I’ve always loved New York. The entire state, especially NYC, is a huge melting pot of cultures. I’d say it’s one of the best places to go when you’re into all things artsy. I was there just last summer, and it was so perfect. I discovered a couple of great galleries, some of which we probably haven’t heard of before. I already went to a few, and there are others I want to visit when I come back to the Big Apple.
1. The Hole
This place is filled with contemporary art, located within Manhattan. There’s plenty of art on display, some of them are even for sale. You guys could probably tell that I enjoy all sorts of mixed mediums, so if you’re anything like me, you’d be like a kid in a candy store when you visit!
2 & 3. Walter DeMaria’s Art Installations
The brilliant mr. DeMaria sadly passed away last year. While smaller in scale compared to his mile-long art installation “The Lightning Field,” he has two on display in SoHo. The best part? Entrance to both installations is free.
DeMaria created “The Broken Kilometer” in 1979, and this display of 500 polished brass rods and two industrial lights is permanently situated in West Broadway, just south of Spring Street. No signs, just a simple pair of doors with the title and details printed on it. It’s definitely a hole in the wall place, and I love that it’s so quiet. Usually there’s maybe one or two others there with you to look at the display.
Now if you go north of Spring, at Wooster Street, is another DeMaria creation from 1980. “The New York Earth Room” is a contrast to the previous piece, filling the 3,600-square-foot residential loft with nearly two feet of earth. Once you get there, just buzz and an attendant will let you in. Go up the traditional Soho stairs, and you’ll find this odd but beautiful piece of work DeMaria left behind. I’m told the soil is watered and raked, so the earthy smells and humidity stay and keep the soil its naturally dark shade.
This place is great, because the two-floor, garage-like look of SculptureCenter makes it perfect for huge exhibitions and works of art. Additionally, if you go there during the summer months, you might just be lucky enough to catch musicians on a makeshift stage just outside (which is also often used as display space).
5. OK Harris Works of Art
Established in 1969, this Manhattan gallery is the first on West Broadway, which I’ve heard led to many others following founder Ivan C. Karp’s footsteps. Right now, OK Harris has the works of people like Daniel Calder, the blackboard artist. Yes, the blackboard is his canvas and you may draw around the artwork (sounds fun!).
No, no… Not the food! Founded 20 years ago, this gallery in Williamsburg is one of those galleries that stood the test of time. If you’re into drawings, photography, and illustrations, then this is the place for you. They have other mediums too, but most of their displays fall under those three categories.
7. Greene Naftali
While this art space is in Chelsea, it’s a bit difficult to find because its location is on an upper floor. The gallery itself, however, is worth the fuzz. They often display installations and performance art, one of which is Candy Jernigan’s collection. There are also projection rooms such as those of the work of Paul Chan.
8. Bose Pacia
Deep in the heart of Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood we can find Bose Pacia, a private gallery. It’s actually many small galleries, all occupying one establishment on Front Street, with Asian avant-garde contemporary pieces.
9. Storefront for Art and Architecture
I find this really interesting for two reasons: 1) its space is narrow, so to hold larger crowds the walls and panels open up with hinges, and 2) architecture! When was the last time anybody actually visited a gallery focused on that art?
10. The Drawing Center
As the name implies, the Drawing Center shows only drawings, mainly works on paper. Its large interior houses the only fine arts institution in the country that exclusively shows such art, both historical and contemporary.
11. Like the Spice
What is it with Williamsburg and art galleries named after food? Not that I mind, but I just had to ask. This one, unlike Pierogi, is relatively newer as it was founded in 2006. I’d love to visit this, since the vibe is supposedly a mix of surreal and hippie. There’s abstract art in there, new media, and even realist works.
12. PS1 Contemporary Art Center
This former school building, located in the outskirts of Queens, has three floors filled with a number of galleries. It houses solo displays, as well as themed expos, and even performances and parties on certain times of the year.
I hope you enjoyed looking at these as much as I did. Thanks for reading my post!