Tue-Sat, noon-6pm; Sun-Mon, closed
A, C, E at 14th St.; L at Eighth Ave.
The honor roll of brand-name artists who have shown at this venerable contemporary art gallery—William Wegman, Alice Aycock, Andrew Serrano, Sean Landers, Lorna Simpson, John Currin, and Gordon Matta-Clark, one of White Column's founding fathers—is daunting, but the welcoming aura is a far cry from the chilly vibe that can emanate from the stark temples of commerce in nearby Chelsea. The spacious, airy gallery is divided into four distinct spaces, which means that four different artists can have solo shows simultaneously—lone in the main space, and two in the adjacent "White Rooms." As part of the gallery's mandate, director and chief curator Matthew Higgs reviews the portfolios of hundreds of artists each year in his search for new talent. Higgs is something of an art star himself. He was curator at the Wattis Institute of Contemporary Arts, a buzz factory housed at the California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco before joining White Columns in Fall 2004, a quarter of a century after its founding. Here, he's heightened the gallery's profile by doing fewer group shows and more single artist exhibitions.Extra
Immediately upon entering the gallery, on your left before you ascend the short staircase, there are three glass-enclosed wall cabinets, a space called the "Bulletin Board," where selected artists (working in flat media like photography and drawing) get to star in quickie, compact mini shows.
The gallery entrance is located on Horatio Street, between Eighth Avenue and Hudson Street.