gallery, 33 Orchard, Foxy Productions, and Sargent's Daughters. More traditional contemporary art galleries—such as Sperone Westwater and Lehmann Maupin—also have strong presences in the neighbourhood. Extending from Chinatown to Houston Street, the art scene centres around Manhattan's only museum devoted to contemporary art: the New Museum on the Bowery. Recently opened spaces in the area include the Brant Foundation Art Study Center, located in a century-old building previously designed for Consolidated Edison and later used as the home and studio of Walter De Maria until his death in 2013.

Adjacent to the Lower East Side is the gallery district of Soho, once the thriving center of the avantgarde. Though not the epicentre it once was, significant current residents include the Drawing Center, Team Gallery, Jeffery Deitch, and Walter De Maria's Earth Room.

57th street and the Upper East Side have similarly ceded dominion over the art world, but continue to house internationally renowned galleries. These are Pace, Gagosian, and Salon 94, among others, as well as standalone institutions such as Craig F Starr, Acquavella Galleries, Half Gallery, and Venus Over Manhattan.

The six neighbourhoods listed above are also home to the city's auction houses, with Christie's located at 20 Rockefeller Plaza, Sotheby's at 72nd street and York Avenue, and Phillips on Park Avenue.

If you really want to see where the cool kids hang, visit the sprawling neighbourhood of Williamsburg/Greenpoint/Bushwick, which in recent years has become the centre of the art, music, and food scenes in New York. Notable galleries include Front Room, Sideshow, Soloway Fine Art, and Figureworks. Dumbo—another neighbourhood in Brooklyn—holds more studio spaces than it does galleries, but it is worth visiting the art spaces—among them Art in General and AIR—if only for views of the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges just down the street.

Further into the borough, the evolving Brooklyn Museum has been making a splash in the art world since 1999, when then-mayor Rudy Giuliani threatened to close the institution for its exhibition Sensation. It had included Chris Ofili's now-iconic The Holy Virgin Mary (1996), a work that depicted the Madonna as a black woman made of elephant dung. New York, as residents know, has never been afraid to confront the powers-that-be with revolutionary culture, and that remains true today, even in an increasingly safe and wealthy metropolis.

Image: New York City. Photo: Antonio Fucito (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Featured Current Exhibitions In New York

Current Exhibition | New York
24 November–18 December 2020
Group Exhibition

Soulages | Hantaï | Eielson | Tàpies

Timothy Taylor View Exhibition
Pierre Soulages, Peinture 128 x 181.7 cm, 7 Septembre 2014 (2014) (detail). Acrylic on canvas. 128 x 181 cm. Courtesy Timothy Taylor.
Soulages | Hantaï | Eielson | Tàpies
Current Exhibition | New York
21 November–19 December 2020
Dan Perjovschi

The Nightmare It Is / The Nightmare It Was

Jane Lombard Gallery View Exhibition
Dan Perjovschi, Social Distance (2020). Permanent marker on paper. Courtesy Jane Lombard Gallery. 
The Nightmare It Is / The Nightmare It Was
Current Exhibition | New York
20 November 2020–16 January 2021
Adrian Ghenie

The Hooligans

Pace Gallery View Exhibition
Adrian Ghenie, The Impressionists (2020) (detail). Oil on canvas. 220 × 300 cm. © Adrian Ghenie. Courtesy Pace Gallery.
The Hooligans
Current Exhibition | New York
19 November–19 December 2020
Rico Gatson

Ghosts

Miles McEnery Gallery View Exhibition
Exhibition view: Rico Gatson, Ghosts, Miles McEnery Gallery, 520 West 21st Street, New York (19 November–19 December 2020). Courtesy Miles McEnery Gallery. 
Ghosts
Current Exhibition | New York
19 November–19 December 2020
Raffi Kalenderian
Miles McEnery Gallery View Exhibition
Exhibition view: Raffi Kalenderian, Miles McEnery Gallery, 525 West 22nd Street, New York (19 November–19 December 2020). Courtesy Miles McEnery Gallery. 
Raffi Kalenderian
Current Exhibition | New York
19 November–19 December 2020
Group Exhibition

Sound & Color

Miles McEnery Gallery View Exhibition

Exhibition view: Group Exhibition: Sound & Color, Miles McEnery Gallery, 511 W 22nd Street (19 November–19 December 2020). Courtesy Miles McEnery Gallery.

Sound & Color

New York In Ocula Magazine

View All (110)

Current Exhibitions In New York

View All Exhibitions (1031)
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Soulages | Hantaï | Eielson | Tàpies at Timothy Taylor, New York
24 November–18 December 2020 Group Exhibition Soulages | Hantaï | Eielson | Tàpies Timothy TaylorNew York
Contemporary art exhibition, Dan Perjovschi, The Nightmare It Is / The Nightmare It Was at Jane Lombard Gallery, New York
21 November–19 December 2020 Dan Perjovschi The Nightmare It Is / The Nightmare It Was Jane Lombard GalleryNew York
Contemporary art exhibition, Adrian Ghenie, The Hooligans at Pace Gallery, New York
20 November 2020–16 January 2021 Adrian Ghenie The Hooligans Pace GalleryNew York
Contemporary art exhibition, Rico Gatson, Ghosts at Miles McEnery Gallery, 520 West 21st Street, New York
19 November–19 December 2020 Rico Gatson Ghosts Miles McEnery Gallery520 West 21st Street, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Raffi Kalenderian, Raffi Kalenderian at Miles McEnery Gallery, 525 West 22nd Street, New York
19 November–19 December 2020 Raffi Kalenderian Miles McEnery Gallery525 West 22nd Street, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Sound & Color at Miles McEnery Gallery, 511 W 22nd Street, New York
19 November–19 December 2020 Group Exhibition Sound & Color Miles McEnery Gallery511 W 22nd Street

Ocula Member Galleries In New York

View Map
Almine Rech contemporary art gallery in New York, USA Almine Rech Brussels, London, New York, Paris, Shanghai
Beyer Projects contemporary art gallery in New York, USA Beyer Projects New York
Blum & Poe contemporary art gallery in New York, USA Blum & Poe Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo
Chambers Fine Art contemporary art gallery in New York, USA Chambers Fine Art New York, Beijing
Cheim & Read contemporary art gallery in New York, USA Cheim & Read New York
David Zwirner contemporary art gallery in 20th Street, New York, USA David Zwirner New York, London, Paris, Hong Kong
David Zwirner contemporary art gallery in 69th Street, New York, USA David Zwirner New York, London, Paris, Hong Kong
David Zwirner contemporary art gallery in 19th Street, New York, USA David Zwirner New York, London, Paris, Hong Kong
Eva Presenhuber contemporary art gallery in New York, USA Eva Presenhuber Zurich, New York
Gagosian contemporary art gallery in 980 Madison Avenue, New York, USA Gagosian Athens, New York, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, London, Paris, Le Bourget, Geneva, Basel, Rome, Hong Kong
Gagosian contemporary art gallery in 976 Madison Avenue, New York, USA Gagosian Athens, New York, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, London, Paris, Le Bourget, Geneva, Basel, Rome, Hong Kong
Gagosian contemporary art gallery in Park & 75, New York, USA Gagosian Athens, New York, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, London, Paris, Le Bourget, Geneva, Basel, Rome, Hong Kong
Gagosian contemporary art gallery in West 21st Street, New York, USA Gagosian Athens, New York, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, London, Paris, Le Bourget, Geneva, Basel, Rome, Hong Kong
Gagosian contemporary art gallery in West 24th Street, New York, USA Gagosian Athens, New York, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, London, Paris, Le Bourget, Geneva, Basel, Rome, Hong Kong
Galeria Nara Roesler contemporary art gallery in New York, USA Galeria Nara Roesler New York, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo
Galerie Buchholz contemporary art gallery in New York, USA Galerie Buchholz Berlin, Cologne, New York
Hauser & Wirth contemporary art gallery in 22nd Street, New York, USA Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong, Zurich, London, New York, Los Angeles, Somerset, Gstaad, St. Moritz
Hauser & Wirth contemporary art gallery in 69th Street, New York, USA Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong, Zurich, London, New York, Los Angeles, Somerset, Gstaad, St. Moritz
Lehmann Maupin contemporary art gallery in 536 West 22nd Street, New York, USA Lehmann Maupin New York, Hong Kong, London, Seoul
Lehmann Maupin contemporary art gallery in 501 West 24th Street, New York, USA Lehmann Maupin New York, Hong Kong, London, Seoul
Lévy Gorvy contemporary art gallery in New York, USA Lévy Gorvy New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris, Zurich
Lisson Gallery contemporary art gallery in West 24th Street, New York, USA Lisson Gallery London, East Hampton, New York, Shanghai
Marian Goodman Gallery contemporary art gallery in New York, USA Marian Goodman Gallery New York, Paris, London
Mendes Wood DM contemporary art gallery in New York, USA Mendes Wood DM São Paulo, Brussels, New York
Metro Pictures contemporary art gallery in New York, USA Metro Pictures New York
Pace Gallery contemporary art gallery in New York, USA Pace Gallery New York, London, Geneva, Palo Alto, Hong Kong, Seoul, Beijing
Parkett contemporary art gallery in New York, USA Parkett Zurich, New York
Perrotin contemporary art gallery in New York, USA Perrotin Hong Kong, New York, Paris, Seoul, Shanghai, Tokyo
Sean Kelly contemporary art gallery in New York, USA Sean Kelly New York
Simon Lee Gallery contemporary art gallery in New York, USA Simon Lee Gallery Hong Kong, London, New York
Sundaram Tagore Gallery contemporary art gallery in Madison Avenue, New York, USA Sundaram Tagore Gallery New York, Hong Kong, Singapore
Sundaram Tagore Gallery contemporary art gallery in Chelsea, New York, USA Sundaram Tagore Gallery New York, Hong Kong, Singapore
Timothy Taylor contemporary art gallery in New York, USA Timothy Taylor London, New York
Tina Kim Gallery contemporary art gallery in New York, USA Tina Kim Gallery New York

Contemporary Institutions In New York

View Map

Recent Events In New York

View All (17)

WeChat

Scan the QR Code via WeChat to follow Ocula's official account.

Scan to follow Ocula on WeChat.
;