Art lovers, rejoice: New York City is home to some of the finest art galleries in the world, and there’s no better way to stay warm on a chilly winter day than gallery hopping through some of the city’s most thought-provoking exhibitions.
Grab a warm cup of coffee and wind your way through NoMad, Flatiron, and Chelsea by visiting the galleries below in the order they’re listed. Cheers to inspiration — and staying out of the cold.
This NoMad gallery originally got its start as a 500-square-foot space in SoHo back in 1995. Today, it’s a massive 10,000-square-foot art lover’s haven, featuring two stories of striking works. As one of the founders of New York Gallery Week, Casey Kaplan is extremely involved in the New York City art community — you’ll find creations by longtime Kaplan artists like Kevin Beasley, Sarah Crowner, and Jordan Casteel, as well as pieces by many other award-winning visionaries. Each year, the gallery hosts a guest-curated group exhibition that’s well worth exploring, too.
Another massive art paradise, Contra Galleries is home to a collection of contemporary fine art and some of the coolest street art you’ll see (outside of the actual streets, of course). It’s a great way to get to know modern street art up close and personal, plus get a glimpse of the energy of ‘80s and ‘90s Manhattan. Contra created a huge buzz last February with its epic exhibition of 1980s New York street art, featuring artists like Keith Haring, Rick Prol, and LA II – and there’s more where that came from.
Photo: Lilac Gallery
This Flatiron gallery beautifully blends the work of contemporary artists with fine art of centuries past. Lilac first came to life in 1972, founded by Hungarian-American Albert S. Nemethy, one of the New York Hudson Valley’s most well-known artists. Nemethy shuttered the gallery to focus on his ever-growing career, but decades later, a new Lilac Gallery opened in 2012 honoring his vision. These days, you’ll find sharp new media pieces alongside paintings from the early 20th century. In short, it has a little something for everyone.
Coo Gallery, once known as NYCoo, takes its name from a word meaning “space” and “sky.” That moniker is fitting for an inspiring, dreamy space that will take your visions straight into the stratosphere. Since getting started as a web gallery back in 2000, Coo has become a coveted hotspot, featuring the works of artists like Kotatsu Iwata, Keiko Ota, TAKE, Manuela Filiaci, and many others.
Cristina Grajales is one of New York’s foremost pros on contemporary and 20th-century design. At this gallery, you’ll find inspiration in everything from textiles to lighting to furniture. It all begs the question: Where does design end and art begin? Here, you can explore these boundaries. If you like what you see, you can also catch Grajales uptown at the 92nd Street Y, where she hosts a series called “Dialogues with Design Legends.”
Galerie Lelong & Co
Photo: Zilia Sánchez, Eros, Galerie Lelong & Co., New York, November 21, 2019–January 17, 2020. ©Zilia Sánchez, Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co., New York.
With locations in both New York and Paris representing artists from all over the world, Galerie Lelong offers a truly international take on contemporary art. Founders Daniel Lelong, Jean Frémon, and Jacques Dupin opened their New York branch in 1985, and the space has long been on the ground level of innovative performance art. Yoko Ono, Ana Mendieta, Sean Scully, and Kate Shepherd are just a few of the talents you’ll find here.
This Chelsea gallery is a work of art in itself, offering gorgeous light and views of the city. Greene Naftali’s strength is conceptual art, especially when it comes to hosting buzz-worthy group shows. The gallery features innovative creators like Jacqueline Humphries and Rachel Harrison.
With a chic space designed by architect Richard Gluckman, Luhring Augustine is something of a one-stop shop for international contemporary inspiration. (They’ve even opened a second location in Bushwick, Brooklyn if you’re feeling adventurous.) This legendary gallery features the works of global cutting-edge creators like Christopher Wool, Yasumasa Morimura, and Pipilotti Rist (you might recognize echoes of her work in Beyonce’s Lemonade). The gallery also specializes in top-notch pieces by legends like Picasso and Andy Warhol.
- Story by Claire Hannum
Featured Photo: Zilia Sánchez, Eros, Galerie Lelong & Co., New York, November 21, 2019–January 17, 2020. ©Zilia Sánchez, Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co., New York.