To my surprise and delight, things are looking very good lately for the Midtown Manhattan art galleries, as you’ll see on my Sat. May 16 Skyscrapers gallery tour there. This is going to be my fourth gallery tour in Midtown since the season began in September, more tours than I ended up leading in the Upper East Side or Soho in the same time frame. Other than Chelsea, still the city’s most important gallery destination, and the fast-rising Lower East Side, Midtown has lately been my favorite gallery tour neighborhood. And one reason my clients love my Skyscrapers gallery tours is that the total walk is just 3 blocks, less walking than in any other tour I lead, while still covering the same number of galleries.
Midtown also happens to be New York City’s first-ever neighborhood with a concentration of galleries, beginning around a century ago. Soho, Chelsea, Brooklyn and the rest are relative newcomers. And Midtown has remained an important hub for gallery art this entire time. Lately, though, as real estate prices continue to rise in Chelsea, especially with the advent of the High Line and the Whitney Museum, galleries are looking for less expensive rents, and some are moving to Midtown. Who would guess that Midtown’s rents would be lower than Chelsea’s? After all, Midtown is one of the city’s wealthiest business districts, and the whole reason Chelsea became the world’s center for contemporary art was its relatively cheap real estate.
Well, times change. Chelsea is now fashionable and pricey, and Midtown, while still expensive, apparently beats Chelsea these days price-wise, hence the galleries migrating there from Chelsea. One thing that helps lower costs is that the Midtown skyscrapers galleries are all located above street-level. It’s just the opposite of high-rise residences, where the upper floors command the highest prices. And there’s a bonus: the views of the city that the galleries provide.
Here are the highlights of my May 16 Skyscrapers gallery tour: (1) a celebrated Israeli artist’s large-scale paintings that look astonishingly photographic, (2) a Luxembourg artist’s beautiful, thought-provoking videos, and (3) transcendent new sculptures by one of the world’s most important living female artists. These are just 3 of 7 fascinating shows you’ll visit.
Enjoy the art – enjoy the little walking – enjoy the view.
Rafael Risemberg, Ph.D., Director
New York Gallery Tours