If you’re in New York City and you want to see some of the local art or you have a budget and you want to pick up a few pieces here are a few recommendations for great art galleries in NYC. You can start in Chelsea and check out David Zwirner’s place on 19th Street to see the work of contemporary artists and get a head start on who’s sure to be the next big hit in the New York art scene.
From there try the Lehmann Maupin Gallery for a different style of art as they tend to specialize in those that like to work outside the usual boundaries. Even if you’re just going to walk by you should really see the New Museum of Contemporary Art since the building itself is a work of art. The design is striking from several blocks away and when viewed up close will capture your attention. If you want to have your mind blown then check out L&M Arts for works by some of the most famous artists the world has ever seen.
Gallery: 1988 is one of the hippest, most interesting art galleries in Los Angeles and just recently they had an art show dedicated to pieces inspired by some of the most popular and beloved comedians in the business. The show was called “Is this thing on?” and drew great crowds, including most of the comedians featured. The pieces are truly remarkable and most were snapped up in an instant.
If you’re a fan of stand up comedy and comedians it’s well worth hitting the internet to find a gallery of the works featured in the show. Perhaps you can find a way to purchase one or purchase a print because they’re utterly amazing. If you’re in town you might want to head over to Gallery: 1988 and check out what they have up now as it continues to be one of the best galleries in all of Los Angeles.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the vast majority of you reading this can’t imagine a worse time than going to a party at an art gallery. You’re probably seeing lots of pretentious people talking about the art that looks like garbage and sounding like idiots. That will probably happen at any art gallery party but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go. In fact, that’s a big part of the entertainment. Those people generally do know what they’re talking about so you can learn from them or just laugh at the pretentiousness. Both ways are entertaining! You might also be surprised to know that folks at art galleries don’t mind partying down a little and it’s a great place to meet guys and girls. Throw back a few of the drinks they’re offering, flirt a little bit, and have some fun. Find a girl making a quizzical face at a painting and throw a silly line at her. Have fun!
The Louvre, located in Paris, France is the world’s most visited and most famous art gallery. It’s also a work of art and a monument in and of itself. It’s beautiful and inside you’ll find more than 35,000 pieces of art displayed in the countless rooms. You’ll also likely wait a while to see them all since nearly 9 million people a year visit.
The collections at The Louvre include more than 50,000 Egyptian antiquities (they don’t have everything on display at any given time), Near Eastern antiquities (including the Code of Hammurabi, which is an amazing thing), pieces from the Greek, Roman, and Etruscan eras dating up to the 6th century, more than 6,000 pieces of Islamic art, a huge sculpture department, and more than 7,500 paintings including The Mona Lisa. The sheer volume of works here is intense and incredible.
The Art Newspaper is a specialty publication about art, obviously. Each year they publish a list of the most visited art galleries in the world (museums with art on display) and the numbers are pretty darn impressive. At the top of the list for 2011 is the Louvre, arguably the world’s most famous museum and located in Paris. It holds some of the most amazing works of art the world has ever seen, which would explain why nearly 9 million people visited.
The Metropolitan Museum of art is in second place with just over 6 million visitors. It’s the most famous museum in New York, which is one of the most visited cities in the world so it’s not terribly surprising it gets great attendance. Next on the list are the British Museum, the National Gallery, and Tate Modern, all in London. They have 5-6 million visitors each and between them are stuffed with great art displays for art lovers.
The Getty Center is located in Los Angeles and if you’ve never been it’s a must see on a vacation or if you live in the area and you want something amazing to do. First, the piece of property it’s on is one of the finest in Los Angeles with views in almost every direction, including ocean views. There’s a well-maintained garden that’s beautiful to spend time in and a little restaurant where you can grab a meal.
Most important though is the art gallery there. The collection the Getty Center possesses is quite large and they can’t have it all out at once but you’re in for a treat when you visit no matter what they have on display. It can range from photography to paintings to sculptures and more. It’s always beautiful, interesting, and classic. They work hard on preserving and restoring art too and it’s all thanks to the oil money of the Getty family.
The best way to describe modern art is really in the name. It’s art that steps away from the traditions of the past in favor of doing something new, fresh, and current. Sometimes it misses entirely but the point is that the artist is forging a new path and trying something interesting and that in and of itself can be amazing.
If you’ve never been to a modern art gallery you might actually get a little bit of comedic value out of it if the art doesn’t touch you in any way. Sometimes what the artists have created seems entirely pointless. I remember a trip to a modern art gallery where the piece on the wall was an entirely white canvas with a red dot in the middle. I was a teenager at the time and it was totally over my head but it was memorable enough that I still hold that memory and it makes me smile. Give a modern art gallery a try.
Los Angeles is stuffed to the brim with art galleries but it has something special called The Art Walk. It’s a collection of art galleries all in Downtown Los Angeles and each month they feature new pieces and artists. There’s a website with all the information or you can head downtown and find more information too. What’s great is that you don’t really need to know anything and can just get busy on a walking tour or take the car.
Downtown LA isn’t the greatest place in the world so you might not want to go at night, although they have improved it in recent years. The best part is that each gallery tries to do something different so you’re never stuck looking at the same thing over and over again. Instead you get something fresh and fun each time and that means an art gallery experience like you’ve never had before.
If you live in the United States and you’ve never been to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC you should make a point of doing so. It houses over 108,000 pieces and includes a little bit of everything. Whether you seek a sculpture, paintings, pictures, or any number of other forms of artistic expression they’ll have it.
The National Gallery of Art was established in 1937 thanks to the donations of Andrew W. Mellon. He also included a large part of his art collection to get the museum started with beautiful works. Other donations followed and the collection of the National Gallery of Art now rivals some of the finest museums in the world (although it still falls short of what you can find in Europe). Even if you’re not particularly interested in art it’s worth a visit for what you can find inside and the new experience.
A contemporary art gallery stands out from an art gallery in a museum in that it’s a largely commercial enterprise. Sometimes the works shown will be seemingly uncommercial but they’re always for sale and there’s always a market for art since it’s such a subjective medium and you can never tell when a particular piece is going to strike someone’s fancy.
In general anyone can enter a contemporary art gallery as they hope to sell you a piece and turn a profit. Sometimes they’ll have private showings and sometimes there are art galleries so high end that they only take appointments for clients with the money to afford what they’re selling. Chances are very good you’ve walked by an art gallery several times in your life and if you’ve never walked in you should really give it a try. You can find wonderful things in an art gallery even if you’re not going to buy.