There’s no reason to head uptown to get your fill of world-class art. The Lower East Side has become a bastion for Downtown art fans to fawn over the latest pieces in the city’s hippest galleries. Since the early aughts, aesthetes the world over have been flocking to the LES to get that one-of-a-kind painting from a soon-to-be-famous artist to adorn their walls in London, Hong Kong, or Paris. But lucky residents of the One Manhattan Square condos just need to take a 15-minute walk to experience NYC’s newest (and dare we say best) art gallery district.
Over the course of almost two decades, curators and gallerists turned the Lower East Side into a veritable museum with galleries and shops on nearly every corner. With its deep history as home to pioneers of 20th century culture, such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Saul Leiter, and Madonna, to name a few, it’s easy to see why this vibrant and walkable neighborhood became the place to be for art lovers.
And since One Manhattan Square is so close to all of the action, turning your airy home into a private art gallery with local finds is simple. What’s not as simple is finding a work of art that can compete with the city and river views from the building’s wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows. But with a little patience — and a sharp eye — you can do it.
Here, we bring you a short list of some fine Lower East Side art galleries where you can find that perfect piece.
Since 2004, when it opened in a storefront space, the Reena Spaulings Fine Art gallery has been making waves in the LES art scene. As one of the first galleries to buck the Chelsea-centric trend, it remains a place for contemporary multidisciplinary artists. Recently, Matt Copson’s “Down Boy” was exhibited there. This playful yet devilish laser projection depicts a dog that is “imperfectly reflected into two versions of itself, as though ego and id,” according to ArtNews. The work is fun and playful, displaying the artist’s skill while suggesting a deep meaning — like many of the pieces at Reena Spaulings.
This summer, the Foley Gallery will host Fordham artist in residence Casey Ruble, who has touched the art world in NYC with her stylized images of pastoral and rural scenes. Her upcoming show “Red Summer” is like a vision of Americana as seen through the eyes of a comic book artist. The exhibit suggests a sense of profound yet hopeful isolation through its depictions of churches, monuments, and parks in small towns that hum with the buzz of summer.
Champagne and art openings go together like, well, champagne and art openings. But on the Lower East Side, that takes on a new meaning at the Richard Taittinger Gallery, which was opened in 2015 by the great-grandson of the founder of Champagne Taittinger, the producer of one of the jet set’s favorite bottles of bubbly. Since then, artists such as Nassos Daphnis, Wang Du, and Eric van Hove have been on exhibition in the cavernous 5000-square-foot gallery. Exhibitions here change frequently and suit almost any taste from avant-garde to alternative.
Whatever pieces you choose to decorate your home, at One Manhattan Square fine living is the highest expression of art.