In the late 1970s and ’ 80s the Soho gallery scene was in full swing, when exhibits by artists like Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat attracted hordes of black-clad hipsters and well-heeled collectors. But as boutiques and restaurants mushroomed, galleries closed or moved, and artists sought pastures new. By 2000 Chelsea had become the center of the gallery scene. However, a surprising number of important galleries still remain in Soho, here’s a selection of places worth exploring for temporary exhibits and their permanent collections:
Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Gallery (31 Mercer St, tel: 212-226-3232). Serious conceptual art by museum-quality artists.
Martin Lawrence Galleries (457 West Broadway, tel: 212-995-8865). Well-known and emerging artists: paintings, sculpture, and graphic design.
Franklin Bowles Galleries (431 West Broadway, tel: 212-226-1616). A ‘Blue Chip’ gallery featuring valuable works by Chagall, Dalí, Miró and more.
Louis K. Meisel Gallery (141 Prince St, tel: 212-677-1340). Owns the largest pin-up art collection in the world.
June Kelly Gallery (166 Mercer St, tel: 212-226-1660). Contemporary works by African-American artists.
Clic Gallery and Bookstore (424 Broome St, tel: 212-219-9308). Monthly shows by emerging photographers, and a curated selection of high-quality photography books (pictured).
Margarete Roeder Gallery (545 Broadway, 4th Floor, tel: 212-925-6098). Specializes in drawings by Merce Cunningham, and contemporary German prints.
Soho Gallery for Digital Arts (138 Sullivan St, tel: 212-228-2810). Important young art gallery presenting new artists. Off the beaten path in both its location and curating.