What Are the 9 Best Contemporary Art Galleries?
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Discover the top Contemporary art galleries that have garnered acclaim for their engaging exhibitions and influence on the art world. These distinguished galleries showcase a range of innovative work and provide significant platforms for the most well-known artists worldwide.
Founded by Larry Gagosian in Los Angeles in 1980, Gagosian gallery has established itself as a prominent force in the contemporary art world. The gallery's mission is to present innovative and influential work by both established and emerging artists, and has expanded to include multiple locations in major cities worldwide, including New York, London, Paris, and Hong Kong. Gagosian Gallery represents some of the most significant and celebrated artists of our time, including Damien Hirst, Takashi Murakami, and Jenny Saville. They also organize museum-quality exhibitions featuring historical artists such as Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, and Jackson Pollock. Gagosian is unique in that it operates its own publishing house, as well as boutiques in New York and London, where they curate a selection of rare books, art editions, and more. Gagosian’s prominence can be attributed to its powerhouse roster of artists along with its combination of physical gallery spaces, digital platforms, publishing initiatives, and cultural events.
Emmanuel Perrotin founded Galerie Perrotin in 1990, at just twenty-one years old. Since, the gallery has garnered more than three decades of experience in supporting artists in the development of ambitious projects. Galerie Perrotin is currently present in seven cities: Paris, Hong Kong, New York, Seoul, Tokyo, Shanghai and Dubai. They will also soon open a gallery in Los Angeles. Its primary gallery in Paris is located in an iconic 18th-century townhouse with three spaces and has become one of the most popular contemporary art galleries in the city. Perrotin takes part in over twenty art fairs a year, including Art Basel, Frieze, and TEFAF. The gallery also publishes works, editions and artists' prints, available in their Perrotin bookshops. Over the years, the gallery has represented a wide range of artists, including KAWS, Sophie Calle, JR, and Elmgreen & Dragset.
Hauser & Wirth
Hauser & Wirth is a renowned contemporary art gallery with locations around the world, including London, New York, and Los Angeles. Founded in 1992, the gallery has become a major player in the art world, showcasing both established and emerging artists. The gallery promotes interdisciplinary collaborations, embracing a diverse range of artistic practices including painting, sculpture, installation, and performance. Their roster of artists includes internationally acclaimed figures such as Mark Bradford, Louise Bourgeois, Pipilotti Rist, and Subodh Gupta. Hauser & Wirth’s original gallery was established in the first-floor apartment of an Art Deco villa in the heart of Zurich. The gallery has since garnered admiration for their efforts in restoring historic buildings, revitalizing them as contemporary art spaces that breathe new life into their communities.
German art dealer David Zwirner opened his first namesake gallery in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood, with a solo exhibition of celebrated Austrian sculptor Franz West. Since then, David Zwirner has established itself as a prestigious contemporary art gallery with locations in major cities worldwide, including London, Paris, and Hong Kong. Representing a diverse roster of more than seventy artists and estates, the gallery has gained recognition for its innovative exhibitions that span various mediums and genres. With a strong presence in both the primary and secondary markets, David Zwirner has played a pivotal role in nurturing the careers of numerous influential contemporary artists. Notable artists represented by the gallery include Barbra Kruger, Yayoi Kusama, Gerhard Richter, and Bridget Riley. Beyond exhibitions, David Zwirner also comprises a publishing house and a podcast.
© Adam Pendleton
Pace is a prominent international art gallery representing influential contemporary artists and estates from the past century. The gallery was founded in 1960 by Arne Glimcher and has since established a legacy as an artist-centric gallery, organizing significant historical and contemporary exhibitions. In its early stages, Pace played a crucial role in the American modern art scene, supporting artists at the forefront of the Abstract Expressionist and Light and Space movements. Today, Pace’s programming has a global reach with eight locations worldwide, including London, Geneva, and New York. The gallery also has a strong focus on art bookmaking and has published over 500 titles in collaboration with artists. Pace currently represents David Hockney, Yoshitomo Nara, Kiki Smith, and James Turrell.
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac
© Charles Duprat
With a specialization in contemporary art, Thaddaeus Ropac represents a diverse collective of over 60 artists. They are committed to nurturing and showcasing the careers of today's most influential artists, presenting a comprehensive program of more than 40 curated exhibitions each year. These exhibitions take place across six expansive and historic gallery spaces across Europe and Asia. The gallery also manages artist estates, preserving and advancing their legacies of artists such as Joseph Beuys. The gallery participates in both the primary and secondary markets, and their artists are often featured at renowned international art fairs. Thaddaeus Ropac also operates a publishing house, producing art books and catalogues. The gallery currently represents big name artists including Georg Baselitz, Anselm Kiefer, and Ron Mueck.
© Chantal Joffe
Founded in 1985 by Victoria Miro, the eponymous Victoria Miro Gallery has become a trailblazer in the contemporary art scene. With locations in London and Venice, the gallery has a storied history of championing boundary-pushing artists. One of the gallery's defining moments came in 1999 when it showcased a controversial exhibition by Chris Ofili, including his iconic painting The Holy Virgin Mary. This provocative work, adorned with elephant dung, ignited a fierce debate about art and censorship, thrusting Victoria Miro Gallery into the international spotlight. The gallery’s exhibitions often challenge traditional notions of art and has become known for its dynamic exhibition program, representing renowned artists including Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Doug Aitken, and Sarah Sze. Beyond its curatorial endeavors, Victoria Miro Gallery engages with the public through educational initiatives and collaborations with cultural institutions.
© Julian Opie
Lisson Gallery was founded in 1967 by Ncholas Logsdail in London, and is known for its pivotal role in the genesis of prominent art movements, including conceptual art and minimalism. The gallery supported the early careers of artists such as Daniel Buren and Sol LeWitt. Today, Lisson Gallery represents a roster of more than 60 international artists and has venues spanning the world, including New York, Shanghai, and Beijing. The gallery also introduced prominent British sculptors to the mainstream such as Anish Kapoor. Renowned for its thoughtfully curated exhibitions and intellectually engaging programming, Lisson Gallery continues to be recognized for its contributions to the contemporary art landscape. Its commitment to promoting innovative artistic practices has solidified its reputation as a leading institution, attracting both established and emerging artists from around the world.