Welcome to the Gallery of Galleries
Long Island City is located right outside of Manhattan. So close that P.S. 1 founder Alanna Heiss jokes that it is closer to Manhattan than Chelsea is. It is home to major cultural institutions such as P.S. 1 and The Sculpture Center. While Long Island City is New York’s new art destination, many Manhattanites struggle with their “leaving the island” complex.
Mission Statement: Founded by artists in 1928, Sculpture Center is a not-for-profit arts institution dedicated to experimental and innovative developments in contemporary sculpture. Sculpture Center commissions new work and presents exhibits by emerging and established, national and international artists.
While The Sculpure Center is located just one stop outside of Manhattan, it still feels like you are in another country. However, it is worth the trip just to see the cool industrial space where The Sculpture Center is housed. Their warehouse-type building allows for all kinds of works to be displayed. When we visited they also had a show in their basement which was extremely creepy and added a different twist to your typical viewing environment.
Located at 44-19 Purves St. Long Island City
Open from 11AM to 6PM Thursday through Monday
The Sculpture Center
Mission Statement: P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, an affiliate of The Museum of Modern Art, is the oldest and second largest non-profit arts center in the United States solely devoted to contemporary art. Recognized as a defining force of the alternative space movement, P.S.1 stands out from major arts institutions through its cutting-edge approach to exhibitions and direct involvement of artists within a scholarly framework. It acts as an intermediary between the artist and its audience. Functioning as a living and active meeting place for the general public, P.S.1 is a catalyst for ideas, discourses and new trends in contemporary art and its practices.
The cost is only a suggested donation and free for MOMA members. Their sculpture garden is so impressive that it will make you forget that you are in a city. Also, they offer an extensive internship program offering internships in every discipline.
Located at 22-25 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City
Open 12PM to 6PM Thursday through Monday
P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center
The area south of Broome St. is still an enclave for some well-respected galleries dealing in the work of emerging and established contemporary artists. It is anchored by two important non-profit visual art spaces which were both founded around the same time, The Drawing Center, began in 1976, and Artists Space, in 1973. Many of these organizations were started by artists as an opportunity to show cutting edge emerging art. Over the years as these organizations became more institutionalized they have been mainstreamed into the culture and have broadened their scope to serve as art educational vehicles for the public through a variety of programs that serve diverse segments of the community including collaborations with the NYC public schools.
Mission Statement: Jeffrey Deitch Projects opened in January 1996 and specializes in promoting contemporary art. Led by the well-respected and well-known art dealer Jeffrey Deitch, the gallery is involved in producing artist shows, representing artists' estates (exclusively those of Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat), art consulting, and art dealing. The gallery also explores the convergence of art, fashion, music, and performance in contemporary culture.
Jeffery Deitch has a unique eye for the avant garde and seems to create stimulating shows. When we visited we saw Michel Godry's installation of The Science of Sleep which was both engaging and playful. The gallery is also a close walk from the NYU campus and is in a prime area surrounded by shops, cafes, and other art spaces. Also, it’s only a few blocks from the subway. The combination of proximity and innovative shows makes Jeffrey Deitch a gallery that should be frequently visited.
Located at 76 Grand Street & additional gallery space is located at 18 Wooster St.
Open from 12PM to 6PM Tuesday through Saturday
Jeffrey Deitch Projects
Mission Statement: the Drawing center is a non-profit institution founded in 1977. It focuses on the exhibition of drawings, and attempts to show the significance and diversity of drawings throughout history.
The Center stands out from other galleries in that it focuses on an often overlooked art form: drawing. This ensures that there is always an innovative show taking place. They also choose interesting exhibition designs, including one by Eva Hesse that strung lines of rope across the center of the gallery. The Drawing Center is also an extremely convenient gallery to visit from the NYU campus. A short 10-15 minute walk brings you there, making it an even better choice for an internship. On our visit, we were told that the center currently had 3 interns and is always accepting applications.
Located at 35 Wooster St & there is an additional small space directly across the street.
Open Tuesday through Friday 10AM – 6PM and Saturday 11AM – 6PM
The Drawing Center
The two acres comprising Manhattan’s Meatpacking District were originally the site of an outdoor food market. Today, the neighborhood is bustling with redevelopment as the wholesale meat distributors co-exist with high end boutiques, restaurants, hotels, clubs and galleries.
Mission Statement: Heller Gallery exhibits contemporary glass sculpture. They are an important advocate and resource for artists, dealers and collectors who wish to celebrate glass as a fine art medium.
The emphasis on showing work in glass immediately makes Heller Gallery a must-see. There are pieces hanging from the ceiling,pieces on the walls that do not even look like glass and amazing sculptures. Soft music plays in the background, and one gallery may bedim while another is brightly lit, making it more enjoyable than the typical white cube experience.
Located at 420 West 14th St.
Open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
This auction house opened in London in 1796 and now has branches all over the world. They combine auction sales with artists’ solo shows to offer diverse buying opportunities.
Phillips has a huge gallery space, where they show many types of work at the same time. It is almost like visiting a small museum, rather than a gallery where the work on display is often by one artist. The location offers a great view of the river and the High Line.The exhibits change frequently because of Phillips many sales through out the year, so there is always an exciting selection of Contemporary work to see.
Located at 450 West 15th St.
Up until the turn of the century 57th Street remained a residential district with large single family townhouses. The influx of upscale retailers such as the jeweler Cartier as well as art and antiques dealers gave it a different character. In 1921, the Crowne building located at 730 Fifth Avenue was built to house galleries and the original Museum of Modern Art opened there in 1929. The Fuller building, built in 1929, is another well-known gallery address. The area always had a theatrical and arty presence with the earlier addition of Carnegie Hall in 1891 and the Art Students League in 1898.
Mission Statement: The Nohra Haime Gallery exhibits an eclectic variety of contemporary American and international painting, sculpture and works on paper, including both monumental and outdoor sculpture. The work ranges from figurative to abstract and includes landscape, still life and portraiture, as well as work reflecting the minimalist tradition.The gallery is devoted to promoting the work of unique artists who are not part of movements or trends, but who have a voice of their own.
The gallery was located within the Fuller building that is full of other contemporary art galleries. There was a total of four galleries and the auction house Bonhams on this floor alone. When we visited the Nohra Haime Gallery they were displaying interesting artwork that could be considered corporate artwork, which was intriguing due to their location among numerous corporations. It was interesting to think about how location affects what type of artwork a gallery will exhibit and sell.
Located at 41 East 57th Street
Open Tuesday through Saturday 10am to 6pm.
Mission Statement: Since opening in 1999, Greenberg Van Doren Gallery has exhibited and promoted the work of a dynamic group of emerging and established contemporary artists alongside presentations of work by European and American Post-War and Contemporary Masters. The gallery is unique in its diversity and commitment to new and established talent within a program that includes historic exhibitions of works by American Masters. Solo and group exhibitions are devoted to artists working in all media: drawing and painting, photography, sculpture, installation and video.
The gallery was exhibiting pieces by American Post-War artists during our visit. It was shocking to see an art gallery that was having a historical exhibit instead of a contemporary art gallery. This unique specialty is worth the trip.
Located at 730 Fifth Avenue
Open Tuesday through Saturday 10am to 6pm.
Madison Avenue is home to some of the most fashionable and expensive stores in the city. The side streets in the area are home to beautiful old townhouses. Many of these buildings now hold private offices and other businesses, including art galleries. The galleries near Madison Avenue often show more established artists than the contemporary gallery areas downtown. The galleries are often above street level, and create a feeling of privacy for visitors.
The history of Knoedler & Company, established in 1846, spans the rise of the art world in America. By the turn of the 20th century Knoedler had earned recognition for its pivotal role in the formation of many of our nation's important public and private collections. After 155 years, Knoedler continues the unique legacy of its founder, Michael Knoedler, who set a standard of dedication to art and patronage. Knoedler & Company currently specializes in Post-War and Contemporary Art with a focus on the New York School.
This gallery visit gave us an opportunity to view work by older, more established artists. The space is a beautiful townhouse once occupied by the Belgian Ambassador. The entire experience feels much more formal than a gallery walk downtown, and the artwork is excellent.
Located at 19 E. 70th St.
Open 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday - Friday
10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday
Knoedler & Company
Mission Statement: Feigen sells mainly 15th-20th century Master paintings. They pride themselves on being a knowledgeable company, and have only 2-3 exhibitions per year, some of which are only scholarly viewings, and not intended to sell works.
Visiting Feigen is a bit intimidating at first. It is located on the second floor of a gorgeous Upper East Side townhouse, and you must ring a buzzer and be let in by the staff. Once inside, however, the staff is extremely friendly and the art is unlike anything else we had seen in class -there is a Titian hanging in the main gallery, and a Leger at the top of the stairs. They do not get much foot traffic, so it feels very private when you are there.
Located at 34 E. 69th St.
Ring buzzer to be let in
Call ahead for hours of operation
Richard L. Feigen & Co.
The name TriBeCa was coined by real estate agents in the 1960's and refers to the Triangle Below Canal Street. Originally farmland, the area was converted to a commercial center in the 1850s. In the past decade, however, the district has seen major renovations. Warehouses have been converted to pricey loft apartments and new businesses have merged to make it a flourishing, high-end neighborhood. The once gritty district is now characterized by boutiques, expensive restaurants, and trendy art galleries.
Mission Statement: apexart is a nonprofit contemporary visual arts organization founded in 1994 by artist Steven Rand. It provides exhibition space, international residency, ongoing public programs, and a conference series. apexart focuses on presenting international contemporary art and culture to the New York community to encourage a dialogue surrounding art conception and production.
apexart only takes up a small space in Tribeca, however it uses it to its fullest. The organization has put on some innovative and unpredictable shows, often hosting performances and videos. On our visit, we especially enjoyed the show of international artists whose pieces played upon and revamped art historical precursors. apexart has a small staff so unfortunately internships are few.
Located at 291 Church Street,
Open Tuesday through Saturday 11AM – 6PM
Mission Statement: James Fuentes has worked in various capacities in the art world and recently opened his own gallery to show emerging and underrepresented artists. He also plans to shows the work of friends whose art he feels passionate about.
Visiting James Fuentes was very inspirational. As of September, it was a one person operation, so we were able to speak to Fuentes himself. He has accomplished a great deal at a young age, and seems to have a good eye and a good business sense, as well as the right art world connections. It will be very exciting to visit once the space is finished and he starts holding shows.
Located at 35 St. James Place
James Fuentes, LLC
In the 18th Century, Chelsea was an estate owned by Captain Thomas Clarke named after the Chelsea district in London. The original estate reached from 14th-27th Streets from Seventh Avenue to the Hudson River. It was planned as an elegant residential neighborhood and although it never became as fashionable as Fifth Avenue, its streets of middle class homes within the Chelsea historical district are of high architectural quality. Now it is home to over 250 galleries and several well-known nonprofit exhibition spaces.
Mission Statement: The Mary Boone Gallery in Chelsea is the third gallery to open under Mary Boone’s name. Built in 2000, the gallery promotes new young artists by showing their work alongside its contemporary masters like Jean-Michel Basquiat, Barbara Kruger, and Jeff Koons.
We enjoyed the downtown space the most due to its unique architecture. The gallery was converted from an abandoned garage and the design team incorporated large arches of scrap metal into their plan. These enormous bands catapult themselves across the ceiling. They create an industrial and gritty effect in an otherwise posh, white-walled gallery space, giving Mary Boone an edginess that many of the other Chelsea spots lack.
Located at 541 West 24 Street
Open Tuesday through Saturday 10AM – 6PM
Mary Boone Gallery
Mission Statement: The gallery, run by Brent Sikkema and Michael Jenkins, has been open since 1991. It exhibits contemporary and often cutting edge artists.
Sikkema Jenkins lives up to its reputation for debuting cutting edge art. When we visited we saw an exhibition of Vik Muniz’s work. The artist’s meticulous use of garbage assemblages to create enormous classical and mythological figures was breathtaking. The gallery also displayed photographs he had taken of flower arrangements and sand drawings-- images that could only become clear when viewed from a great distance. The gallery definitely seems to take risks, which is why it’s one of our top choices in Chelsea.
Located at 530 West 22nd Street New York, NY
Open Tuesday through Saturday 10AM – 6PM
Sikkema Jenkins & Co
This waterfront district is named for its unusual location, Down
Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. The abandoned warehouses,
cobblestone streets and great Manhattan views once made this a haven for artists-- now upscale residential development is underway.
Mission Statement: DAC is a non-profit contemporary arts institution that focuses on preserving and enhancing the artistic community in DUMBO. The center promotes local emerging artists through its annual DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival. The festival exhibits group shows, maintains a slide registry, and sponsors local arts events.
The DUMBO Arts Center keeps its gallery space in a large second-floor loft. Since it supports local artists, there are always interesting and edgy pieces to be seen. This is a great gallery to check out if you want to see local artists before they “make it big” at Manhattan galleries. In addition, the Center has a slide library of their artists on the web for anyone to access. DAC is also intern-friendly and has an application attached to their website.
Located at 30 Washington St. Brooklyn, NY
Open Thursday through Monday 10AM – 6PM
DUMBO Arts Center
Mission Statement: Smack Mellon was founded in 1995 by artist Andrea Reynosa and musician Kevin Vertrees. It was originally conceived to serve as a multidisciplinary exchange between art and music. Today, it aims to promote under-recognized mid-career artists and female artists by making exhibition space, studio space, and equipment available to them.
Smack Mellon offers the best of both worlds: provocative work and an aesthetically pleasing location. The gallery sits right on the water between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, and its 25 windows allow for a breathtaking panoramic view of Manhattan. The extensive amount of glass also provides the space with a wealth of natural light. The interior retains some of its industrial features (it was once a boiler building) and provides the artist of the moment with tremendous space to work with. It’s a definite must-see stop for any visit to DUMBO.
Located at 92 Plymouth Street, Brooklyn, NY
Open Wednesday through Sunday 12PM – 6PM