A New York City neighborhood that has been neglected and avoided not that long time ago, Brooklyn now thrives in every way, especially when it comes to art. The Brooklyn Museum has been joined by a plethora of Brooklyn art galleries range from the avant-garde to more traditional. In recent years, the spectrum of Brooklyn art galleries has broadened to encompass work in a range of media created by artists that run the gamut from emerging to blue chip. Over the past two decades, Brooklyn proclaimed itself a cultural hot-spot for experimentation as creatives migrated in search of open spaces and economical rent. Now, the whole area probably sustains more artists per square foot than the Venice Biennale. Simply, no greater concentration of creatives, art organizations, art publications, alternative spaces, curators, galleries specializing in emerging artists and affordable-ish studios exists in the country. As a growing artistic chaos, Brooklyn responds to globally synced artistic trends and hosts many site-specific utopian projects, community art projects, and environmental projects, but it also accommodates strong communities of formal art. With such an amazing creative dynamism Brooklyn houses, the neighborhood is now on a NYC map of every art enthusiast out there.
With so many amazing galleries, one wouldn’t even know where to start. This is why we have mapped out the best Brooklyn art galleries that should definitely put on your bucket list!
Featured images: Andy Romer Installation View, via pioneerworks.org; Watterlogged, installation view, Courtesy of Transmitter Gallery; Real Fine Arts, Maggie Lee – Fufu’s Dreamhouse, installation view, via realfinearts.com; Closer Things, installation view. Courtesy of Sardine Gallery; City Limit Installation View. Courtesy of The Journal Gallery.
Pioneer Works Center for Arts and Innovation
Located in Red Hook and situated in the building was first occupied by Pioneer Iron Works, one of the largest machine manufacturers in the United States, Pioneer Works Center for Arts and Innovation is dedicated to the creation, synthesis and discussion of art, science and education. It brings together artists, scientists and creative thinkers to collaborate outside the boundaries of traditional institutions. In order to nurture and support arts and culture, Pioneer Works hosts educational programming, exhibitions, publications, residencies, lectures and performances and presents a social hub for the inception and dissemination of art and ideas.
Featured images: Pioneer Works Gallery, via pioneerworks.org; Pioneer Works
Located in Bushwick area, Microscope Gallery was founded in 2010 by artists and curators Elle Burchill and Andrea Monti. Representing and promoting both emerging artists and pioneers of their art forms, the gallery specializes in the moving image, sound, digital and performance art through exhibitions and weekly events. Addressing the unnecessary divide between the white box setting of the gallery and black box of the screening/performance venue, the gallery provides a space for artists working with time-based arts to show their work in both contexts. Besides an exciting exhibition program, the gallery hosts a variety of screenings, performances, readings and lectures.
Featured images: Microscope Gallery, via bushwickbuzz.com; Marni Kotak – Mad Meds, installation view, via bedfordandbowery.com
99 Cents Plus Gallery
An artist run gallery and studio founded by Simran Johnston, Zoe Alexander Fischer and Riley Storm, 99 Cents Plus Gallery aims to create and all-inclusive space in which the production, exhibition, and consumption of art and objects can exist under one roof. It shares its storefront gallery space with HANDJOB Gallery/Store curated by Zoe Alexander Fischer. It also serves as an active and productive art studio for Simran Johnston and Riley Strom (Plus one lucky resident).
Featured images: 99 Cents Plus Gallery, via greymagazine.com; 99 Cents Plus Gallery, via archinect.com
The Journal Gallery
Founded by Michael Nevin a decade ago in New York’s East Village, The Journal Gallery is now situated in a massive 3,500-square-foot space in the Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn. It has served as an incubator for some of the art world’s rising stars, but also as a generous open platform for undervalued mid-career masters. Before opening a gallery, Michale Nevin has started the zeitgeist-driving zine-turned-biannual arts magazine The Journal that continues to be one of the most relevant art magazines out there.
Featured images: Freedom Culture Installation View. Courtesy of The Journal Gallery; Peter Demos- Horizon, installation view. Courtesy of The Journal Gallery.
A contemporary art gallery founded in 2011 by Lacey Fekishazy and situated in a tiny venue in Brooklyn, Sardine focuses on working with emerging and mid-career artists in presenting solo exhibitions, small group shows and occasional limited editions by featured artists. Using their modest size as a key asset, the gallery provides a contemplative, intimate space that showcases carefully curated collections of work as well as immersive, site-specific installations. Among artists whose artworks have been featured in the gallery are Takeshi Arita, Jamison Brosseau, Maria Calandra, Holly Coulis, Andy Cross, Matthew F Fisher, Jaime Gecker, Jacob Goble, Michele Hemsoth, and Gabriel Hurier. Their philosophy is Art for Art’s sake.
Featured images: Sardine Gallery, Closer Things, installation view. Courtesy of Sardine Gallery; Closer Things Installation View. Courtesy of Sardine Gallery.
Founded in 2014 by Rob de Oude, Carl Gunhouse, Sara Jones, Rod Malin, Tom Marquet and Mel Prest, Transmitter is a collaborative curatorial initiative based out of Brooklyn. The gallery’s main focus is on programming that is multidisciplinary, international and experimental. In 2015, the curatorial team was joined by Jen Hitchings. Some of the artists whose artworks have been featured at the gallery are Lauren Adams, Robert Alan Grand, Jean Alexander Frater, Ben Alper, Todd Anderson, Ky Anderson, Phillip Andrew Lewis, Rosaire Appel, and Eve Aschheim, among others.
Featured images: Faulted Valley Fog Installation View. Courtesy of Transmitter Gallery; Publish or Perish, installation view. Courtesy of Transmitter Gallery.
Devoted to emerging young talents, Soloway describes itself as “a space created and run by artists.” Founded by Tomer Aluf, Derek Franklin, Annette Wehrhahn and Emily Weiner, its name comes from a plumbing and heating business that used to occupy the storefront location. Past shows at the space include performance artist Aki Sasamoto, Brooklyn-based sculptor Graham Collins, and New York artist Munro Galloway.
Featured images: Soloway Gallery, via alfalfastudio.com; Soloway Gallery, via momentsound.com
Founded in 2008 by Bridget Donahue, Dridget Finn, Collen Grennan, and Erin Somerville, Cleopatra’s was conceived as a space that wasn’t dictated by professionalism and commercial value. As is not uncommon with such enterprises, the name was adopted from the previous tenant, a deli, with the faded letters still visible on the awning. The gallery has staged many idiosyncratic exhibitions featuring such artists as Irving Feller, a neighbor who owned a fur shop around the corner and made black-and-white drawings, and Cary Loren, a lyricist for the Detroit punk band Destroy All Monsters who once transformed the gallery’s space into a lagoon.
Featured images: Cleopatra’s Gallery, via saramagenheimer.com; Cleopatra’s, A Summer Painting Show Installation View, via cleopatras.us
Luhring Augustine Bushwick
Founded by Lawrence R. Luhring and Roland J. Augustine, Luhring Augustine Gallery was founded in 1985 in New York with a principal focus on the representation of an international group of contemporary artists whose diverse practices include painting, drawing, sculpture, video, photography, and performance. Luhring Augustine Bushwick, the gallery’s second location opened in 2012, houses an exhibition space for large-scale installations and long-term projects. Its exhibition schedule reflects the gallery’s continued focus on an international program of contemporary art.
Featured images: Luhring Augustine Bushwick, via philiptaaffe.com; Luhring Augustine Bushwick, via sculpturecenter.com
Real Fine Arts
Located under the BQE in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn, Real Fine Arts is a gallery focused on contemporary art. It was founded in 2008 by artists and dealers Tyler Dobson and Ben Morgan-Clevelend who are managing the gallery even today. Be sure no to miss some of their upcoming exhibitions featuring pieces by artists such as Heji Shin, Whitney Clafin, Morag Kei, and Andrei Koschmieder.