de wain valentine david zwirner-NYC-Untapped CitiesDe Wain Valentine at David Zwirner Gallery, open until August 7th. Image via davidzwirner.com

Art reigns supreme in the summer. With countless outdoor installations to look forward to and many New York City art galleries preparing their summer shows for the new season, there is always something to see. That is, if you’re in Chelsea. We’re only partly kidding. While its true that much of the city’s art scene has moved south toward 22nd Street, some steadfast spaces still remain on the Lower East Side and Midtown. Here are our top 10 picks for the city’s must-see art gallery shows of the summer.


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Spend more than five minutes in Chelsea and you’ll find a smattering of galleries, installations, and one of New York’s most prominent art scenes, from the famous David Zwirner Gallery, now social media famous because of recent exhibitions by Yayoi Kusama to the blank, spacious Gagosian Gallery, now hosting legendary recluse and architectural sculptor Michael Heizer.

What may go unnoticed, however, is the history behind the neighborhood, as is the case for most areas on the lower half of Manhattan. Last Saturday, we took a tour with David Behringer, founder of The Two Percent, whose Chelsea art gallery tour, called Audio Hop, showcases both sides of Chelsea culture and focuses almost as much on the walk to each of Chelsea’s galleries as it does on the galleries themselves. Audio Hop will continue into June, take a break for the summer, and return in the fall with all new tours. Here were some of the weirdest things we found.


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Few in New York’s art scene command as much respect and renown as Richard Serra, a minimalist sculptor best known for his large-scale constructions of sheet metal. Blurring the line between art and architecture, Serra latest exhibit, ‘Equal’ premiered in May at David Zwirner Gallery on West 20th Street in Chelsea. Its premise is rather simple. The exhibit consists entirely of of eight corten steel cubes stacked into nearly identical columns. By our count, it might just be the heaviest piece of art the gallery has ever seen, clocking in at a total of 320 tons.


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In an age where platforms like Instagram and Twitter can make stars overnight, it’s no surprise that social media is the engine behind Japanese multimedia artist Yayoi Kusama‘s newfound international fame among art lovers as well as the general public. Two years after her last exhibit in the area attracted thousands of viewers and eight-hour lines, Kusama continues her collaboration with David Zwirner Gallery in Chelsea with this year’s latest show, called “Give Me Love.”


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This year, New York residents have waited on line for many a cultural phenomenon. From mind-numbing 13 hour waits to see the MOMA’s Rain Room this summer, to multi-block lines for the Cronut and the Ramen Burger, this city has done its fair share of idle standing around.

With the visibility of the exhibit at the David Zwirner Gallery entitled “I Who Have Arrived In Heaven” by Yayoi Kusama,, everyone’s favorite Japanese conceptual artist and psychiatric hospital patient, the trend of the long line seems to be here to stay. It may, in fact, be accelerating, with lines of upwards of 6 hours for one of the exhibit’s famed “infinity rooms” during record breaking snow over the past week. The exhibit closes on the 21st of this month, so get yourselves down there–or experience it through our photos.   (more…)

Richard Serra in his studio Untapped New York

Our curated events picks for this week: Richard Serra exhibition opening at David Zwirner, Gatsby inspired tour of Long Island’s Gold Coast with Sidetour.

MONDAY, APRIL 8: Join Hudson Whiskey for Bourbon & Bluegrass featuring the Long Island Bluegrass Quartet. 7pm at The Flatiron Room, 37 West 26th Street. Enjoy the Hudson Whiskey specials and read about Tuthilltown Spirits, the first Whiskey distillery in New York since Prohibition.

TUESDAY, APRIL 9: MAS Forum: Grand Central Terminal Design for the Next Century. The centennial celebrations of Grand Central Terminal and the City’s proposed up-zoning of East Midtown present an opportune time to re-think the future of Grand Central and its surrounding neighborhood. The zoning proposal is a once in a century opportunity to shape a generation of development in one of our city’s busiest neighborhoods; we must ensure the changes that the City is planning are not only for the buildings themselves, but also for the people who will work in these buildings, ride the subway, walk the streets and admire the skyline. 6-8pm at Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Terminal, East 42nd Street. FREE. Register here.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10: Why I love skyscrapers talk by Christoph Ingenhoven, the founding principal of ingenhoven architects, a Dusseldorf-based firm with an increasingly international practice. His assertively modernist work emphasizes ecological principles in combination with innovative engineering and close attention to the public realm. 6:30-8pm at the National Museum of the American Indian, Alexander Hamilton Customs House, 1 Bowling Green. FREE for members of the Skyscraper Museum; $5 students/seniors; $10 general admission. RSVP at rsvp@skyscraper.org.