Upper East Side: Boutique Art Galleries
The Upper East Side is world renowned for its museums. But true art connoisseurs also venture beyond the hallowed halls of the Met to the neighborhood’s dizzying array of galleries, among the most celebrated internationally.
Within these intimate spaces, art lovers can appreciate works by emerging, contemporary and late-great artists. And, unlike the Whitney or the Frick, galleries thrive on commerce, according well-heeled investors the opportunity to not merely appreciate art, but to own it.
Here’s a selection of some of the finest Upper East Side boutique galleries, all within easy walking distance of The Marquand.
Establishing itself in Los Angeles during the late 1970s, the Gagosian has since spread its wings, with galleries in London, Athens, Paris and Hong Kong. There are also three in Manhattan, enabling dwellers of luxury condominiums in New York City to experience the Gagosian without having to travel far and wide.
Yet despite the Gagosian’s widespread achievements, its galleries retain a boutique feel. Whereas some Gagosian galleries center on more established names, the Madison Avenue venue places more of an emphasis on up-and-coming artists, showcasing the next generation of contemporary masters.
Michael Werner Gallery
Formed as an extension of the German Galerie Michael Werner in Berlin, the Michael Werner Gallery in New York is based in the erstwhile property of the legendary Leo Castelli. Modern and contemporary European and American art is the gallery’s main focal point. The next exhibition is Players Ball, a compilation of works by Markus Lüpertz as chosen by Peter Doig (another artist who features heavily in Michael Werner’s showcases).
Jane Kahan Gallery
Picasso, Chagall, Miro, Leger and Calder are areas of expertise for the Jane Kahan Gallery. Since 1973 this boutique setup has been aiding private investors, museums and architects with building up their own collections of modern art. Paintings and sculpture are on exhibition, and Jane Kahan also deals in 20thcentury fine art tapestries and rare Picasso ceramics. The Jane Kahan Gallery conveniently affords art lovers who live close by, such as those who reside at The Marquand, an opportunity to see well-known artists in their lesser-known mediums.
Leo Castelli Gallery
The name Leo Castelli is synonymous with contemporary art. Among Castelli’s roster of artists were Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Cy Twombly. Castelli’s first gallery was where Michael Werner Gallery now calls home, but since 1999, the Leo Castelli Gallery has been on the Upper East Side. Directed by Castelli’s wife Barbara, the gallery’s main thrust is post-war American art. Emerging artists rub shoulders with Robert Morris and Frank Stella.
The beautiful Acquevella Galleries was founded by Nicholas Acquavella in 1921, and has remained in the family ever since. Beginning with its specialism in Italian Renaissance works, the gallery later branched out to embrace 19th and 20thcentury art, under the direction of Nicholas’ son, William. Since then, another generation of the family has welcomed the likes of Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. The upshot is an all-encompassing gallery where you can see anything from Cézanne and Monet to Klee and Warhol. Though on the bigger side of boutiques, Acquavella’s family background lends it the necessary personal touch. This gallery is great for eclectic art lovers looking to spend sometime outside of their luxury NYC apartments.
Mitchell-Innes & Nash
There are two Mitchell-Innes & Nash galleries in NYC, one on 534 West 26th Street and the other on 1018 Madison Avenue. The latter has a history of curating an engrossing mix of mediums; lately it has showcased small bronzes by Anthony Caro, contemporary photography by Jay Defeo and Martha Rosler, and paintings by Nicolas de Staël.