The 25 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

    Greater New York Art Exhibition 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.

    • Current Exhibition: Until April 18, 2022

     

  2. 02

    The Exhibition at Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel

    Other Art & Culture in SoHo
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    You don’t need to go to Rome to get up-close and personal with Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. In fact, this New York exhibit might get you closer than you ever could get in the Vatican. The once-in-a-lifetime exhibition has reproductions of 34 life-size frescoes from the Sistine Chapel, using a new printing technique to mimic their appearance and feel.

    • Current Exhibition: Until January 2022
  3. 03

    Jerry Schatzberg at Fotografiska New York

    Museum in Gramercy
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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.

    • Current Exhibition: Jerry Schatzberg (January 14 – Mar 3, 2022)
  4. 04

    Popular Painters and Other Visionaries 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.

    Right now you can visit the art exhibition called “Popular Painters and Other Visionaries” until February 2022.

  5. 05

    Museum of the City of New York

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

    • Current Exhibition: Until April 3, 2022
  6. 06

    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
  7. 07

    American Museum of Natural History

    Museum in Upper West Side
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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.

    • When? Starting December 15, 2021
  8. 08

    Paul Pretzer and Antonio Santín at Marc Straus Gallery

    Gallery in Lower East Side
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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.

    • When? Paul Pretzer till February 5, 2022
    • When? Antonio Santín January 8 – February 19, 2022
  9. 09

    Library of Dreams 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.

    • When? Until January 22, 2022
  10. 10

    OMNISCIENT: Queer Documentation in an Image Culture 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. 

  11. 11

    Vasily Kandinsky: Around the Circle at the 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!

  12. 12

    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 will be finished this spring 2022. Don’t miss it!

  13. 13

    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 18 – 22, 2022

    Photo by Casey Kelbaugh. Courtesy of Casey Kelbaugh/Frieze

  14. 14

    The New York Public Library's Treasures: The Polonsky Exhibition

    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!

    • When? Until December 2025
  15. 15

    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 5 – 8, 2022
  16. 16

    Affordable Art Fair

    Other Events in Chelsea
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    Spring isn’t just an excellent time to get outside and enjoy nature; it’s also a great time to do a bit of spring cleaning. After you finish, if your walls seem bare, head on over to the Affordable Art Fair and snag some high-quality art at low-end prices.

    This annual event returns to NYC each year at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea, where you can view contemporary works that range in price from $100 up to $10,000.

    • When? March 24 – 27, 2022
  17. 17

    The Whitney Biennial 2022 (April - August 2022)

    Museum in Meatpacking District
    whitney_museum_170314171556002
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    In addition to regularly changing exhibitions, there is one Whitney Museum of Art event that tops them all: the Whitney Biennial. It’s been around since 1932, making it the longest-running exhibition of American art and the museum’s signature event.

  18. 18

    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.

  19. 19

    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.

  20. 20

    Storms at bitforms gallery

    Gallery in Lower East Side
    bitforms 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.

    • When? “Storms” by Quayola till January 15, 2022
  21. 21

    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.  

  22. 22

    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.

    • When? Hilma of Klint, Tree of Knowledge (Nov. 3 – Feb. 5, 2022)
  23. 23

    Annual Emerging to Established Winter Group Show 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).

    • When? January 13 – March 28, 2022
  24. 24

    The Flower Breathes a Second Life 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.

    • When? Till January 6, 2022
  25. 25

    A Pound of Pictures at Sean Kelly Gallery

    Gallery in Hudson Yards
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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.

    • When? Alec Soth “A Pound of Pictures” from starting January 14 to February 26, 2022.

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

About the author
Steffen

I'm a true New York fan! Not only have I visited the city over 20 times but also have I spent several months here at a time. On this blog, I want to share everything I have learned and discovered, so you can have the best time in the greatest city in the world.

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