In the late 1990s, New York’s visual arts community began moving out of high-rent SoHo storefronts to the west side streets of Chelsea. Today, there are some 350 art galleries between tenth and eleventh avenues and 18th and 27th streets, making this neighborhood the epicenter of contemporary art in New York. Spend an afternoon strolling the side streets, slipping in and out of galleries, and stopping for coffee along the way. Below are a few you can’t miss.
Galleries in Chelsea
Gagosian is a worldwide, powerhouse of a contemporary arts gallery with five shops in Manhattan, including two in Chelsea. Stop in the 21st and 24th street galleries to see such pieces as Andreas Gursky’s exhibition of mind-blowing panoramic photography, including one titled Amazon with seemingly infinite rows of packages. A techno soundtrack by Canadian DJ Plastikman will accompany the installation.
David Zwirner is another international heavy-hitter with two locations in Chelsea, one on 19th and another around the corner. The new five-story gallery on 20th street opened in celebration of the gallery’s 20th anniversary. Room-size multimedia installations, photography, sculpture and contemporary paintings can be found throughout with high-value pieces from leading artists like Jeff Koons, William Eggleston, and Carol Bove regularly on display.
Petzel Gallery on west 18th street has developed a program around contemporary artists who have gained recognition in the art world through international shows like Documenta, the Whitney Biennial and the São Paulo Biennial. Stop into the warehouse-style space located down the street from the Frank Gehry-designed IAC building and Chelsea Piers.