West Chelsea is the mecca of NYC’s gallery scene. Between 10th and 11th avenues from 14th to 30th streets on Manhattan’s West Side is the city’s largest concentration of art galleries, housing over 200 in total. Galleries are a fun and (usually) free way to experience NYC’s art culture, and these are the ones you need to see.
Tall ceilings, industrial steel posts and a sprawling row of skylights make Lisson one of the most bright and airy galleries in Chelsea. Located directly under the High Line on West 24th Street, Lisson focuses on innovative art with a minimal, conceptual vibe. It’s one of the most influential and longest-running international contemporary art galleries in the world—with offshoots in London and Milan.
Lisson Gallery. 504 W 24th St, New York, NY. (212) 505-6431
Another contemporary art giant, David Zwirner occupies two gallery spaces on West 19th Street between 10th and 11th avenues—along with one in London and another on the way in Hong Kong. Characterized by high white walls and open spaces, the David Zwirner Gallery has displayed works by iconic artists like Donald Judd, Yayoi Kusama and William Eggleston.
David Zwirner Gallery. 525 W 19th St, New York, NY. (212) 727-2070
Greene Naftali was one of the first galleries to move into Chelsea’s industrial buildings and has occupied the same space since 1995. Art is installed on a 10-month rotation, usually focusing on sculpture and video media. One of the best parts about Greene Naftali is its clandestine vibe—with its 8th floor perch only accessible via a cozy (sometimes cramped) manually operated elevator.
Greene Naftali. 508 W 26th St, New York, NY. (212) 463-7770
Tagliatella has embraced modern pop and street art culture in a way few Chelsea galleries have. To the delight of millennials, and chagrin of traditionalists, the gallery showcases popular artists of the moment like Mr. Brainwash, Banksy and Jeff Koons from its window displays on a busy 10th Avenue block. One of the most Instagram-friendly galleries, expect exhibits that are bright, bold, colorful and sometimes controversial—just don’t forget your iPhone.
Tagliatella Galleries. 229 10th Ave, New York, NY. (212) 367-0881
With three locations in Chelsea, Paul Kasmin has become a neighborhood stalwart since opening in 1989. With perhaps the most openly visual displays in the area, Paul Kasmin’s floor to ceilings windows offer 10th Ave onlookers the opportunity to see nearly entire exhibits before even stepping inside. With an eye for Post-War and modernist art, the gallery has helped launch the careers of contemporary artists like Ivan Navarro and Deborah Kass.
Paul Kasmin. 515 W 27th St, New York, NY. (212) 563-4474