Every gallery here has opened since the start of 2008, and all are exhibiting art that’s startling, affecting, or just plain fun. Since most (though not all) of them show emerging artists, the barriers to buying—financial and otherwise—are low. If you like what you see, you just may be able to take it home.
53 Stanton St.; 212-228-2229
Stand back! This little gallery’s first fall opens with Jonathan VanDyke’s minimalist sculptures rigged to spurt out brightly colored paint (through November 1).
2. *Sue Scott
1 Rivington St., second fl. 212-358-8767
Scott’s sizable space, known for group shows and curatorial projects, is presenting an installation by Franklin Evans, who has transformed the gallery into a weird riff on his own studio (through October 24).
3. Nicelle Beauchene
163 Eldridge St. 212-375-8043
Beauchene—who represents a nice mix of emerging and emerged artists—is showing Brooklynite Rachel Foullon’s wall-mounted sculptures of cedar and stained fabric, evoking the textures and details of life in rural America.
4. *Rachel Uffner
47 Orchard St.; 212-274-0064
Uffner’s September opening for Sara Greenberger Rafferty—who’s showing her murky manipulated portraits of seventies comedians through October 25—was packed to the rafters. A definite up-and-comer.
5. *Lisa Cooley Fine Art
34 Orchard St. 212-680-0564
Cooley represents a small crop of eclectic (and critically well-received) artists, and with the exception of a Texan and one West Coaster, all are local. Up now: a two-man show by painters Jon Pestoni and Zak Prekop (through October 18).
6. Collette Blanchard
26 Clinton St.; 917-639-3912
Blanchard made a splash last October with “Belle du Jour” (images of the female figure as imagined by E. V. Day, Mickalene Thomas, Shinique Smith, and others). Feminism is on the roster this fall, too, with Nancy Friedemann’s unexpectedly dramatic enamel paintings of lace and embroidery—a confluence of traditionally male and female media (through October 26).
164 Stanton St.; 646-896-1075
Like Blanchard, Satori is farther east than most local spaces, and both are worth the trek. This month, see one of the area’s few sculpture shows: Benjamin S. Jones’s wooden models inspired by not-so-stable urban architecture and planning (through October 18).
8. Sloan Fine Art
128 Rivington St. 212-477-1140
Alix Sloan worked as a private art dealer in Los Angeles before opening here in 2008. In November, look for a series of anthropomorphic digital animations and prints by Lilla LoCurto and Bill Outcault, which look like high-tech medical illustrations run amok.
9. *X Initiative
548 W. 22nd St.; 917-697-4886
A one-year project in the old Dia space, this is a not-for-profit spearheaded by dealer Elizabeth Dee. Phase two of its three-part season is on view through the end of this month. In addition to seeing the three artists within the building, don’t miss the roof installation made of swimming-pool noodles.
10. *Horton & Liu
504 W. 22nd St.; 212-243-2663
This gallery specializes in painting and is located on the parlor floor of a Chelsea brownstone, giving it the pre-white-cube vibe of an earlier age. It debuted in September with a show of brightly colored, densely structured, faintly Cubist paintings by Michael Berryhill (through October 10).
11. *David Zwirner
524 W. 19th St.; 212-517-8677
Mega-dealer David Zwirner—who’s showing Chris Ofili and Raoul De Keyser across the street through October 24—will open his fourth Chelsea storefront early next year, expanding his retail space to an immense 40,000 square feet. The new building, a.k.a. Shigeru Ban’s Metal Shutter Houses, is almost an exhibit itself.
12. Hendershot Gallery
547 W. 27th St., Ste. 632 212-239-3085
James Hendershot represents commercial as well as fine-arts photographers, giving him a cash buffer in tricky times. He also reps a wide range of up-and-comers like Joe Fig, whose witty paintings and sculptures of artists’ studios—reproducing in micro-detail the worktable of, say, Ross Bleckner or Chuck Close—go on view October 15.
531 W. 25th St.; 212-967-9818
A passion project from Romanian-born collector Irina Protopopescu, Slag (named, symbolically, for the unwanted but recyclable by-product of ore smelting) opened last summer to showcase Eastern European artists. Right now, she’s hosting Romanian artist Mircea Suciu, whose bleak paintings look like fifties ads stripped of all their chipper optimism.
14. Joshua Liner Gallery
548 W. 28th St., third fl. 212-244-7415
Liner, who built up respect at his now-defunct Philadelphia gallery Lineage, shows contemporary illustration and work with street-art influences. Up next: Kenji Hirata’s incredibly cheerful acrylic abstract paintings, riffing on Southeast Asian billboards, nature, and Italian Futurism (opens October 17).
516 W. 20th St.; 212-229-1088
Inaugurating its huge new ground-floor space, ZieherSmith kicked off the season with a big group show celebrating its roster. Highlights include Rachel Owens’s sculptural jabs at consumer high society—junky found objects painted gold, sculpture incorporating Manolo Blahniks—and a rollicking mechanical-bull chair by Javier Piñon.
119 W. 25th St.; abcyz.org
The indoor/outdoor, artist-run space brings that grassroots Bushwick vibe to Manhattan. On October 23, it will host the launch of the collaborative “ABCyz,” with projects and installations from some 40 local artist-run spaces and collectives.
17. *Hauser & Wirth
32 E. 69th St.; 212-794-4970
The Swiss mega-gallery finally gets a home in America, and though it’s way off the Chelsea rounds, it’s also too big to skip. The gallery’s first show, “Allan Kaprow: Yard” (through October 24), is William Pope.L’s restaging of Kaprow’s 1961 tire-pile installation—which the mid-century dealer Martha Jackson mounted in this very house in 1961.
18. *The Boiler
191 N. 14th St., Williamsburg 718-599-2144
Joe Amrhein and Susan Swenson, who run the nearby Pierogi gallery, use their huge space (yes, in an old boiler room) to foster bigger projects from Pierogi artists like Douglas Henderson, who (on November 7 and 8) will stage a live musical composition of contractors hammering on-site.
19. Eyelevel BQE
364 Leonard St., Williamsburg; 917-660-4650
Devoted to Brooklyn and Queens artists, this gallery’s season highlights include Julien Gardair’s show (opening October 17) of surrealist felt, paper, plastic, and cardboard cutouts, which look like cartoony 3-D riffs on Man Ray photograms.
20. Capricious Space
103 Broadway, Williamsburg 718-384-1208
Founder Sophie Mörner, a Swedish photographer, gives artists and curators the run of the space with each installation: Currently, Dutch artist Melanie Bonajo has the windows tricked out with candy-colored paper. Look for her tiny finger sculptures, lined up like minuscule versions of China’s terra-cotta warriors (through October 31).
21. Camel Art Space
722 Metropolitan Ave., Williamsburg; camelartspace.com
Open only on weekends, Camel has a promising three-artist show (opening October 9) that includes Elisa Velazquez’s crocheted sculptural wall hangings and Lauren Gibbes’s Poppy, slick oil-and-diamond-dust paintings.
22. Horse Trader Gallery
519 Grand St., second fl., Williamsburg; 646-247-8042
Six days a week, this space is Chris Uphues’s apartment. On Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., it exhibits—this month, a show of drawings by William Brovelli, Scott Wolniak, and Joy Drury Cox, who makes fun, oddly elegant pieces by precisely redrawing death certificates and other standardized forms, sans relevant information.
23. Factory Fresh
1053 Flushing Ave., Bushwick 917-682-6753
Artists Ali Ha and Ad Deville cut their teeth as dealers with the late, lamented Orchard Street Art Gallery. Factory Fresh has a similar emphasis on street art and culture; starting October 23, in a meta twist, the gallery is showing works by 28 graffiti artists “in disguise”—i.e., using their real names.
24. Eastern District
43 Bogart St., Bushwick 718-628-0400
Stylish owner Michael “Tido” Cabrera has smartly forged an alliance with his widely loved former neighbor Ad Hoc Art. Their first collaboration is a trippy tape-and-mirrors installation by street artist Aakash Nihalani (through October 25).
25. Possible Projects
68 Jay St., No. 510, Dumbo; possibleprojects.com
Married artists Trevor and Rachel Reese show work more challenging than you might expect in Dumbo—Dada, ready-made, lo-fi new media. Its hours are likewise perverse: It’s open only on Mondays.
*= Jerry Saltz Recommends