Art-lovers will never be bored in Chelsea: The neighborhood is home to more than 200 galleries, including the world-renowned Gagosian, Mary Boone, Pace, Jack Shainman, Matthew Marks, and Paula Cooper galleries. However, a number of not-for-profit art foundations and organizations are also based in Chelsea, many of them focusing on genres beyond the primarily contemporary and modern works featured in the commercial galleries. The half-dozen venues below specialize in everything from centuries-old Himalayan treasures to emerging artists.
547 West 27th Streets, Fourth Floor (between 10th and 11th Avenues)
Ansel Adams and Dorothea Lange were among the notable photographers who founded Aperture in 1952 as a quarterly publication devoted to creative photography. It subsequently expanded to become a not-for-profit organization that also publishes books, sponsors workshops and talks, and hosts exhibitions at its Chelsea headquarters as well as at other venues worldwide. Running through February 3 are two exhibits. One is dedicated to the shortlist of the 2017 Paris Photo—Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards; the other spotlights Natalie Krick, who won the Aperture Portfolio Prize for “Natural Deceptions,” a sly, witty series of photos commenting on how contemporary media address femininity.
137 West 25th Street (between Sixth and Seventh Avenues)
The artists exhibiting at Cue today might well be commanding six-figure sums for their works just a few years from now. Cue Art Foundation was founded in 2002 to showcase emerging and under-the-radar artists, as well as to provide workshops and classes. Throughout much of 2018 it is featuring a series of solo shows of emerging artists curated and mentored by more-established names. For instance, through February 14, Cue will show works by Robert Davis, an abstract artist who works with mixed media, found objects, and everyday items such as wine and coffee, curated by conceptual multimedia artist Rashid Johnson. Following it will be a show, curated by critic and independent curator Larry Ossei-Mensah, featuring Peter Williams, whose vibrantly colored paintings often speak to his experience and identity as an African-American.
541 and 545 West 22nd Street (between 10th and 11th Avenues)
The Chelsea outpost of the Dia Art Foundation specializes in installations that remain in place for as long as a year. Jenny Holzer and Juan Muñoz were among the artists who created site-specific exhibitions at Dia:Chelsea’s original gallery, across the street from the connected buildings that are now its home. Running through June 2 at 541 West 22nd Street is “Rita McBride: Particulates,” an installation inspired by quantum physics and the concept of time travel that incorporates high-intensity laser beams, water molecules, and surfactants. Showing concurrently at 545 West 22nd Street is an exhibition of works by the late French artist François Morellet that includes his early abstract paintings and later neon-lighting works.
508 West 26th Street, 5A (between 10th and 11th Avenues)
International Print Center New York. Image: Buddy Crew/Wikimedia
Since 1995, this not-for-profit foundation has been dedicated to fostering a greater appreciation of fine-art prints from Old Masters and emerging artists alike. In addition to curated shows such as the recent “Russian Revolution: A Contested Legacy,” the center hosts juried shows of new prints by international artists twice a year; “New Prints 2018/Winter” runs from January 11 to March 28.
114 West 17th Street, Third Floor (between Sixth and Seventh Avenues)
The Shield Institute, a not-for-profit agency that provides support to New Yorkers with autism and other developmental disabilities, founded Pure Vision Arts in 2002 to offer art studio and exhibition space to the same clientele. Its gallery is open by appointment; among the artists displayed are William Britt, whose finely wrought paintings are in the collections of Prince Charles and George Pataki, among others, and who inspired Maya Angelou’s poem named after him; Christopher Chronopoulos, whose mixed-media sculptures are inspired by Greek, Roman, Viking, and medieval culture; and Barry Kahn, who uses markers to create dense, brilliantly colored illustrations that fill the page with geometric patterns and human faces and figures.
150 West 17th Street (between Sixth and Seventh Avenues)
Detail from a Tibetan painting at the Rubin Museum of Art. Image: Beth Scupham/Flickr
The Rubin Museum of Art aims not only to foster an appreciation of art from the Himalayan region and India but also to inspire connections between traditional Himalayan culture and modern-day urban life. Its permanent collection of more than 3,800 paintings, masks, textiles, manuscripts and other works spans more than 1,500 years and includes objects from Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, and Tibet. In addition to displaying pieces from its collection, the museum hosts curated exhibitions. “Henri Cartier-Bresson: India in Full Frame” features photos taken by the legendary photographer in the late 1940s, including those depicting Gandhi’s last day before his January 30, 1948, assassination and his subsequent funeral; it runs through January 29. Another exhibition, “Gateway to Himalayan Art,” ends its nearly two-year run in late May. In addition, the Rubin hosts free concerts of acoustic Asian music on Wednesday nights as well as occasional Friday night concerts, film screenings, meditation series, and other events.