Edgy and Established
  303 Gallery
    It’s worth dropping into 303 for their meticulously mounted shows by established-but-still-edgy contemporary American artists. Think L.A. hipster (and occasional music-video director) Doug Aitken, prankster Rodney Graham, and Collier Schorr, who specializes in rough-and-tough, dramatically lit images.
    • 525 W 22nd St, 212-255-1121, 303gallery.com
    Finger on the Pulse
  Andrea Rosen Gallery
    Andrea Rosen is the tough, platinum princess of Chelsea. Rosen has her finger on the pulse of contemporary painting with artists such as the extraordinary young British painter Nigel Cooke and Dutchman Michael Raedecker.
    • 525 W 24th St, 212-627-6000, Andrearosengallery.com
    Local Flavor
  Bronx Museum of Art
    The Museum is respected in the art world for its high-quality exhibits of contemporary art. Exciting and unexpected shows focus on works by African-American, Latino, and Asian-American artists. Hands-on workshops, spoken-word performances, film festivals, and club nights bring in members of the local community.
    • 1040 Grand Concourse, 718-681-6000, bxma.org
    A Cultural Collective
  Brooklyn Museum of Art

Situated amid Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and the Wildlife Center, this world-renown museum’s collection represents almost every culture. The museum itself has become its own culture and entertainment center for visitors, with regular events, such as the monthly “First Saturdays” that feature live performances and world music, and end with a raucous dance party.

    • 200 Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn; 718-638-5000, brooklynmuseum.org
    Up and Coming
  Daniel Reich Gallery
    A disciple of the late gallerist and art-world persona Pat Hearn, Daniel Reich is the Chelsea newcomer to watch. With titles like “Karaoke Death Machine,” the energy of his shows is palpable, and has made the hole-in-the-wall become a hit with critics and younger artists alike.
    • 537A W 23rd St, 212-924-4949, Danielreichgallery.com
    Progressive and Playful
  David Zwirner Gallery
    A Chelsea player who, unlike some of his peers, is viewed by the younger set as an inspiration, David Zwirner was one of the last taste-makers to surrender SoHo and move to Chelsea in 2002. Zwirner’s stable of contemporary artists is international and progressive, running the gamut from the painfully subtle to the playful and polymorphously perverse.
    • 525 W 19th St, 212-727-2070, davidzwirner.com
    Artworld Legend
  Deitch Projects
    Jeffrey Deitch is another of that rare breed of art-world legend, seen about town wherever hip-enough events are happening. He’s got a reputation for being extravagant with his money, funding over-the-top shows, like Italian diva Vanessa Beecroft’s performance numbers involving large numbers of barely-clad models standing about for hours on end.
    • 76 Grand St, 212-343-7300, deitch.com
    Cool and Quiet
  The Drawing Center
    The non-profit Drawing Center has long been a sanctuary for the quieter art media. It specializes in historical exhibits that surprise: from their selection of nearly 150 works from the Tate collection (by Bacon, Beckmann, Blake, Duchamp, Picabia, Johns, Hesse, and others) to a show of nearly 200 never-before-seen Ellsworth Kelly works on paper.
    • 35 Wooster St near Grand St, 212-219-2166, Drawingcenter.org
    International Flair
  Friedrich Petzel Gallery
    A great venue for international, contemporary art, Friedrich Petzel represents such talents as American painter Sarah Morris, Cuban-born Jorge Pardo, and red-hot Londoner Nicola Tyson.
    • 535 W 22nd St, 212-680-9467, Petzel.com
    The “It” List
  Gagosian Gallery
    Larry Gagosian is the very definition of an art-world player. A show at any of his influential galleries – two in New York and in London, and one in L.A. – is the flashing neon announcement that an artist has made it. His 2000 Damien Hirst exhibit is infamous as one of the most extravagantly produced shows in recent history, with a three-story-high anatomical model and an ob-gyn examination chair sunken in a fish tank.
    • 980 Madison Ave near 76th St., 212-744-2313; 555 W 24th St, 212-741-1111; Gagosian.com
    On the Down-Lo
  Gavin Brown's Enterprise
    Gallery owner Gavin Brown has a very East-End sensibility: don’t try too hard, and they will love you. His former meatpacking District space hosted Elizabeth Peyton’s slack paintings of Kurt Cobain and Elliot Smith, and was the birthplace of godfathers of electroclash and onetime performance art troupe, Fischerspooner. Sick of the scene, Brown recently moved the gallery to a lonely spot on Greenwich Street.
    • 620 Greenwich St. near Leroy St., 212-627-5258
    A Chelsea Classic
  Gorney Bravin + Lee Gallery
    Opened in 1998, this classically “Chelsea” space (concrete floors and tall, white walls) houses work by both mid-career and emerging talent like Turner Prize winner Gillian Wearing, sculptor Jessica Stockholder, and photographer Justine Kurland.
    • 534 W 26th St, 212-352-8372, Gblgallery.com
    Art is Everywhere
  Guggenheim Museum
    At the Guggenheim, art isn't limited to the collections. The unusual spiral-shape of architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece lures visitors to line up at the 89th and Fifth Avenue entry. And with a scheduled $20 million restoration planned, the museum’s structure will only improve with time.
    • 1071 Fifth Ave. at 89th St., 212-423-3500, guggenheim.org
    Drama by Design
  Lehman Maupin Gallery
    A former Soho powerhouse, Lehman Maupin finally relocated to a Rem Koolhaas-designed Chelsea space in 2002. The gallery hosts Korean sculptor Do-Ho Suh, infamous British bad-girl Tracey Emin, and American Julian LaVerdiere, the artist behind the moving "Tribute in Light" at the World Trade Center site.
    • 540 W 26th St, 212-255-2923, Lehmannmaupin.com
    Sculpture Scene
  Luhring Augustine Gallery
    For monumental sculpture with a twist, Luhring Augustine is a good bet. Paul McCarthy, who most recently inflated his five-story-high, chocolate-colored "Pinocchio" in Central Park, puts his dark pop pieces on view in this cavernous space, along with Janine Antoni, whose earlier works were sculpted in chocolate and lard using her teeth.
    • 531 W 24th St, 212-206-9100, Luhringaugustine.com
    An Art World Institution
  Marian Goodman Gallery
    In a word: formidable. Marian Goodman is hands-down one of the most influential and respected dealers of contemporary art in town, with a powerhouse stable of artists–many of which are European stars she introduced to the States.
    • 24 W 57th St, 212-977-7160, Mariangoodman.com
    Where the Wild Things Are
  Marianne Boesky Gallery
    Swing by to find very hip, on-the-verge contemporary artists, such as anime-inspired Japanese artist Takashi Murakami—who has collaborated with Marc Jacobs and coined "super-flat" pop—and startling, prodigious young painter Barnaby Furnas, whose visceral, dynamic scenes of Civil War battles, gangsters, and rock bands are suddenly very much in demand.
    • 535 W 22nd St, 212-680-9889, Marianneboeskygallery.com
    The Photography A-list
  Matthew Marks Gallery
    This is a prime spot for international contemporary art, with immaculately mounted photography shows by the likes of Andreas Gursky (the subject of a MoMA mid-career retrospective), and the infamous Nan Goldin. Goldin’s exhibits are events, attracting intimidating downtown crowds, with gem-like color images of her friends and former lovers – her last even featured a back-room slide show set to a medieval hymn recorded by Björk.
    • 522 W. 22nd St.; 523 W. 24th St.; 521 W. 21st St; 212-243-0200, Matthewmarks.com
    Cindy Sherman Showcase
  Metro Pictures
    At Metro Pictures Gallery, Cindy Sherman, one of the most prominent contemporary photographers of our time, remains the superstar. She shares the gallery with Tony Oursler and the original L.A. bad boy, mixed media artist Mike Kelley, among others.
    • 519 W. 24th St, 212-206-7100, Metropicturesgallery.com
    View From the Top
  The Metropolitan Museum of Art
    Not only does this art powerhouse have one of the best collections in the world, but The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, open May through late fall, is one of the most unique outdoor sculpture spaces in the city. No wonder sophisticated twenty-and thirty-somethings meet there to grab a drink and enjoy the incredible views of Central Park.
    • 1000 Fifth Ave. at 82nd St, 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org
    A Fresh Face
  Museum of Modern Art
    For the past two and a half years, while its permanent home underwent renovation, the Museum of Modern Art occupied a former Swingline staple factory in Queens. The November 2004 reopening of its Manhattan building promises the same interesting juxtapositions of works by artists ranging from Van Gogh to Matisse to Warhol – just in a better space.
    • Until September 2004: 33rd St. at Queens Blvd., Long Island City; After November 20 2004: 53rd St. and 5th Ave, 212-708-9400, moma.org
    A Touch of Class
  PaceWildenstein Gallery
    Founded in 1960 on Boston’s Newbury Street, PaceWildenstein is a class act, with shows by historically significant older artists such as Robert Rauschenberg and Minimalist giants Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, and Dan Flavin. Their painters include the celebrated Chuck Close, Alex Katz, and the late Mark Rothko, as well as the recently rediscovered Agnes Martin.
    • 32 E 57th St and 534 W 25th St, 212-421-3292, Pacewildenstein.com
    They Got the Beat
  P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center
    Located in Long Island City, Queens, P.S.1 is not only on the edge with its alternative space movement, but their long-running summer Saturday "Warm Up" music festival is also a much- anticipated summer event that draws thousands of hipsters and artists for music and visual arts performances.
    • 22-25 Jackson Ave at 46th Ave., Long Island City, Queens; 718-784-2084, ps1.org
    Pop Art Legend
  Sonnabend Gallery
    Romanian-born gallerist Ileana Sonnabend is the stuff of art-world legend: she and her husband were the first to bring American Pop to European shores, through the works of Claes Oldenburg, Andy Warhol, and James Rosenquist. They also became champions of Minimalism abroad, exhibiting Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, and Robert Morris early in the game.
    • 536 W 22nd St, 212-627-1018
    Bold and Contemporary
  Whitney Museum of American Art

This collegiate Madison Avenue gem is definitely the place to go to view bold, truly eclectic contemporary art, including works by Georgia O’Keefe, Andy Warhol, Charles Sheeler and Jackson Pollack.

    • 945 Madison Avenue at 75th St., 800-944-8639, whitney.org
The Drawing Center
  A Cindy Sherman photograph at Metro Pictures
Brooklyn Museum of Art