(credit: rubinmuseum.org)

(credit: rubinmuseum.org)

New York City’s residents can be art unto themselves, but if you wish to break up a day spent people watching with canvases and sculpture, Chelsea’s pulsating art scene is not to be missed. Housing hundreds of galleries and several unique museums, Chelsea is New York City’s uncontested modern art epicenter and a fascinating locale for an art lover’s walkathon. Don your comfy shoes and make your way to these must-see spots.

Rubin Museum Of Art
150 W. 17th St.
New York, NY 10011
(212) 620-5000
www.rubinmuseum.org

If you are not familiar with the art of the Himalayas, start your visit with one of the daily afternoon tours provided to visitors of the Rubin. With a mission to merge contemporary mores with an understanding of India and the Himalayan Mountains through art, the Rubin has deep ties to earthquake-shattered Nepal. Current exhibits include Honoring Nepal and features over 600 pieces of art and artifacts from the area.

Related: Best Art Walks in New York City

David Zwirner Gallery
519, 525 and 533 W. 19th St.
New York, NY  10011
(212) 727-2070
www.davidzwirner.com

Considered one of New York’s quintessential contemporary galleries, the Zwirner brilliantly showcases the work of over 40 artists and takes up much of W. 19th Street. Keep an eye on upcoming exhibitions as the lines here can range from long to epic on opening days. The wait, however, is well worth it. Zwirner showcases astonishing talents, such as Richard Serra, whose large-scale assemblies of sheet metal and groundbreaking sculpture installations are unparalleled, to cultural influencer and collage master, Yayoi Kusama.

Berry Campbell
530 W. 24th St.
New York, NY  10011
(212) 924-2178
www.berrycampbell.com

Contemporary and Post-War Modern art is the focus here, although artists range from well-established masters to new, upcoming talent. Represented artists include Eric Dever, known for his experimentation with shadow, tactile experience and movement and 1960s American Abstract painter, Edward Avedisian.

Related: NYC’s Six Best Contemporary Art Galleries

Gagosian Gallery
555 W. 24th St.
New York, NY  10011
(212) 741-1111
www.gagosian.com

Largely credited with putting Chelsea on the map, the Gagosian is the gallery that some say ate the art world entire, with thriving, multiple locations in New York, California, Athens, Rome, Geneva, London and Hong Kong. The much-anticipated Michael Heizer Altar series of negative wall sculptures will be featured in Chelsea throughout much of the summer but no matter when you go, contemporary giants like Richard Prince and Cy Twombly will be there.

Blue Mountain Gallery
530 W. 25th St., 4th floor
New York, NY 10001
(646) 486-4730
www.bluemountaingallery.org

When the Blue Mountain Gallery left gentrifying Soho for then-affordable Chelsea, other galleries joined the exodus, shifting New York’s art scene left of center and opening up the west side in ways unimaginable just a decade earlier. Known for its strong focus on the natural world and representational art, the gallery now functions as a showcase for both representational and abstract painters as well as a clearinghouse of ideas and a medium of exchange. Artists featured here include Geraldo Perez and Richard Castellana.

Corey Whelan is a freelance writer in New York. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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