Typing in to Google ‘the best places for art in New York City’ is like typing in ‘the best places to eat in Paris.’ Each city is huge, and each known for art and food respectively. The best way to combat this is to look at specific areas of the city to find what you’re looking for. If you are an art lover going to New York City, here are some areas you should consider if you are looking for great art:
In Chelsea you will find one of the highest concentrations of art galleries in the world. In Chelsea, you will see the latest trends taking over the art world, making it one of the best places to stay up to date with contemporary art. Don’t worry; you don’t have to be a dedicated art connoisseur or seasoned collector to wonder the galleries of Chelsea. They’re open to everyone who appreciates and admires good, modern art.
The interesting thing about this area is that many artists actually also live in Brooklyn, so that art and the actual artist are found within a close radius of each other. In these galleries, you’ll find the work of many emerging artists, many having just graduated. There are an impressive number of spaces showing art of a very high quality, so Brooklyn is an obvious choice if you want to see the work of upcoming artists.
Chinatown holds its own as a contemporary art neighbourhood against some of its larger and richer neighbours. Chinatown’s art galleries have been described as DIY in their approach, many having been converted from other uses of the space. This is what gives the Chinatown art scene a quirky and more personal vibe. With the small size of some of the galleries, you have the opportunity to get a good, close look at some of the latest trends within the Western art world. You’ll find that this neighbourhood appears to be quite the opposite of the aforementioned Chelsea; home to galleries that could be two or three times the size. However do not be mistaken, the quality and modernity of the art shown in Chinatown is in no way inferior.
Lower East Side
Where there was once only a handful or art galleries to be found, the amount of contemporary art galleries has really risen in the Lower East Side in recent years. One reason for this is the flux in rent prices and style of ‘monumentality’ of the galleries in Chelsea. Dealers moved across to the Lower East Side in search of a place where they could exhibit their pieces in galleries that were smaller and showed art in a smarter way. Emerging artists are very much the focus in this neighbourhood that has combined a funky vibe with a new and fresh atmosphere.
Visit the Midtown galleries to get a taste of elegance among the impressive contemporary artworks. The galleries in Midtown show modern and historical artworks, so you’ll find more of a mix in the Midtown galleries.
Similarly to Chinatown, the galleries here are smaller in size, enabling more of a personal and intimate view of the artworks. However these galleries will seem a little more up-market generally situated in 19th and 20th century townhouses as opposed to the converted video stores of Chinatown. Visiting galleries in this neighbourhood is a unique experience for this reason; cutting-edge art displayed in old and elegant buildings with small spaces.
So really, on a trip to New York City you’ll never be far away from great art galleries and the works that the city has to offer. Make sure you look online for the current exhibitions to ensure that you get the most out of your visit.