Blue chip is a term describing the highest value possibly assigned to chips in a poker game. ‘Blue chip’ galleries carry this analogy in the modern art scene standing in for long-term investment and posh lifestyle, also by hinting at asset stability and well-established presence. Galleries known by this description treat art as commodity that only increases in value, being hyperselective with artists is their norm.

Being on the rooster of these galleries is a dream of every single artist, if they are being honest. As tumultuous 2020 brought in many changes to the global art world most of these ‘blue chip’ establishments took cuts, regrouped, and as of now continue to work as usual. New York galleries discussed below all are global players, extending their influence across continents, online or offline fairs, and auctions.

1. David Zwirner (@davidzwirner)

With three branches located throughout the city, David Zwirner is a hallmark name that firmly stands as a blue-chip giant in New York City’s art scene. The gallery is named after its founder David Zwirner, a German art dealer, who has established himself as one of the most influential figures in contemporary art. The first gallery was opened back in 1993 on the ground floor of 43 Greene Street in SoHo and saw expansion nine years later in 2002.

Eventually, Zwirner took on the international scene in 2012 with the first gallery opening in London, then Hong Kong, and Paris. The gallery represents an impressive roster of prominent international artists Yayoi Kusama, Jeff Koons, Paul Klee, Chris Ofili, and many others. The most recent exhibition “20/20” at the 537 West 20th Street location in New York features new work by artists from the gallery’s program, including the art world superstars, like Richard Serra, Barbara Kruger, Oscar Murrillo, and many others.

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2. Hauser & Wirth (@hauserwirth)

Another widely-recognized gallery in the New York City art landscape is Hauser & Wirth, an international gallery dedicated to contemporary and modern art. Originally founded in Switzerland by Iwan and Manuela Wirth and Ursula Hauser in 1992, the gallery grew to become a global franchise with spaces in Zurich, London, New York, Somerset, and Los Angeles.

Having two branches in New York City, Hauser & Wirth galleries are located in the Upper East Side and Chelsea. The gallery represents over sixty established artists, including Rashid Johnson, Nicolas Party, Mika Rottenberg, Amy Sherald, and many more. Although the world’s health crisis took a severe toll on the art world, Hauser & Wirth is invested in reviving the art scene by holding public shows. George Condo’s solo show is currently on view at the 548 West 22nd Street location, featuring the most recent paintings and works on paper made during the quarantine period.  

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3. Gagosian (@gagosian)

Gagosian is an international modern and contemporary art gallery owned and directed by Larry Gagosian, a legendary American art dealer. Established in 1980 Gagosian debuted its first location in Los Angeles. By the early 2000s, the gallery became a global art enterprise having opened across the United States, Europe, and Asia while keeping a record number of branch spaces in New York City.

Each of the five locations in New York features exhibits internationally recognized contemporary artists. The current December edition of solo shows displays the works of Jenny Saville, Ewa Juszkiewicz, Theaster Gates, and Ed Ruscha. Aside from contemporary art, Gagosian also represents iconic creators from The New York School, Abstract Expressionism, and Pop Art movements, such as Willem de Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler, Andy Warhol, and many others. 

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4. Gladstone Gallery (

Gladstone Gallery specializes in modern and contemporary art and is based in New York City and Brussels. The gallery is owned by an American art dealer and film producer Barbara Gladstone, who used to be an art history professor at Hofstra University before establishing her first gallery in New York City in 1980. For four decades, the gallery have been offering a diverse selection of artworks by leading modern and contemporary artists, representing the work of Alex Katz, Robert Mapplethorpe, Keith Haring among others.

In 2020 Gladstone saw the expansion of her holdings by welcoming Gavin Brown, a driven and talented New York art dealer and adding prominent artists from his illustrious rooster. Gladstone Gallery’s upcoming show from January 16 until February 27, 2021 features recent work by Iranian multi-media artist Shirin Neshat. Composed of more than a hundred photographs and two films, the show will present Neshat’s latest project Land of Dreams, focusing on the people and landscapes of the American West.  

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5. Perrotin (@galerieperrotin)

Perrotin is a contemporary art gallery founded by Emmanuel Perrotin, a French art collector who opened his first gallery in 1990 at the age of 21. Over 25 years with the galleries established in North America, Europe, and Asia, Perrotin became a fast-growing enterprise featuring a wide selection of important contemporary artists. In the gallery’s extensive portfolio, one can find big names, like Takashi Murakami, Kaws, and Paola Pivi.

Just this year, Perrotin had ten successful shows featuring international artists from Europe and Asia in the New York City space. His gallery on 130 Orchard Street finishes up the 2020 season with the presentation of Otani Workshop’s a solo show, titled Narubekunaranare Narazarumonarubekenya Narareccho, through December 23.

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6. Metro Pictures (@metro_pictures)

Metro Pictures is a New York City art gallery established in 1980 with its first location in SoHo. The gallery was founded by Janelle Reiring, who previously was involved with the legendary Leo Castelli Gallery, and Helene Winer, who used to work at Artists Space. Metro Pictures successfully launched its first group exhibition with an impressive list of emerging artists who eventually attained the status of paragons in the contemporary art world, such as Cindy Sherman, Robert Longo, Troy Brauntuch, Jack Goldstein, Sherrie Levine, and others. Four decades later with the new location in Chelsea, Metro Pictures still maintains a status of a reputable New York City gallery, proudly representing contemporary artists, like John Miller, Catherine Sullivan, among many others. Through February 27, 2021, Olaf Breuning’s solo show, titled RAIN, is on view at 519 West 24th Street. 

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7. Anton Kern (@antonkerngallery)

For over two decades, an American art dealer Anton Kern has gathered emerging and mid-career artists in his namesake gallery in New York City. The gallery’s impressive vitae documents countless shows and art fairs featuring a roster of internationally renowned artists. First opened in 1996, the gallery changed its location twice and is now located at 16 East 55th Street with the newest project viewing space WINDOW: two street-facing vitrines located at 91 Walker Street. The gallery represents contemporary artists, like Brian Calvin, David Byrd, Julie Curtiss, and others. Moreover, Anton Kern owns an extensive collection of Andy Warhol’s graphite drawings on paper from his early period.

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8. Lisson Gallery (@lisson_gallery)

Lisson Gallery is one of the most influential and longest-running international contemporary art galleries in the world with spaces in New York, London, and Shanghai. The gallery was founded in 1967 by Nicholas Longsdail, a British art dealer who was recognized among “Movers and Makers: the Most Powerful People in the Art World” in the 2014 edition of The Guardian.

Over its long history, the gallery has accumulated a portfolio of over 60 international artists, including big art world names, like Marina Abramović, Ai Weiwei, Richard Long, among many others. The most recent and original exhibition in the New York space is devoted to the work of Hélio Oiticica, a late Brazilian visual artist who was a pioneer of the Neo-Concrete Movement. On view through January 23, 2021, at 504 West 24th Street is Oiticica’s groundbreaking, large-scale installation Tropicália(1966-67), which was the first architecturally scaled installation realized as a series of works portraying the native country of Brazil.  

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9. Jeffrey Deitch (@jeffreydeitchgallery)

Jeffrey Deitch is a modern and contemporary art gallery with locations in New York and Los Angeles. In 1972, Jeffrey Deitch, an American art dealer, opened his first gallery space in Lenox, Massachusetts, later moving it to the city. The multilevel creative space in New York City gallery on 18 Wooster Street serves as a home of exciting artistic multicultural and multidimensional projects.

The most recent December showcase “Judy Chicago: What if Women Ruled the World?” featured Chicago’s collaboration with Dior’s creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri for the Spring/Summer 2020 haute couture collection. The artist designed the centerpiece of Dior’s runway presentation at the gardens of The Musée Rodin in Paris in January 2020. The stunning set of large scale tapestries present the viewers with provocative questions, centering around the visualization of female dominance in the patriarchal society. 

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10. 303 Gallery (@303gallery)

303 Gallery is an art gallery in Manhattan, New York, established by owner and director Lisa Spellman in 1984. Spellman is one of the most important female art dealers, following the career paths of Paula Cooper and Marian Goodman. Originally located on the fifth-floor, 2,500-square-foot loft at 303 Park Avenue South, Spellman started her gallery small growing it to prominence over the years.

Now it is one of the most iconic and influential New York City galleries that still preserves its high relevance in the present-day art world. The gallery is home to American contemporary multi-media art, including film, video, and painting. Some of the notable names are Sue Williams, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Sam Falls, Valentin Carron, Marina Pinsky, and others. The current exhibition on view celebrates the new work of an internationally-recognized American artist Sue Williams, whose paintings connote brutal critique directed towards contemporary society. Her new work suggests that America is founded on violence and manipulation, raising important questions about our past, present, and future.  

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Written by Nina Mdivani