40 Galleries You Should Know if You Love Paint
It is a simple truth that in any given month, if you added up all of the available space in commercial galleries around the country, the amount dedicated to painting would dwarf that of all other media. The list that I have compiled consists of 40 United States’ based galleries that have a proclivity for painting. That is not to say that painting is the only medium that these galleries show; indeed, most represent artists producing work in a range of media. All of them, however, have shown a particular interest in the medium over an extended period of time, and all have stables of artists that are at least 50% painters.
The list is obviously far from comprehensive, and I consciously avoided blue chip galleries such as David Zwirner and Matthew Marks in favor of younger spaces. Some dealers I have personal relationships with, and others I know only casually. If you love the medium of painting, these are all spaces that you should be familiar with.
I hope that you find the list informative. Directly below is a list and after the jump you'll find some brief comments and a list of noteable artists. Enjoy! - Steven Zevitas, President/Publisher, New American Paintings
Jeff Bailey Gallery
Shane Campbell Gallery
Corbett vs. Dempsey
Devening Projects + Editions
Freight + Volume
Gallery Paule Anglim
James Harris Gallery
Harris Lieberman Gallery
International Art Objects Galleries
James Kelly Contemporary
Leo Koenig, Inc.
David Kordansky Gallery
Gregory Lind Gallery
Marx & Zavattero
Anthony Meier Fine Arts
Mitchell-Innes & Nash
Mark Moore Gallery
Friedrich Petzel Gallery
Sue Scott Gallery
Sikkema, Jenkins & Co
Fredric Snitzer Gallery
Susan Vielmetter Los Angeles Art Projects
Daniel Weinberg Gallery
Howard Yezerksi Gallery
ACME; Los Angeles
This powerhouse LA gallery places an emphasis on the medium of painting, and their stable includes some of the most sought after artists working today. Laura Owens showed with them beginning in the late 1990s, and LA art stars Tomory Dodge and Monique Prieto continue to be represented by the gallery.
NAP ARTISTS: Lisa Sanditz
OTHER NOTABLE ARTISTS: Kristen Baker, Tomory Dodge, Bill Jensen, Allison Miller and John Sonsini
American Contemporary; New York City
Formerly Museum 52, this Lower East Side space is widely considered to be one of the most important emerging 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.
NAP ARTISTS: Anna Conway, Benjamin Degen, Shara Hughes
Angles Gallery; Los Angeles
Located in a pristine Santa Monica-based space for years, Angles made the move to Culver City where they took over the old Blum & Poe space. Owner David McAuliffe and longtime director, Nowell Karten, have placed an emphasis on artists working in Los Angles, many of whom are now shown internationally. They also happen to be great guys.
NAP ARTISTS: Judie Bamber, Kelly McLane
OTHER NOTABLE ARTISTS: Jeremy Dickinson, Ori Gersht, Tom LaDuke
Jeff Bailey Gallery; New York City
Jeff Bailey has an extraordinarily sensitive eye when it comes to the medium of painting. His diverse stable covers a lot of aesthetic range, and he is extremely approachable.
NAP ARTISTS: Paolo Arao, Louise Belcourt, Jim Gaylord, Jon Rappleye, Jered Sprecher
OTHER NOTABLE ARTISTS: Jackie Gendel, Martin McMurray
Shane Campbell Gallery; Chicago
Certain gallerists can do virtually no wrong, and, in my estimation, Shane Campbell falls into this group. With a program largely focused on abstract painting, Campbell consistently mounts shows with first-rate emerging and mid-career artists, including the now internationally know Mark Grotjahn.
NOTABLE ARTISTS: Michelle Grabner, Joanne Greenbaum, Mark Grotjahn, Jon Pestoni, Zak Prekop, Jonas Wood
CANADA; New York City
What can you say about this artist run space? For close to a decade they have largely defined the Lower East Side scene. I would rate them as one of the most important and influential galleries to open in New York City in the 2000s. They have launched the careers of three of the most discussed artists of the day - Gedi Sibony, Joe Bradley and Sarah Braman – and they continue to be one of the top spaces for emerging artists in the country. Galleries further up the food chain seem to be constantly circling their stable in search of the next star.
NOTABLE ARTISTS: Katherine Bernhardt, Joe Bradley, Sarah Braman, Matt Connors, Xylor Jane, Michael Williams
Lisa Cooley; New York City
One of the more respected Lower East Side spaces. In the past few years, several of her artists have gained wide attention, most notably Jon Pestoni who made a big splash at Frieze New York with his solo show at David Kordansky Gallery’s booth.
NOTABLE ARTISTS: Alex Olson, Jon Pestoni
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 are now becoming a staple on the art fair circuit.
NAP ARTISTS: John Sparagana, Molly Zuckerman-Hartung
OTHER NOTABLE ARTISTS: Albert Oehlen, Rebecca Shore, Christopher Wool
CRG Gallery; New York City
Partnerships are always difficult, but somehow this New York-based space has managed to successfully grow with three wheels. Their new street level space in Chelsea has given them the added exposure that their program deserves. They represent a number of New York-based artists, and are home to a 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
Devening Projects + Editions; Chicago
New American Paintings’ alum Dan Devening has a lot going on. He makes his own work, runs a print publishing company, and, since 2009, he has operated an exhibition space in Chicago with an impressive track record. Exhibitions have featured some of the most exciting emerging talent out there, including: Joshua Abelow, Cheryl Donegan and Jered Sprecher.
Eleven Rivington; New York City
This hot Lower East Side space boasts a stable full of emerging talent. Most notably, the gallery represents Jacob Kassay, whose silver paintings have become highly sought after.
NOTABLE ARTISTS: Jacob Kassay, Cameron Martin, Jackie Saccoccio, Kevin Zucker
Feature Inc.; New York City
Feature Inc. is run by one of New York’s most beloved dealers, a man simply known as Hudson. His highly influential gallery has launched the careers of artists such as Alexander Ross and Tom Friedman, both of whom have become internationally known. Just this year gallery artist Andrew Masullo was featured in the Whitney Biennial. Unlike a lot of galleries that focus on a small group of artists, Hudson watches over close to 40, many of whom are painters.
NAP ARTISTS: Cary Smith, Ben Snead
OTHER NOTABLE ARTISTS: Andrew Masullo, Josh Podoll, Richard Rezac, B. Wurtz
Zach Feuer; New York City
In the early 2000s, Zach Feuer launched LFL Gallery with Russell Lamontagne and Nick Lawrence. Their painting friendly program was in the right place at the right time, and with the explosion of interest in the work of Dana Schutz and Jules de Balincourt, LFL quickly became one of the most talked about galleries in the world. Zach parted ways with his partners several years ago, reconfigured his stable, and moved to much larger digs on 22nd Street in Chelsea. Although his two stars have gone on to other galleries, Zach continues to impress with his ability to discover new talent.
NAP ARTISTS: Mark Flood
OTHER NOTABLE ARTISTS: Nathalie Djurbeg, Anton Henning, Johannes Vanderbeek, Phoebe Washburn
Freight + Volume; New York City
LFL Gallery cofounder Nick Lawrence is a true art world character. After Zach Feuer took over LFL, Nick went on to open the scrappy Freight + Volume, which heavily favors painting. He has a good track record of supporting significant emerging talent.
NAP ARTISTS: Erik Den Breejen, Kent Dorn, Andrew Guenther, Kristen Schiele, Michael Scoggins, Ali Smith
James Fuentes; New York City
In the past few years, this Lower East Side dealer’s star has been on the rise as stable artists such as Joshua Abelow, John McAllister and Noam Rappaport have gained critical and commercial attention.
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: Brice Conner, Ann Hamilton, David Ireland, Jess, Barry McGee and Frances Stark. Housed in a second floor Geary Street space, there is a special feeling every time that you walk in the door.
NAP ARTISTS: Ala Ebtekar, Brett Reichman, Katherine Sherwood, Xiaoze Xie, John Zurier
OTHER NOTABLE ARTISTS: Too many to mention
James Harris Gallery; Seattle
Like my hometown of Boston, Seattle is a tough city for contemporary art. For more than a decade, James Harris has fought the tough fight and successfully run my favorite gallery in Seattle. It is an absolute “must visit” if you love contemporary art. His carefully selected stable runs from emerging to mid-career, and includes the mid-career painter, Squeak Carnwath.
NAP ARTISTS: Sarah Awad, Adam Sorensen, Carlos Vega
OTHER NOTABLE ARTISTS: Squeak Carnwath, Karin Davie, Richard Rezac
Harris Lieberman; New York City
Some galleries seem to appear overnight. Harris Lieberman has been around since 2005, but in the past two years their profile has increased exponentially as they mounted one finely tuned exhibition after another. Their programming is painting friendly, and they have a knack for finding artists that are both “of the moment,” and historically grounded.
NOTABLE ARTISTS: Matthias Dornfeld, Karl Haendel, Evan Holloway, Rebecca Morris, Zak Prekop
Horton Gallery; New York City
Along with Canada, Sean Horton has earned his place as a poster boy for the Lower East Side gallery movement. After some time spent in Boston, where we first met, Sean went to New York and worked with Nick Lawrence before opening Horton Gallery. Sean loves painting, and he has an extraordinary eye for picking emerging talent. His star, Keltie Ferris, may have left recently, but his program continues to be one of the freshest in New York.
NAP ARTISTS: Echo Eggebrecht, Kirk Hayes
OTHER NOTABLE ARTISTS: Peter Gallo, Aaron Spangler
Inman Gallery; Houston
I will just come out and say it: Inman Gallery has my favorite program in Texas. Their carefully constructed stable of artists includes some of Texas’ top emerging and mid-career artists.
NAP ARTISTS: Nina Bovasso, Tommy Fitzpatrick, Heyd Fontenot, Angela Fraleigh, Shaun O’Dell, Sigrid Sandstrom
OTHER NOTABLE ARTISTS: David Aylsworth, Dana Frankfort, Katrina Moorhead, John Sonsini, Darren Waterston
International Art Objects; Los Angeles
As China Art Objects, this gallery was at the heart of Los Angeles’ Chinatown art scene. Since switching their name and moving to Culver City, they have become one of the cities most important galleries. Their heart of their stable is made up of a significant group of LA-based emerging and mid-career artists.
NOTABLE ARTISTS: Sarah Braman, Kim Fisher, David Korty, Sean Landers, Jon Pylypchuk, Eric Wesley
James Kelly Contemporary; Santa Fe
Santa Fe is home to hundreds of artists, and its legendary Canyon Road is one of the better known gallery strips in the country. Yet much of the Santa Fe scene is geared towards a Southwest aesthetic. There are a few wholly contemporary galleries in the city, and James Kelly is on top of the list.
NAP ARTISTS: Stuart Arends, Jack Balas, Robert Kelly, Jill Moser
OTHER NOTABLE ARTISTS: Jeff Elrod, Brad Kahlhamer, Sherrie Levine, Peter Sakisian, John Sonsini
Leo Koenig, Inc.; New York City
Leo Koenig is usually the tallest art dealer in the room, and he is quickly becoming one of the most influential. Since opening his gallery in the late 1990s, Koening has slowly amassed a painting friendly stable of artists that includes 2012 Whitney Biennial participant, Nicole Eisenman.
NAP ARTISTS: Wendy White
OTHER NOTABLE ARTISTS: Nicole Eisenman, Ridley Howard, Tony Matelli, Frank Nitsche
David Kordansky Gallery; Los Angeles
Since opening his first space in LA’s Chinatown in 2003, Kordansky has consistently mounted some of the most challenging exhibitions in that city, often with a conceptual bent. His move to Culver City gave Kordansky a lot more space and he has put it to good use. It is fair to say that he now stands towards the top of LA’s gallery hierarchy. As of late, it seems as if Kordansky has been actively recruiting new talent, from LA and elsewhere, including painting superstars Jonas Wood and Jon Pestoni.
NOTABLE ARTISTS: Kathryn Andrews, Amy Bessone, Aaron Curry, Richard Jackson, Rashid Johnson, Elad Lassry, Rubu Neri, Jon Pestoni, Lesley Vance, Jonas Wood
LaMontagne Gallery; Boston
In the interest of full disclosure, gallery owner Russell Lamontagne has become a friend of mine since he stormed back into his home town of Boston several years ago. One of the founders of New York’s visionary LFL Gallery, Russell brings a lot of personality and business acumen to his gallery. Since setting up shop in South Boston, he has quickly become one of the city’s most important galleries, and he now represents some of the city’s most important emerging artists.
NAP ARTISTS: Nuno de Campos, Holly Coulis, Daniel Heidkamp, Daniela Rivera, Alexis Stamatiou, Joe Wardwell
OTHER NOTABLE ARTISTS: Dana Frankfort, Aaron Spangler, Jacques Louis Vidal
Gregory Lind Gallery; San Francisco
This gallery is one of San Francisco’s best-kept secrets. In his intimate Geary Street space, Lind consistently has some of the best exhibitions in the city, and he loves painting. I always enjoy visiting him when I am in San Francisco. He is the type of dealer who is un-swayed by art world trends; Lind goes with his gut and his stable of artists speaks to his very sensitive eye.
NAP ARTISTS: Jim Gaylord, Jake Longstreth, Aaron Parazette, Jovi Schnell, Danielle Tegeder, Don Voisine, Sarah Walker, Karla Wozniak
OTHER NOTABLE ARTISTS: Barbara Takenaga
Marx and Zavattero; San Francisco
A few buildings down from Gregory Lind is another San Francisco gem, Marx and Zavattero. Gallery owners/husband and wife Heather Marx and Steve Zavattero have run a strong program since the early 2000s that includes a mix of local and national talent.
NAP ARTISTS: Libby Black, James Gobel, Yoon Lee, Andrew Schoultz, William Swanson, Patrick Wilson
Anthony Meier Fine Arts; San Francisco
Anthony Meier has been a staple on the high end art fair circuit for years, and he consistently has one of the best looking booths. Housed in a mansion constructed in 1911, his immaculate gallery plays host to some of the most important gallery exhibitions in San Francisco. His gallery stable is a virtual who’s who of international superstars. It is one of my favorite galleries in the country.
NAP ARTISTS: Sarah Cain, Kate Shepherd
OTHER NOTABLE ARTISTS: Jeremy Dickinson, Jim Hodges, Leonardo Drew, Tony Feher, Barnaby Furnas, Donald Moffett, Gary Simmons
Mitchell-Innes and Nash; New York City
Take the clout of auction world heavy weights Lucy Mitchell-Innes and David Nash, and throw in the incredible eye of Jay Gorney and what do you get: a powerhouse gallery with the resources to handle blue chip artists and the passion to develop a top contemporary program. Having run his own gallery in Soho, followed by his partnership, Goney, Bravin and Lee, Jay has been a known quantity for years. Since accepting the Directorship of Mitchell-Innes and Nash, he has worked hard to build a program that now ranks among the most important in New York. Just in the past year, he snagged Keltie Ferris, Sarah Braman and Daniel Lefcourt, three of the most sought after emerging artists out there. If you love painting, this is a gallery that you must know.
NOTABLE ARTISTS: Pretty much all of them
Mark Moore Gallery; Los Angeles
If you like considered painting, then this gallery is for you. Formerly located in Santa Monica’s Bergamot Station arts complex, Moore recently set up shop in Culver City. With his daughter Catlin Moore in the Director’s seat, the gallery has gained increasing exposure over the past years.
NAP ARTISTS: Tim Bavington, Kiel Johnson, Dimitri Kozyrev, Andrew Schoultz, Allison Schulnik, Ali Smith, Feodor Voronov, Ben Weiner
Friedrich Petzel Gallery; New York City
Petzel has become in business since the mid-1990s, but in recent years his gallery become one of the most important in New York City, where he is a favorite of both collectors and critics. His stable includes one of the most important painters of his generation, Wade Guyton, and in 2011, Petzel brought Dana Schutz on board.
NOTABLE ARTISTS: Another gallery where virtually every artist is significant
Joe Amrhein is a man of the people – artist people anyway. In 1995 he began the Pierogi Flat Files with the idea of making original artwork available to a larger audience. The idea took off, and the file now contains the work of hundreds of artists. Meanwhile, Joe has built one of the most respected galleries in New York, and he has done it on the other side of the Brooklyn Bridge.
NAP ARTISTS: Yoon Lee, Ryan Mrozowski, Sarah Walker
OTHER NOTABLE ARTISTS: Reed Anderson, Tony Fitzpatrick, Mark Lombardi, Jim Torok, Daniel Zeller
Sue Scott Gallery; New York City
With a small, painting focused stable, Scott consistently exhibits strong work. This is a gallery to watch.
NAP ARTISTS: Franklin Evans
OTHER NOTABLE ARTISTS: Suzanne McClelland, Tom McGrath, Sheila Pepe
Sikkema, Jenkins & Co; New York City
This is one of my favorite galleries in New York. Nestled next to Matthew Marks Gallery on 22nd Street in Chelsea, Sikkema Jenkins consistently mounts first-rate exhibitions, and has nurtured a number of artists to the point where their careers have taken off, such as William Cordova and Mark Bradford.
NAP ARTISTS: William Cordova
OTHER NOTABLE ARTISTS: Mark Bradford, Leonardo Drew, Arturo Herrera, Merlin James, Vik Muniz, Elizabeth Neel, Amy Sillman, Kara Walker
Fredric Snitzer Gallery; Miami
Miami becomes the focus of the art world’s spotlight in the first week of December every year with the arrival of Miami Basel, and a number of smaller art fairs. There is also a good clutch of commercial galleries, most of which are located in the city’s trendy Wynnwood district. Among them is Frederic Snitzer, whose diverse stable is painting heavy and includes Hernan Bas.
NOTABLE ARTISTS: Alice Aycock, Hernan Bas, Gavin Perry, Jon Pylypchuk
Texas Gallery; Houston
Texas gallery has always been a bit of a mystery to me. Their website does not offer much information, but even a quick glance of Past Exhibitions demonstrates that this gallery has substantial clout. Past shows include the likes of Lynda Benglis, Rackstraw Downes, Nancy Graves, and Richard Serra. They recently presented the work of 2012 Whitney Biennial artist, Andrew Masullo.
Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Art Projects; Los Angeles
Vielmetter has been one of the beneficiaries of the strong light cast on Los Angeles in recent years. Having multiple artists in the 2008 Whitney Biennial didn’t hurt either. Now ensconced in a cavernous Culver City space, her diverse program includes some of the West Coast’s top artists, and a number of international super stars.
NAP ARTISTS: Patrick Wilson
OTHER NOTABLE ARTISTS: Nicole Eisenman, Karl Haendel, Wangechi Mutu, Steve Roden, Amy Sillman, Mickalene Thomas
Daniel Weinberg Gallery; Los Angeles
Put simply, Daniel Weinberg is a legendary art dealer with an impeccable eye. Over his many years in the business, he has given dozens of now established artists their first exhibition in Los Angeles, including Alexander Ross and Robert Gober. For a long time, Danny operated out of some cozy digs in the Wilshire Gallery Complex. He is now taking a break from holding down a gallery and concentrating on art fairs.
NAP ARTISTS: Ryan Mrozowski, James Siena
NOTABLE ARTISTS: Steve DiBenedetto, Chris Martin, Andrew Masullo, Alexander Ross
Howard Yezerski Gallery; Boston
When I first met Howard he had a lofty space in Boston’s Leather District. He subsequently spent a number of years on Newbury Street, and he is now a stone’s throw away from my offices in the South End. I have learned a lot from Howard over the years. He has always had a thing for painting, and his eclectic stable includes Boston favorites, such as Domingo Barreres; internationally known artists, such as Joseph Marioni; and emerging talent, such as Laurel Sparks.
NAP ARTISTS: Domingo Barreres, Hannah Barrett, Susan Jane Belton, Morgan Bulkeley, Emily Eveleth, Catherine Kehoe, Matthew McClune, Paul Shakespear, Laurel Sparks, Elaine Spatz-Rabinowitz, Brian Zink
OTHER NOTABLE ARTISTS: Dawoud Bey, John Coplans, Lalla Essadyi, Robert Feintuch, John O’Reilly, Rona Pondick
Zieher Smith; New York City
Scott Zieher and Andrea Smith are great people and they run a first rate space in New York’s Chelsea district. Their program has always included a healthy number of painters, including, until recently, Eddie Martinez. Since moving to their new, and significantly larger space, the gallery has gained a lot of attention, and is now regularly reviewed by the New York Times.
NAP ARTIST: Allison Schulnik, Liz Markus, Melora Kuhn
OTHER NOTABLE ARTISTS: Chuck Webster, Wes Lang
Steven Zevitas, Boston, Massachusetts, is the President of The Open Studios Press, publisher of New American Paintings, the New American Paintings/blog, Studio Visit magazine and OSP Catalogs. He is also the owner and director of Steven Zevitas Gallery, which has operated in Boston's South End since 2002. Zevitas is active as a writer, curator and consultant within the arts community.