Hell’s Kitchen isn’t known for its art galleries—but perhaps it should be. The galleries below certainly make a strong case.
EFA Project Space
323 W. 39th St., second floor (between Eighth and Ninth Avenues)
The gallery program of the nonprofit Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, the EFA Project Space receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Many of its multidiscipline exhibitions focus on the connections between art and the everyday. “Sick Time, Sleepy Time, Crip Time: Against Capitalism’s Temporal Bullying,” which runs through May 13th, is a case in point: Featuring works focusing on illness and wellness, “It proposes that better incorporation of the states of debility, disability, and rest into society (particularly their temporalities) could be resistive to forms of oppression and provide possibilities for rethinking collectivity.”
Fountain House Gallery
702 Ninth Ave. (between 48th and 49th Streets)
Fountain House is dedicated to helping adults integrate into the community while recovering from mental illness. Its gallery shows the works of artists with mental illness. These works are wildly diverse. Its January Outsider Art Fair, for instance, included whimsical animal paintings by Mercedes Kelly, textile collages by Alyson Vega, and colorful “poppets” of yarn, beads, marbles, and other materials by Angela Rogers.
Last Rites Gallery
325 W. 38th St. (between Eighth and Ninth Avenues)
If it’s pastel paintings of rainbows and unicorns you’re looking for, Last Rites Gallery isn’t for you. Founded in 2008, it specializes in figurative and surrealistic paintings and sculptures that explore “every aspect of the human condition to investigate the invisible, the unintelligible, and the inexplicable with a focus on the most recondite twists and turns of reality.” Recent exhibitions included “Beyond Flesh,” works by Paul Cristina and Eric Lacombe depicting “monsters existing within society, as well as our minds”; “Our Private Religion,” large-scale graphite drawings and mixed-media pieces by Sergio Barrale; and “Distorted Mirror,” a multi-artist show about altered reality.
Sean Kelly Gallery
475 10th Ave. (between 36th and 37th Streets)
British-born Kelly got his start in the UK curating museum shows before moving to New York in 1991. His two-story, 22,000-square-foot gallery lends itself to large-scale installations such as a 2015 show of more than 40 neon works, spanning more than 50 years, by Joseph Kosuth. Other artists the gallery represents include performance artist Marina Abramović, Cuban collective Los Carpinteros, and the estate of taboo-breaking photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.
Sean Kelly Gallery. Image: Jeannebr/Wikimedia
630 Ninth Ave., #808 (between 44th and 45th Streets)
As is appropriate given its location in the theater district, Triton bills itself as the only gallery in the world dedicated to theatrical posters and related collectibles. Its offerings literally run the gamut from A (Abigail’s Party) to Z (Zorba). Its collection includes posters from Broadway, off-Broadway, touring, and London hits and flops. Its vintage posters include those for the 1941 production of Candle in the Wind starring Helen Hayes and the 1950 production of Season in the Sun with art by New Yorker cartoonist Charles Addams.