New York City is a big place. The sprawling neighborhoods of this behemoth are packed to the gills with culture of every sort imaginable. While this can be seen as a boon for anyone wishing to dabble professionally in the city, it can also be overwhelming to sort out the good stuff. Every part of the city has its own particular character and in every neighborhood you’ll find a collection of galleries that stand out among the rest. The Lower East Side is no exception to this rule, there are many notable spaces there worth taking the time to get to know as both patron and potential exhibitor. Here are some of the top galleries in the Lower East Side for inspiration and networking.
1. Invisible Exports
Known for avant-garde exhibitions, this gallery is under the jurisdiction of Risa Needleman and Benjamin Tischer. Perhaps the best known of the gallery’s stable of edgy artists is English phenomenon Genesis P-Orridge. Invisible Exports is an active member of the Lower East Side gallery district and participant in Third Thursdays during which galleries remain open late on the third Thursday of every month.
89 Eldridge Street, New York, New York *
2. 47 Canal
Margaret Lee along with her husband Oliver Newton run this gallery space known for truly pushing the envelope. These days it is perhaps difficult to reach an audience steeped in some level of cynicism but 47 Canal does just that. They feature work by Anicka Yi, Josh Kline, and Jamie Kenyon who joined the roster in 2015.
291 Grand Street, New York, New York *
3. Lesley Heller Workspace
Since 2010, Lesley Heller Workspace has promoted emerging and mid-career artists. The gallery hosts solo and guest-curated exhibitions as well as poetry readings, artist lectures, and performances. Emphasis on the engagement of the art viewing public as well as dialogue among those in various fields of art are all part of the gallery’s mission.
54 Orchard Street, New York, New York *
After raising the capital at NADA in Miami with a small booth project, artist Jasmin Tsou opened JTT Gallery in 2012 with the aim of supporting unknown and emerging artists. Since then the gallery has taken off and many of her exhibitors have risen to new heights in their careers. Tsou was formerly associated with Maccarone and Kimmerich Galleries.
191 Chrystie Street, New York, New York *
5. Salon 94 Bowery
The most recent iteration in the trio of Salon 94, this gallery brings the vision of art dealer Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn and her husband Nicholas Rohatyn to the Lower East Side. Artists exhibited since its 2010 opening include Liz Cohen—who landed the inaugural show—Jon Kessler, and Francesca Dimattio, to name just a few.
243 Bowery, New York, New York *
11R is the result of the consolidation of Eleven Rivington by Augusto Arbizo and Greenberg Van Doren Gallery. Despite the change and subsequent expansion, the gallery remains true to its stable of emerging artists and continues to exhibit contemporary work.
Ground Floor, 195 Chrystie Street, New York, New York *
7. Bitforms Gallery
Steven Sacks founded this gallery dedicated to exhibiting work by artists at all stages of their careers who work in forms of new media. The gallery places particular emphasis on “the fields of digital, internet, time-based, and new media art forms.”
131 Allen Street, New York, New York *
8. Spoke Art NYC
With locations in both San Francisco and the Lower East Side, Spoke Art’s goal is to make art accessible. Past shows at the two galleries have reflected this with exhibitions devoted to art based in pop culture. Some themes include, Wes Anderson, Alternative Movie Posters, and an upcoming show based on the work of filmmaker David Lynch.
210 Rivington Street, New York, New York *
This founding father of the LES gallery scene recently upgraded its physical space moving to a larger building and opening its doors to play host to Marlborough Chelsea Gallery. CANADA features bold, modern exhibitions from artists across career points. The roster has included artists Carrie Moyer and Michael Williams.
333 Broome Street, New York, New York *
10. Sargent’s Daughters
Art dealers Allegra LaViola and Meredith Rosen opened this LES gallery based on the principles of artists working with traditional mediums but using innovative techniques. Their inspiration was drawn from, of course, the work of John Singer Sargent. The pair want to focus on artists who are pioneering in some way within the traditional mediums of painting, drawing, and sculpture. Past exhibitions included an all-female show presenting the work of 40 artists also titled “Sargent’s Daughters.” The gallery’s current exhibition titled “Tongue Tied” features the work of Iranian artist Iman Raad in her first solo New York show.
179 E Broadway, New York, New York *