The 28 Best Art Exhibitions in NYC to Check Out

Hey art lover, we heard you’re going to visit New York City. You’re in for a treat. New York has some of the best art exhibits in the world. Wondering which art fairs and art museums you should check out? Overwhelmed by the number of art exhibits in NYC?

We’ve compiled some of the best art exhibitions going on in New York right now. All that’s left for you to do is book your ticket (some of these art exhibitions are for free)!

The Best Art Exhibitions in New York City Right Now

  1. 01

    Art Exhibitions at MoMA PS1

    Museum in Long Island City
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    Check out the local art scene in the MoMa Ps1 art exhibit, featuring work from 47 local, contemporary artists. This exhibit explores art-making in New York history, the resilience of artists, and the feelings connected with art. You’ll see a huge emphasis on foreign-born artists, their work full of Egyptian, Iranian, Tunisian, Nigerian, Mexican, Argentinian, and Indian influences. There is also an abundance of Native American artists to enjoy.

    • PACITA ABAD (April 4–September 2, 2024)
    • MELISSA CODY: Webbed Skies (April 4–September 9, 2024)
    • REGINA JOSÉ GALINDO: Tierra (April 4–August 26, 2024)
    • AFTER THE FIRE: Mural Project (ongoing)

    My tip: These are the Best Things To Do in New York in Summer.

  2. 02

    Fotografiska New York

    Museum in Gramercy
    Fotografiska_Museum_NYC_210903083604002
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    Fotografiska New York is a wonderful museum in NYC for all art and especially photo art enthusiasts. Originally founded in Stockholm in 2010, the museum also exists in Tallinn (Estonia) and since 2019 in New York.

    • Futuristic Ancestry: Warping Matter and Space-time(s) (2 Feb 2024 - 24 May 2024)
    • Daniel Arsham: PHASES (March 22 - June 13, 2024)
    • Human / Nature: Encountering Ourselves in the Natural World (Feb 9 - May 19, 2024)
  3. 03

    Exhibitions at El Museo del Barrio NYC

    Museum in Upper East Side
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    El Museo del Barrio NYC is right at the north end of the Museum Mile and exhibits everything to do with art and culture from Latin America. After its expensive renovation in 2009, the museum is better than ever and offers its visitors a collection of over 6,500 artifacts, as well as many permanent and special exhibitions alike.

    • Ocama Aracoel (March 14 - August 11, 2024)
    • Amalia Mesa-Bains: Archaeology of Memory (May 2 - August 11, 2024)
    • Cuerpo: Carlos Martiel (May 2 - September 1, 2024)
  4. 04

    Exhibits at Guggenheim Museum

    Museum in Upper East Side
    Our Highlight
    Guggenheim Museum
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    First off, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is an architectural masterpiece. Second, but most importantly, it is the permanent home of a large collection of art named after its founder. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright the bizarrely shaped building is one of the most famous in NYC. Not only is the outside spectacular, but it is constantly expanding its permanent collection. Also, many special exhibitions are showcased here throughout the years. It is definitely worth a visit!

    • Thannhauser Collection (ongoing)
    • A Year with Children 2024 (Through June 9, 2024)
    • By Way Of: Material and Motion in the Guggenheim Collection (Through January 12, 2025)
  5. 05

    Current exhibitions at Jeffrey Deitch

    Gallery in SoHo
    Deitch_Gallery_Soho_NYC_211221162851008
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    Anyone who’s a fan of New York City’s contemporary art scene knows the name, Jeffrey Deitch. He’s an esteemed curator and art dealer who’s best known for his gallery that operated from 1996 until 2010 called Deitch Projects, where he curated projects such as Post Human and Lives. After shuttering his art gallery, Deitch moved to Los Angeles, where he served as the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) director until 2013.

    • Frank Stella: Recent Sculpture (March 8–May 18, 2024 | 18 Wooster Street)
  6. 06

    Queens Museum

    Museum in Flushing
    Our Highlight
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    One of the most well-known museums in Queens is the Queens Museum of Art, which was built in 1939 to host the New York World’s Fair. Many of the exhibits are documents relating to the fair. And the great thing is that admission is always free of charge!

    • Glori Tuitt: Black, Trans, & Alive (Qweens Song) (October 1, 2021 - ongoing)
    • Caroline Kent: A short play about watching shadows move across the room (December 6, 2023 - December 29, 2024)
    • Lyle Ashton Harris: Our first and last love (May 19, 2024 - September 22, 2024)
    • Cameron A. Granger: 9999 (May 19, 2024 - September 22, 2024)
    • Nsenga Knight: Close to Home (May 19, 2024 - September 22, 2024)
    • Catalina Schliebener Muñoz: Buenos Vecinos (May 19, 2024 - September 22, 2024)
    • Cas Holman: Prototyping Play (May 19, 2024 - September 22, 2024)
  7. 07

    Current exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York

    Museum in Upper East Side
    Museum_170423115755026
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    A great museum to find out more about the city of New York. Get an exciting look into the history of the Big apple and find out more through a variety of pictures, paintings, clothing, toys and books.

    • "This Is New York: 100 Years of the City in Art and Pop Culture" (through July 21, 2024)
    • Byzantine Bembé (through December 8, 2024)
    • "Raise Your Voice" by Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya (ongoing)
    • "New York at Its Core" (ongoing)
    • "Activist New York" (ongoing)
    • "Timescapes" (ongoing)
    • "Starlight" (ongoing)

    My tip: These are the Best Things To Do in New York in November.

  8. 08

    Frick Madison Art Exhibition

    Museum in Upper East Side
    Frick Collection in New York
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    In the temporary new home Frick Madison of the renowned Frick Collection, you can admire renowned masterpieces from the Renaissance to the early twentieth century in the latest Art Exhibition at Frick Madison.

    • Where? 945 Madison Avenue
    • currently closed
  9. 09

    American Museum of Natural History

    Museum in Upper West Side
    180808123042004_national_museum_history_nyc
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    The American Museum of Natural History is one of the more popular museums in NYC. If the name sounds recognizable it’s because the museum was the center of attention in the movie, Night at the Museum featuring Ben Stiller. Regardless of it’s Hollywood fame, the Natural History Museum is a huge institution that features numerous exhibits. This is a great place for families with kids so they can learn about the world’s geography, plants, different animal species and many other things.

    The American Museum of Natural History is located in the Upper West Side in Manhattan and is the largest natural history museum in the world.

    • "Extinct and Endangered: Insects in Peril" (opened June 22, 2022)
    • "Davis Family Butterfly Vivarium" (ongoing)
    • "Invisible Worlds" (ongoing)

     

  10. 10

    Exhibits at the Museum of Arts and Design

    Museum in Midtown Manhattan
    Museum of Arts and Design
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    The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) at Columbus Circle is dedicated to contemporary crafts and design. The museum shop is fantastic and offers a range of items centered around design. Be sure to drop in at the café for a break and enjoy the fabulous view of Central Park.

    Every Thursday there is a 50% discount on the ticket (from 4 to 7 p.m.). Since the MAD is one of the smaller museums, you don’t have to wait much. By the way: every Friday and Saturday there is a free tour at 11.30 a.m..

    • Sonya Clark: WE ARE EACH OTHER (through September 22, 2024)
    • Anne Wilson: ERRANT BEHAVIORS (ongoing)
    • OUT of the Jewelry Box (ongoing)
  11. 11

    Exhibits at Marc Straus Gallery

    Gallery in Lower East Side
    Marc Straus Gallery in NYC
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    The Marc Straus Gallery is a contemporary art gallery in New York City. It was founded in 2011 by Marc Straus in the Lower East Side inside of a four story building that has been reconstructed. The gallery is committed to showing art that has not been seen in decades by older artists. This element of discovery and re-discovery will make you feel like an explorer as soon as your eyes land upon one of these forgotten pieces by a famous artist.

    • IN SEARCH OF LIBERTY (April 12 - May 24, 2024)
  12. 12

    Exhibits at Canada Art Gallery

    Gallery in Chinatown
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    One of the pioneers of the Lower East Side Chinatown gallery scene, CANADA opened in 2000 and has been a major institution, not a typical gallery, ever since.

    • Dream Speak: Rachel Eulena Williams (April 24 - June 1, 2024 | Location: 60 Lispenard St)
    • Zzyzx: Christina Sucgang (April 24 - June 1, 2024 | Location: 61 Lispenard St)
  13. 13

    Exhibits at Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art

    Museum in SoHo
    Leslie_Lohman_Museum_of_Art_front_wall_image
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    The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art is one of the newest museums in New York and is the only one fully dedicated to LGBTQ+ art. It was recognized as a museum in 2016, but its roots trace back to 1969. The founders Charles Leslie and Fritz Lohman exhibited the first artworks in their Soho loft back then, and today they have over 25,000 objects in their collection.

    • I am a thousand different people, everyone is real (March 15, 2024 - January 5, 2025)
    • The Plural of He (March 15 - July 21, 2024)
  14. 14

    Newly Renovated Met Museum Galleries

    Museum in Upper East Side
    Our Highlight
    Metropolitan Museum of Art
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    Art lovers, you can’t go to New York without visiting the Met. Even if you’ve been before (lucky you), there is no excuse not to go again since the Met is changing things up. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has moved hundreds of its old art exhibits to new, gorgeously-constructed spaces. The first phase was completed in April 2018, and the second phase was finished in spring 2022. Don’t miss it!

    • "Before Yesterday We Could Fly: An Afrofuturist Period Room" (ongoing)
    • Cycladic Art (Ongoing)
    • Look Again: European Paintings 1300–1800 (Ongoing)
    • Grounded in Clay: The Spirit of Pueblo Pottery (through June 4, 2024)
    • The Facade Commission: Nairy Baghramian, Scratching the Back (Through May 28, 2024)
    • Indian Skies: The Howard Hodgkin Collection of Indian Court Painting (until June 9, 2024)
    • Hidden Faces: Covered Portraits of the Renaissance (until July 7, 2024)
    • The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism (until July 28, 2024)
    • Lineages: Korean Art at The Met (through October 20, 2024)
    • The African Origin of Civilization (until January 19, 2025)

    These are only some of the exhibitions at the MET. Click here for more information.

  15. 15

    Exhibitions at The New York Public Library

    Building in Midtown Manhattan
    new_york_public_library_new_york_public_library_180508105745004
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    Interested in old artifacts, manuscripts, and archives? This is a New York art exhibition you won’t want to miss. The New York Public Library has taken hundreds of items from its expansive archive to create a permanent exhibition called “The Polonsky Exhibition of The New York Public Library’s Treasures.” This exhibit spans 4,000 years in human history, from Columbus’ only surviving letter to King Ferdinand announcing the discovery of the Americas to the first Gutenberg Bible that arrived in the New World. You don’t want to miss this amazing art exhibit in New York!

    • "Polonsky Exhibition of The New York Public Library's Treasures" (ongoing)
    • FUNDI: A Legacy of Learning & Liberation (Through May 1, 2024)
    • The Rose Family Seder Books (Through May 11, 2024)
    • The Ways of Langston Hughes: Griff Davis and Black Artists in the Making (Through July 8, 2024)
    • The Awe of the Arctic: A Visual History (Through July 13, 2024)
    • Reanimating Theater: The Photography of Friedman-Abeles (Through September 25, 2024 | The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts)
    • Photo Call: The Theater Photos of Joan Marcus and Carol Rosegg (May 1–September 28, 2024 | The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts)
  16. 16

    McKenzie Fine Art

    Gallery in Lower East Side
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    The McKenzie Fine Art Gallery has been around since 2002 and moved from the Chelsea neighborhood to the Lower East Side in 2012. It focuses on artists who are mid-level in their career, and utilize painting, sculptures, and drawing as their primary medium, or a mixture of them.

    There have been dozens of artists who have been able to showcase their talent at the McKenzie Fine Art Gallery. Some of those artists include: Julie Allen, Ann Aspinwall, Paul Corio, Lori Ellison, Tom Leaver, Jean Lowe, and Maureen McQuillan.

    • James Lecce (April 18 - May 24, 2024)
  17. 17

    Exhibitions at LUMAS Gallery Soho

    Gallery in SoHo
    LUMAS Art Gallery in SoHo NYC
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    LUMAS is a contemporary art and photography gallery that features work from artists around the globe. Many guests enjoy LUMAS because they feature works from upcoming and established artists, so they feature a diverse collection of art, which is evident the moment you step through the door or visit their website.

    Unlike some galleries, LUMAS aims to price and position their works in ways that are more accessible to collectors just starting out and definitely lean toward a style that can be described as a modern aesthetic. When visiting LUMAS’ Soho location, each work is meticulously displayed using acrylic mounts and museum-quality paper for printing, so even without a frame, they still look great in many environments.

  18. 18

    Exhibitions at Front Room Gallery

    Gallery in Chinatown
    Derek Eller Art Gallery NYC
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    The Front Room Gallery has been a one stop shop for art enthusiasts since it opened in 1999. They are a contemporary fine arts gallery that started in Brooklyn and have moved to Chinatown on Hester Street. Many of their pieces are tied back to social responsibility including political, environmental, and social topics.

    Their focus is on exhibiting photography, conceptual and installation based work by emerging artists as well as mid-career ones with an emphasis placed primarily on photographic images but also including sculpture or video installations. The Front Room Gallery has exhibited the work of several artists, including Ken Ragsdale, Thomas Broadbent, Paul Raphaelson, Patricia Smith, Sean Hemmerle, and more. In addition to its exhibition program, the gallery also organizes artist talks, screenings, and performances.

    • Peggy Cyphers: PASSAGES (April 13th-May 19th, 2024 | 205 Warren Street, Hudson, NY)

     

  19. 19

    Exhibitions at bitforms gallery

    Gallery in Lower East Side
    NoHo gallery NYC
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    The bitforms gallery is a contemporary art gallery that features mid-career artists utilizing the latest technologies in New York City. The Bitforms gallery was founded in 2001 with the idea that A world-renowned contemporary visual art gallery, bitforms is home to established artists and those on the rise.

    • Auriea Harvey: The Unanswered Question (Apr 4–May 25, 2024)
  20. 20

    Alexandre Gallery

    Gallery in Lower East Side
    Alexandre Gallery in NYC
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    Alexandre Gallery has two locations. The 25 E 73rd Street location has been around for 20 years, and will stay open for private viewings, and American Modernists from the Stieglitz Circle. It will be appointment only. The late 19th early 20th century is a special focus for Alexandre Gallery. Famous artists such as John Marin, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Joseph Stella have paintings on display at the 73rd Street location.

    Alexandre Gallery opened its new location at 291 Grand Street in the Lower East Side of Manhattan on September 9, 2021 with Lois Dodd doing a one-person exhibition. The gallery has 2,000 square feet, and was previously used by James Cohan.

    • Pat Adams: Works from the 1950s and ’60s (March 9 – May 11, 2024)
    • INDEPENDENT: TOM UTTECH (May 9 – 12, 2024 | Spring Studios, 6 St Johns Lane)
  21. 21

    Several Exhibitions at David Zwirner Galleries

    Gallery in Chelsea
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    David Zwirner is a German art dealer. He comes from a family of artists and grew up with an art studio on the ground floor of where he lived.  He opened his first gallery space in the SoHo neighborhood. In total, there are 3 locations in NY – 19th Street, 20th Street, and 69th Street. In Hong Kong, his gallery is on Queen’s Road Central. In London, you’ll find his gallery on Grafton Street, and in Paris, you’ll see the gallery on rue Vieille du Temple.

    • Arthur Jafa: BLACK POWER TOOL AND DIE TRYNIG (April 5 - June 1, 2024 | 52 Walker)
    • Joe Bradley: Vom Abend (April 11 - May 18, 2024 | 533 West 19th St)
    • Amadeo Luciano Lorenzato (April 11 - May 25, 2024 | 34 East 69th St)
  22. 22

    Current exhibits at Krause Gallery

    Gallery in Lower East Side
    Krause Gallery Lower East Side NYC
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    The variety of artforms, and artists presented at the Krause Gallery make this one a must visit. You’ll notice paintings, sculpture, and mostly contemporary art. The Krause Gallery has entered the world of NFT’s. NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token, and is the latest craze in the art world (a NFT is a digital asset that is unlike any other).

    • POP POP BANG BANG! - "Pappas Parlor x Abby Elizabeth" (April 18th - May 11th, 2024)
  23. 23

    Current exhibits at James Fuentes LLC Art Gallery

    Gallery in Lower East Side
    Gallery
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    James Fuentes LLC is a contemporary art gallery located in the heart of New York City. The gallery was founded in 2007 by James Fuentes in the Lower East Side and specializes in presenting innovative and experimental artwork by both emerging and established artists.

    • A Study in Form (Chapter Two), curated by Arden Wohl (April 26—May 25, 2024 | 55 Delancey St)
  24. 24

    Current exhibitions at Sean Kelly Gallery

    Gallery in Hudson Yards
    sean_kelly_Galleries_NYC_190509163013003
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    Sean Kelly Gallery, founded in 1991 in New York City by British-born Sean Kelly, represents established and mid-career artists, particularly with work based in installation and performance.

    • Idris Khan: After… (MARCH 15 - MAY 4, 2024)
    • Natasza Niedziółka: 273 Days (MARCH 15 – MAY 4, 2024)
    • Hugo McCloud: As For Now (MAY 11 - JUNE 22, 2024)
  25. 25

    Independent Art Fair

    Other Art & Culture in Tribeca
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    Despite having the words “art fair” in its name, the Independent Art Fair in New York strives to go beyond the concept by embracing different art styles beyond conventional and popular genres. It traces its beginnings to the Dia Center for the Arts in Beacon, New York. The eventual success of the museum and foundation led to the Chelsea neighborhood becoming a thriving art community.

    • When? May 11-14, 2023

    My tip: These are the Best Things To Do in New York in May.

  26. 26

    Frieze New York

    Other Art & Culture in Hudson Yards
    Frieze Art Fair New York
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    For art enthusiasts, one of the best things to do in spring in NYC is attending Frieze New York. It’s hosted on The Shed at Hudson Yards and features works from over 1,000 artists and 200 international galleries.

    There are many other fun things to do at the festival as well, such as sitting in on one of the famous panel discussions, soaking in the breathtaking views of The Vessel, and most importantly – immersing yourself in many imaginative outdoor and indoor projects.

    • When? May 17-21, 2023

    Photo by Casey Kelbaugh. Courtesy of Casey Kelbaugh/Frieze

    My tip: These are the Best Things To Do in New York in May.

  27. 27

    VOLTA Art Fair New York

    Other Art & Culture in Chelsea
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    At the same time as Frieze Week, the VOLTA Art Fair takes place in the former Dia Building in Chelsea’s Gallery District. It presents 49 national and international galleries, and since the Frieze Art Fair is only a 10-minute walk away, it makes sense to visit both art fairs. The best way to do this is to walk along the High Line.

    • When? May 2023

    My tip: These are the Best Things To Do in New York in May.

  28. 28

    Whitney Museum

    Museum in Meatpacking District
    whitney_museum_170314171556002
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    Newly opened in 2015, the Whitney Museum in New York shines in a whole new light. The Whitney Museum has one of the most spectacular collections of contemporary art that focuses on American art of the 20th and 21st centuries. Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Edward Hopper, Jackson Pollock, and Robert Rauschenberg are just a few of the names whose paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, and installations are part of the exhibits at the Whitney Museum. More than 21,000 works of art are permanently showcased here.

    • Harold Cohen: AARON (Feb 3–May 19, 2024)
    • "The Whitney's Collection" (ongoing)
    • WHITNEY BIENNIAL 2024: EVEN BETTER THAN THE REAL THING (MAR 20–AUG 11, 2024)
    • WANDA GÁG’S WORLD (MAR 28–DECEMBER 2024)
    • SURVIVAL PIECE #5: PORTABLE ORCHARD (JUN 29, 2024–JAN 1, 2025)

What art exhibit will you be checking out in New York City first? Let us know in the comments!

Profilbild Steffen Kneist
About the author

I'm a true New York fan! Not only have I visited the city over 25 times but also have I spent several months here at a time. On my blog I show you the best and most beautiful spots of the city, so that you have a really good time! You can also find lots of insider tips in our New York travel guide. Also check out my hotel finder for New York!

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