Reprinted with permission of The Culture Trip.
With around 400 galleries in Chelsea alone, New York city is the gallery capital of the world. The cultural scene in this city is constantly flourishing, as galleries regularly introduce emerging talent and the most intriguing exhibitions to be found anywhere. As it can be truly difficult to navigate this web of cultural venues, what follows is a list of ten galleries to check out in the city’s most artistic district.
Matthew Marks Gallery
With two spaces in Los Angeles and four in New York – all located within a few blocks of each other – Matthew Marks Gallery holds a powerful presence within the Chelsea gallery scene. The playfully unexpected works of Peter Fischli and David Weiss, the appropriated iconography of Jasper Johns, the immense photographs of Thomas Demand and the profoundly intimate images of Nan Goldin are some of the significant works to be found here. Showing work in a range of different media, Matthew Marks Gallery holds around 15 exhibitions annually, and represents both European and American younger as well as more established artists.
David Zwirner Gallery opened in 1993 in SoHo, and moved to its Chelsea location in 2002. Having undergone an expansion project in 2006, the gallery now boasts 30,000 square feet of floor space, allowing for the presentation of multiple concurrent large scale exhibitions. Amongst the impressive list of artists are: On Kawara, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Francis Alÿs, and Yayoi Kusama. The gallery has also helped to launch the careers of some of today’s leading names such as Luc Tuymans and Neo Rauch. In 2012 David Zwirner opened its first European gallery in the Mayfair neighbourhood of London.
Luhring Augustine aims to show an international mix of contemporary artists working within the disciplines of painting, drawing, sculpture, video and photography. Artists shown here have exhibited their work extensively in gallery, museum and art fair contexts. Among these are Zarina Hashmi, Glenn Ligon, Yasumasa Morimura and Pipilotti Rist. Dealing both in the primary and secondary markets, Luhring Augustine also specialises in works from 20th century masters like Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso.
Greene Naftali Gallery
Carol Green opened Greene Naftali in 1995 in what was, at the time, a largely industrial area. In the years since, the gallery has become notorious for its conceptual installations and performances. The space itself, set on the eighth floor of a West 26th street building, welcomes visitors with a long hallway that leads back to three large exhibition rooms and windows looking out onto the High Line. Artists who have recently held exhibition in the space include Gedi Sibony, William Leavitt, Gianni Colombo and Tony Conrad.
Cheim & Read
Founded in 1997, Cheim & Read prides itself on its representation of distinguished international contemporary artists and its meticulous curatorial model. Through a respected reputation it has been host to important monographic exhibitions of artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Jannis Kounellis and Joan Mitchell. A summer 2013 group exhibition focuses on New York abstraction during the 1980s by artists born between 1939 and 1949. Featuring Louise Fishman, Bill Jensen, Jonathan Lasker and Pat Steir, the show removes these painters from stylistic categorisation, concentrating instead on their own individualistic abstraction.
With artists like Thomas Hirshorn, Ugo Rondinone, Allora & Calzadilla, and Shirin Neshat, Gladstone Gallery has established itself as one of the most well respected New York art spaces. With two Chelsea addresses and a gallery in Brussels, exhibitions at Gladstone lean towards the conceptual, political, philosophical and the bold. The Gallery even produced four out of the five Cremaster films by renowned film artist Matthew Barney in the 1990s. The Cremaster Cycle are the films for which the artist is perhaps most famous.
Zach Feuer Gallery
Zach Feuer are risk takers known for their daring exhibitions featuring a primarily younger generation of artists. The gallery’s namesake dealer opened his first Chelsea gallery in 2000 and has since developed a reputation for turning new talents into art world stars. Among these are Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg, Phoebe Washburn and Stuart Hawkins. One of the more unusual figures to be found here is Sister Corita Kent, a Los Angeles nun who passed away in 1986. Working mostly in silkscreen and serigraphy, Kent’s work gained notoriety during the 1960s and 1970s through the messages of peace and love that she sent through her prints.
Among other internationally exhibited artists, Tanya Bonakdar features the fragmented cityscapes of Martin Boyce, the architectonic sculptures of Sarah Sze and the large scale, elemental installations of Olafur Eliasson in its elegant Chelsea space. The gallery is also dedicated to helping younger artists establish themselves on the global stage. Tanya Bonakdar regularly participates in art fairs around the world such as Art Basel, Frieze Art Fair and the Armoury Show. Represented artist Sarah Sze is showing her work in the United States pavilion at the 2013 Venice Biennale.
Originally opened in Los Angeles in 1979, Gagosian Gallery now has spaces in New York, London, Rome, Paris, Athens, Hong Kong and Geneva. Exhibitions at Gagosian focus both on the promotion of new and cutting edge artists and the celebration of those figures who define art history of the 20th century. In New York the gallery has two premier exhibition spaces in the Chelsea District. With artists like Jean-Michel Baquiat, Roy Lichtenstein, Jeff Koons and Jenny Saville, Gagosian is one of the few commercial galleries able to put on museum quality exhibitions.
Andrea Rosen Gallery
The Andrea Rosen Gallery is perhaps best known for its representation of late conceptual artist Felix Gonzales-Torres who died in 1996 at the age of 39. Turner Prize Winning German artist Wolfang Tillmans, legendary photographer Walker Evans and Constructivist painter and photographer László Moholy-Nagy are some of the more notable artists showing work here. For summer 2013 Andrea Rosen Gallery is exhibiting the work of Simon Fujiwara, a young artist who has gained renown throughout Europe and Asia. Fujiwara is recognised for his autobiographical installations which raise questions about individual character and sexuality through enigmatic narrative.