I put together my first selection of Forty Galleries You Should Know if You Love Paint in 2012. As with everything in life, a lot has changed in the art world over the past two years. Some of my favorite galleries have closed, including Harris Lieberman in New York City and the legendary Daniel Weinberg Gallery in Los Angeles, while some younger galleries have either suddenly appeared or have developed their programming in truly noteworthy ways.
Of all the changes since 2012, the most difficult has been the recent loss of the visionary and beloved New York art dealer who simply went by the name Hudson. His gallery, Feature, Inc., has been a critical part of the city’s frenetic art scene since the mid-1980s. Hudson brought early exposure to dozens of important artists, including Alexander Ross and Tom Friedman. In the past few years, his championing of mid-career artists such as Andrew Masullo and David Deutsch helped bring their work much-deserved attention. While Hudson will long be remembered for his impact on the art world, it is his quiet intelligence and gentle spirit that I will miss the most. There is no word yet as to what will become of Feature, Inc. – Steven Zevitas, Publisher New American Paintings
Steven Zevitas founded New American Paintings magazine in 1994 as a vehicle for providing promising emerging artists with international exposure. Working closely with museum curators, New American Paintings reviews the work of thousands of artists each year. Forty artists are selected to appear in each bi-monthly edition, many of whom go on to receive substantial critical and commercial success. Additional magazine content focuses on the medium of painting, those who influence its direction, and the role painting plays within the wider contemporary art world. Visit New American Paintings for more information or to subscribe.
Two years ago, I would not have thought that it was possible for more energy to be put into the medium of paint. I am glad that I did not place a bet on it. If anything, there is more going on with painting than ever, and while many artists are working in traditional modes, many others are busy pushing our understanding of the medium to startling new places. Many of the galleries on this list are firmly dedicated to taking on the risk of helping this emerging generation of painters realize their vision.
As with my first list, the criteria for selection this time is that the gallery must be located in the United States and have a stable of artists that is at least 50% painters. And again, the list is far from comprehensive. In the interest of giving attention to younger galleries, I have stayed away from obvious painting strongholds such as Matthew Marks, Gagosian, David Zwirner, Pace, and Blum & Poe.*NAP indicates artists that were published in past issues of New American Paintings.
ACME; Los Angeles
This powerhouse LA gallery places an emphasis on the medium of painting, and its stable includes some of the most sought-after artists working today. Laura Owens showed here beginning in the late 1990s, and LA art star Tomory Dodge continues to be represented by the gallery.
NAP ARTISTS: Lisa Sanditz, Iva Gueorguieva
OTHER NOTABLE ARTISTS: Kristin Baker, Tomory Dodge, Bill Jensen, Tony Feher, Kai Althoff
American Contemporary; New York City
This Lower East Side space is widely considered one of the most important young galleries in New York’s frenetic art scene. Under the direction of Matthew Dipple, the gallery has a consistent track record of introducing artists who gain attention quickly. The gallery’s art fair presentations are always immaculately curated.
NAP ARTISTS: Anna Conway, Shara Hughes
OTHER NOTABLE ARTISTS: Sarah Braman, Mariah Robertson
Ameringer|McEnery|Yohe; New York City
It is all painting, all the time at this Chelsea gallery. Founded by Will Ameringer, the former director of the influential André Emmerich Gallery, the gallery has become known for its penchant for modernist abstraction. Since McEnery and James Yohe joined the team, the gallery has consistently added younger artists to its stable, but with a strong eye toward artists whose visual language and dedication to the craft of painting blend well with the existing roster. The gallery is a staple on high-end art fair circuit.
NAP ARTISTS: Franklin Evans, Iva Gueorguieva, Patrick Wilson
OTHER NOTABLE ARTISTS: Brian Alfred, Kevin Appel, Suzanne Caporael, Frederick Hammersley, Hans Hofmann, Wolf Kahn, Morris Louis, Robert Motherwell, Kenneth Noland
Jeff Bailey Gallery; New York City
Jeff Bailey has an extraordinarily sensitive eye when it comes to the medium of painting, and his diverse stable covers a lot of aesthetic range. Every time I visit with Jeff he has something great to show me. He is my favorite type of dealer – deadly serious, yet very approachable.
NAP ARTISTS: Louise Belcourt, Jim Gaylord, Jim Richard, Jered Sprecher
OTHER NOTABLE ARTISTS: Jackie Gendel, Martin McMurray
Bill Brady/KC; Kansas City, MO
For a number of years, Bill Brady was based in New York City, where he owned the well-respected ATM Gallery. He relocated to Kansas City in early-2012 he opened Bill Brady/KC, which has quickly become the edgiest commercial space in the city. Brady’s deep connection to NYC have yielded benefits, and he has mounted a series of consistently challenging shows by highly sought-after artists. Among the artists whom he has exhibited over the past two years are Joe Bradley, Jonas Wood, Michael Williams, Eddie Martinez and ultra-hot auction star, Lucien Smith.
Brennan & Griffin; New York City
Under Kathryn Brennan’s direction, Sister became a staple of LA’s bustling Chinatown art scene in the mid-2000s, and one of the more interesting spaces in the city overall. Sister morphed into Kathryn Brennan Gallery, and, in 2010, Brennan and then-director James Griffin partnered to form Brennan & Griffin on New York’s Lower East Side. The gallery’s reputation has grown steadily since then. There are a number of LA-based artists in the stable, including mid-career painter Mary Weatherford.
NOTABLE ARTISTS: Kristin Calabrese, John Williams, Mary Weatherford
Shane Campbell Gallery; Chicago
Certain gallerists can do virtually no wrong, and, in my estimation, Shane Campbell is among them. With a program largely focused on abstract painting, Campbell consistently mounts shows with first-rate emerging and mid-career artists, including the now-internationally known Mark Grotjahn. The art world works in mysterious ways, and as luck would have it, one of Campbell’s artists, Michelle Grabner, was selected as one of three curators of the 2014 Whitney Biennial. It is not surprising to see three of her stablemates – Tony Lewis, Suzanne McClelland and Shio Kusaka – in the Biennial.
NOTABLE ARTISTS: Ann Craven, Michelle Grabner, Joanne Greenbaum, Mark Grotjahn, Jon Pestoni, Zak Prekop, Jonas Wood, Amanda Ross-Ho
Canada; New York City
What can you say about this artist run space? For close to a decade, it has largely defined the Lower East Side scene. I would rate it as one of the most important and influential galleries to open in New York City in the 2000s. It has launched the careers of three of the most discussed artists of the day – Gedi Sibony, Joe Bradley and Sarah Bramam – and it continues to be one of the top spaces in the country for emerging artists. Galleries further up the food chain seem to be constantly circling CANADA’s stable in search of the next star. The gallery located to new, larger LES digs in 2013.
NOTABLE ARTISTS: Katherine Bernhardt, Joe Bradley, Sarah Braman, Matt Connors, Xylor Jane, Michael Williams -
Cheim & Read; New York City
Opened in Chelsea in 1997, Cheim & Read has quickly become one of New York’s most prominent galleries. Its upmarket stable of artists and estates includes such art-historically significant figures as Louise Bourgeois, Diane Arbus, William Eggleston, Jenny Holzer and Joan Mitchell. Painting is a major part of the gallery’s programming, and the artists it represents span generations, from deceased masters such as Milton Resnick and Al Held to established artists such as Sean Scully and Jonathan Lasker to younger artists such as Ghada Amer and Tal R. It is clear that John Cheim and Howard Read have taken great care in putting together a gallery roster of superlative artists who are all making significant contributions to their respective mediums. This is not a gallery that is interested in the new and untested.
NOTABLE ARTISTS: Diane Arbus, Lynda Benglis, William Eggleston, Al Held, Jenny Holzer, Bill Jensen, Jonathan Lasker, Joan Mitchell, Alice Neel, Jack Pierson, Sean Scully
China Art Objects Galleries; Los Angeles
I don’t know what is up with this gallery’s name. When it was founded in the 1990s, as China Art Objects, the gallery was at the heart of Los Angeles’s then-burgeoning Chinatown art scene. With its move to a beautiful Culver City space several years ago, the gallery became International Art Objects. It is now China Art Objects once again. Whatever the reason for the flip-flopping, it has long been one of the best spaces in LA. The heart of its stable is made up of a significant group of LA-based emerging and mid-career artists, including Kim Fisher and Pae White.
NOTABLE ARTISTS: Sarah Braman, Kim Fisher, Sean Landers, Jon Pylypchuk, Eric Wesley, Pae White
Corbett vs. Dempsey; Chicago
It is hard not to love the gallery’s name, which sets up an adversarial position, although John Corbett and Jim Dempsey seem to get along just fine. Known for exhibiting first-rate Chicago painting, sculpture and works on paper from 1940 to 1980, they have expanded their program to include contemporary artists, and the gallery is now becoming a staple on the art fair circuit. Two of its artists, Rebecca Morris and Molly Zuckerman-Hartung, will be included in the 2014 Whitney Biennial.
NAP ARTISTS: John Sparagana, Molly Zuckerman-Hartung
OTHER NOTABLE ARTISTS: Albert Oehlen, Rebecca Shore, Christopher Wool, Josiah McElheny, Joyce Pensato, Charline von Heyl, Karl Wirsum
CRG Gallery; New York City
Partnerships are always difficult, but somehow this New York-based space has managed to successfully grow with three wheels. Its street-level space in Chelsea has given it the added exposure that its program deserves. It represents a number of New York-based artists, and is home to good clutch of West Coasters, including Russell Crotty, Tomory Dodge, Tom LaDuke, Kelly McLane, and Steve Roden.
NAP ARTISTS: Robert Buck, Angela Dufresne, Siobhan Liddell, Kelly McLane, Lisa Sanditz
OTHER NOTABLE ARTISTS: Russell Crotty, Pia Fries, Ori Gersht, Steve Roden
Thomas Duncan Gallery; Los Angeles
Opened in Los Angeles in early 2012, Thomas Duncan Gallery is one of the younger spaces on this list. As of now, the gallery formally represents only six emerging artists, but they are a significant six, including one of my favorite painters, Zak Prekop, and one of the more interesting emerging artists out there today, Valerie Snobeck. Thomas Duncan clearly has a thing for painting, but not in the traditional sense. All the artists he currently represents are intensely focused on process, and they are pushing their medium forward. I expect great things from this gallery, which I think is one of the most interesting new spaces in the country.
NAP ARTISTS: Valerie Snobeck
OTHER NOTABLE ARTISTS: Zak Prekop, Lucas Knipscher, Sean Kennedy
Talley Dunn Gallery; Dallas
Talley Dunn has been active in the art world for more than two decades. She and Lisa Brown opened the highly respected Dunn and Brown Contemporary in the late 1990s, and represented a number of high-profile artists, including Trenton Doyle Hancock. Dunn and Brown went their separate ways in 2011, but Dunn continues to run one of Texas’s best spaces. Many of the artists she represents reside in Texas, and among them are some of the state’s biggest exports, including David Bates, Jeff Elrod, Vernon Fisher, and Susie Rosmarin.
NAP ARTISTS: Julie Bozzi, Xiaoze Xie
OTHER NOTABLE ARTISTS: David Bates, Jeff Elrod, Vernon Fisher, Robyn O’Neil, Susie Rosmarin
Freight + Volume; New York City
A true art-world character, Nick Lawrence is a cofounder of the legendary LFL Gallery. After Zach Feuer took over LFL, Lawrence went on to open the scrappy Freight + Volume, which heavily favors painting. He has a good track record of supporting significant emerging talent. When it comes to art fairs, Lawrence goes for it. For the past two years, his gallery has participated in multiple art fairs concurrently during Miami’s art fair week. When I asked him why, he told me that it ensured that none of his clients would miss him. Love it.
NAP ARTISTS: Erik Den Breejen, Kent Dorn, Kristen Schiele, Michael Scoggins, Damian Stamer
James Fuentes; New York City
In the past few years, this Lower East Side dealer’s star has been on the rise, as his artists such as Joshua Abelow, John McAllister, and Noam Rappaport have gained critical and commercial attention. Fuentes has one of my favorite programs in New York, and is a must visit on any LES gallery crawl.
NAP ARTISTS: Joshua Abelow
OTHER NOTABLE ARTISTS: Jessica Dickinson, John McAllister, Noam Rappaport
Gallery Paule Anglim; San Francisco
This venerable San Francisco gallery has exhibited the work of numerous artists of international stature, including Bruce Conner, Ann Hamilton, David Ireland, Jess, Barry McGee, and Frances Stark. It is also home to a strong group of emerging artists. Housed in a second-floor Geary Street space, there is a special feeling every time that you walk in the door – it is as if you were walking into a piece of history. On any given day, Paule Anglim is sure to be holding down the fort with longtime gallery director Edward Gilbert.
NAP ARTISTS: Ala Ebtekar, Brett Reichman, Katherine Sherwood, Xiaoze Xie, John Zurier, James Sterling Pitt
OTHER NOTABLE ARTISTS: Too many to mention
The Hole; New York City
It was a sad day when Deitch Projects closed its doors in 2010. The space’s passing unleashed a number of high-profile artists, who were quickly courted and snatched up by other galleries, and it also freed a very talented team of gallerists to pursue their own projects. Kathy Grayson, one of Deitch’s former directors, opened The Hole in 2009, and it has since become one of the most exciting spaces in New York. There is a true energy to this gallery that you can feel both in the space itself and when it goes on the road to various art fairs. The Hole’s booth at the 2013 NADA Miami Art Fair was widely regarded as one of the highlights. The programming is diverse, but The Hole clearly loves paint.
NOTABLE ARTISTS: Kadar Brock, Kasper Sonne, Misaki Kawi
Honor Fraser; Los Angeles
Honor Fraser has an interesting name, and she has had a really interesting life. Born and raised in Scotland, the ex-model spent a number of years in the fashion industry before heading to the States, where she calls Los Angeles home. Fraser opened her eponymous gallery in 2008 and now occupies a pristine gallery space in the heart of LA’s commercial gallery scene, Culver City. Her stable is diverse and includes two of LA’s hottest emerging talents, Sarah Cain and Annie Lapin, as well as the internationally exhibited artist KAWS.
NAP ARTISTS: Sarah Cain, Annie Lapin, Erik Parker, Brenna Youngblood
OTHER NOTABLE ARTISTS: Tomoo Gokita, KAWS, Robert Lazzarini, Kenny Scharf
Horton Gallery; New York City
And he came from Texas. Along with CANADA, Sean Horton earned a place as a poster boy for the Lower East Side gallery movement. After some time spent in Boston, where we first met, Horton went to New York and worked with Nick Lawrence before opening Horton Gallery. Horton loves painting, and he has an extraordinary eye for picking emerging talent – he seems to constantly discover new artists. Horton recently moved from Chelsea into the former LES space of CANADA.
NAP ARTISTS: Echo Eggebrecht, Kirk Hayes, James Hyde
OTHER NOTABLE ARTISTS: Peter Gallo, Aaron Spangler
To see the next 20 galleries please visit New American Paintings