Watch this space: the best NYC art galleries to know

The façade of 101 Spring Street, Donald Judd’s studio and home
Donald Judd’s studio and home on 101 Spring Street is accessible by appointment. Courtesy of Judd Foundation Archive
(Image credit: Maris Hutchinson, EPW Studio)

NYC has some of the best art galleries in the world‚ but with over 1,500 to choose from, the sheer number is overwhelming. Not to worry, we’ve narrowed them down to some of our blue-chip favourites.

David Zwirner
Cologne native David Zwirner looks to bring the world’s best contemporary art to the city. His impressive – and expanding – exhibit of Cuban concretism is certainly in this spirit. In recent years, the gallery has established high profile relationships with the estates of Light and Space icons (and close friends) Dan Flavin and Donald Judd. And the gallery’s representation of Japanese polka dot queen Yayoi Kusama will keep the patrons coming ad infinitum. Multiple locations;

The exterior of David Zwirner's West 20th street location

Donald Judd’s studio and home on 101 Spring Street is accessible by appointment. Courtesy of Judd Foundation Archive

(Image credit: Maris Hutchinson, EPW Studio)

Lévy Gorvy
Dominique Lévy opened her eponymous NYC gallery in 2013, taking up residence in an old Madison Avenue bank. Fans of art in miniature (us) rejoiced when the gallerist hosted a retrospective of small-scale Alexander Calder sculptures in 2015, and we also took notice of Gerhard Richter’s Pantone-friendly Colour Charts. In 2017, Dominique Lévy partnered with Brett Gorvy to form Lévy Gorvy. It is one of two galleries that exclusively represent the ubiquitous Frank Stella. 909 Madison Avenue;

Friedman Benda
Remember how excited we were about the pre-Memphis Group work of Ettore Sottsass? That glimpse of Sottsass' early pastel oeuvre was the brainchild of Marc Benda and Barry Friedman, who founded Friedman Benda in 2007. The pair doesn't shy away from a little bit of wacky, and it pays off. Casepoint: Paul Cocksedge’s mind-boggling seamless sculptures. 515 West 26th Street;

Larry Gagosian’s art empire includes no less than five New York City locations. Currently exhibited artists include Takashi Murakami and Cy Twombly; the gallery also holds close the abstract expressionists of The New York School. Despite a stable that reads like a Who’s Who in pop art, the gallery has made pleasing forays into design: recently showcasing the furniture of the late Austrian sculptor Franz West. Multiple locations;

Hauser & Wirth
Founded in Zurich by power couple Iwan and Manuela Wirth and Ursula Hauser in 1992, the Swiss gallery opened a New York location shortly after. We noted their art scene dominance in 2013, when they put on three concurrent Paul McCarthy exhibits. Multiple locations;

Judd Foundation
Donald Judd fans rejoiced when his former Soho studio and home‚ previously viewable by appointment only‚ added a public gallery space. And fans also noted how fitting it was that Judd’s son, Flavin Judd, held the first show in tribute to Dan Flavin. Guided tours of the home are still available and encouraged by the Judd Foundation. As the once gritty SohHo neighborhood continues its posh transformation, it’s comforting that at least the art is exactly as Judd left it. 101 Spring Street;

The interior of Donald Judd’s former Spring Street studio

The interior of Donald Judd’s former Spring Street studio. Courtesy of Judd Foundation Archive

(Image credit: Maris Hutchinson, EPW Studio)

Lehmann Maupin
The diverse, forward-looking artists of Lehmann Maupin include Brazilian graffiti muralists Os Gêmeos and fashion chronicler Juergen Teller. The gallery has served as a backdrop for Robin Rhode to comment on South African power cuts, and Teresita Fernandez to render Cuba as a malachite landscape. Renowned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas has collaborated with founders David Maupin and Rachel Lehmann to design the gallery’s various homes around the city. Multiple locations;

Luxembourg & Dayan
Alberto Burri is seemingly everywhere lately, including the Upper East Side townhouse of Luxembourg & Dayan. Founded in 2009 by Israeli friends Amalia Dayan and Daniella Luxembourg, the gallery has quickly established itself as champion of the unexpected. They previously brought the atomic age kitsch of Italian artist Enrico Baj back to New York for the first time since the 1970s. 64 East 77th Street;

A Franz West sculpture outside Luxembourg & Dayan’s Upper East Side location

A Franz West sculpture outside Luxembourg & Dayan’s Upper East Side location.

(Image credit: Luxembourg & Dayan)

Paul Kasmin
Founded in 1989, Paul Kasmin’s gallery can fairly claim to channel that 1980s New York spirit. Young Kasmin was, after all, brought around the Factory by his art-dealer father. From the word art of Deborah Kass‚ whose OY/YO installation delighted Brooklyn Bridge park-goers to Les Lalanne’s whimsical world, Kasmin boasts a full roster of contemporary thought. Multiple locations;

Salon 94
Salon 94 originated as a Rafael Viñoly-designed extension of founder Jeanne Greenberg-Rohatyn’s home. It has since expanded to two other locations around the city‚ including another Viñoly construction on Bowery. We featured the gallery’s playful, tropical group show in our September 2015 issue. Multiple locations;