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NYC's 6 Best Contemporary Art Galleries

Choosing a contemporary art gallery to visit from the city's many offerings can be a daunting exercise. Here are five of the best choices available in New York City, chosen for their support of the arts community, variety of offerings and the exposure they provide to a wide range of artists. Also included is the Museum of Modern Art - one of the best museums for seeing modern and contemporary art in all its forms.
Agora Gallery

Agora Gallery
530 W 25th St.
New York, NY 10001
(212) 226-4151

Price: Free
Hours: Tues to Sat - 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

More than a physical gallery, the Agora Gallery supports emerging, mid-level and established artists with ARTmine, a website for selling contemporary art. This gallery also supports the artistic community with ARTisSpectrum, a biannual magazine featuring artists of all talent levels. With such abounding support, Agora has some very deep relationships with appreciative artists, adding impressive variety to the collections on display. Receptions at the gallery often draw hundreds of guests and are ideal for social networking among artists.

Contemporary African Art

Contemporary African Art Gallery
330 W 108th St.
New York, NY 10025
(212) 749-8848

Price: Free
Hours: Call to make an appointment, hours are flexible but allow a few days of advanced notice

The Contemporary African Art Gallery has been showcasing artists from Africa for over 20 years. Works from roughly 30 artists are represented at all times. Most of these artists have made a name for themselves outside of the United States, but emerging artists are also featured constantly. The gallery gives New Yorkers - and Americans visiting New York - an opportunity found nowhere else; to see authentic, contemporary art from the depths of African culture.

Luhring Augustine

Luhring Augustine Gallery
531 W 24th St
New York, NY 10011
(212) 206-9100

Price: Free
Hours: Tue to Sat - 10 a.m to 6 p.m., July/August Mon to Fri - 10 a.m. to 5:30 a.m.

The Luhring Augustine Gallery defines its central focus as "the representation of an international group of contemporary artists whose diverse practices include painting, drawing, sculpture, video and photography." This gallery specializes in the confidential and ethical resale of works from such high-profile artists as Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol. This is the ideal gallery for those wishing to buy or sell expensive works of art by famous artists with both confidentiality and confidence in scholarship and ethical practices. In addition to the Manhattan Gallery, this spot maintains a second gallery in Brooklyn for large-scale and long-term projects.

Matthew Marks Gallery

Matthew Marks Gallery
522 W 22st St N
New York, NY 10011
(212) 243-0200

Price: Free
Hours: Tue to Sat - 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Click here for information on the other locations.

Another showcase for international contemporary art, the Matthew Marks Gallery features works from both European and American artists. Media includes painting, sculpture, photography, film, video, drawing and printmaking. In addition to the four New York locations, there is a fifth location in Los Angeles that opened in January of 2012. Visit all of those within New York to get a healthy dose of contemporary education. Each gallery is unique in its own right, offering contemporary architecture and layouts.


Museum of Modern Art
11 W 53rd St
New York, NY 10019
(212) 708-9400

Price: Adults - $25, Seniors 65 and over - $18, Full-time students - $14, Children under 16 - free
Hours: Saturday through Wednesday - 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Thurs and Fri - 10:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

One of New York City's high-profile museums, the Museum of Modern Art features contemporary artists. While not actually a gallery, it is a great showcase of art for those who only wish to browse. The website has a guide for planning a family outing, so glance it over before your next visit. The museum's six-story building offers many features that galleries don't - audio tours with headphones, special exhibit halls, a beautiful sculpture garden and assistance for the visually impaired. The museum is family-friendly and very capable of handling large groups. For a great introduction to contemporary art, the Museum of Modern Art is a perfect fit.

Related: Best NYC Art Gallery Exhibits

Soho Gallery for Digital Art

SOHO Gallery for Digital Art
138 Sullivan St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 228-2810

Price: Gallery admission is free, but events have specific prices ranging from $7-$30
Hours: Tue to Sat - 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Click here for their calendar of events.

Located on Sullivan Street just south of Houston Street, the SOHO Gallery for Digital Art is a showcase for contemporary digital art, as well as a venue for numerous events. The gallery is as much a community space as an art gallery. Comedy and music shows, book readings, film screenings, fashion shows and gaming events help round out the calendar each year. Presenting exhibits and events from great art to great fun, the SGDA is the first step on the ladder to greatness for artists and acts worldwide.

Nick Gauthier is a freelance writer and lives in the Bronx. His work can be found at

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