Here is a visitor’s guide to the best Contemporary Art galleries in the world.
Galleries that represent emerging and established artists have become the most popular destinations for art lovers to get high on creativity, inspiration, and introspection. In the hierarchy of art homes, art galleries come right next to museums. Like every piece of art, each gallery has a unique nature and character. Here is a list of the best Contemporary art galleries in the world that have grown to become an absolute must-visit for anyone who appreciates art.
Wozen, Portugal is one of the Best Contemporary Art Galleries in the World
Wozen — an acronym for WOrld citiZEN— is an art museum located in Lisbon, Portugal, co-founded and managed by Brazilian/ Portuguese artist Rique Inglez. It focuses on bringing artists from all over the world and providing them an opportunity to exhibit their talents before the public to be one of the best Contemporary Art galleries in the world. The gallery is home to both established and emerging artists. For the former, it is a great platform for constructive criticism and acclaims, while for the latter it is the much-needed leverage to explore their creative potential and climb up the rungs of recognition and growth.
The works displayed in the museum help people nurture themselves as better individuals and create a collective, conscious, egalitarian world. It helps in spreading the message on the importance of maintaining harmonious and sustainable ways of life, through artistic manifestations. This is one way this is part of the best Contemporary art galleries in the world. Wozen is an ideal space for everyone to promote his or her creativity. Apart from the collective exhibitions of different artistic movements, it also conducts art workshops for adults and children, meditation classes, creative thinking courses, book launches and even music concerts. The gallery recognizes not just those who create art on canvas and as installations, but it also honors tattoo artists by operating a tattoo parlor on the first floor of the gallery.
Francisco Vidal, the Chilean academic and politician, got himself a place at Wozen, one of the best Contemporary art galleries in the world, when he presented his work Utopia Luanda Machine in the ‘Glocal’ Collective Exhibition, held by the museum from August 7 to September 11, 2017.
Another popular personality featured at Wozen is the multi-faceted French artist and a popular figure of avant-garde pop art Claude Charlier. He is one of the best at the best Contemporary art galleries in the world. He is the most admired for his hyper-realistic paintings of vintage and discarded objects like cigarette packets, crushed soft drink cans, etc. Sprite Throwback, Pepsi Throwback, Halloween Fanta are some of his major works displayed in the Collective Exhibition ‘Arrow,’ also held by Wozen, from May 21 to July 12, 2017.
The gallery remains open from Tuesday to Saturday from 15:00 to 20:00. The time schedule for Sunday is from 15:00 to 18:30, and remains closed on Monday.
Galeria 111, Portugal
One of the best Contemporary art galleries in the world, Galeria 111, established in 1964 by Manuel de Brito, is also one of the oldest Portuguese galleries. Since its inception, to date, the museum has been relentless in promoting the artistic representations of nationally and internationally renowned artists. Located in Campo Grande, Lisbon, the Galleria 111 hosts artists like Paula Rego, Alexandre Pomar and Antonio Docasta, and also features a fine collection of prints and drawings and a bookshop.
This example of one of the best Contemporary art galleries in the world plays a huge role in promoting publications and graphic works by conducting launch events of Portuguese contemporary artworks in collaboration with both public and private institutions and other art enthusiasts. One of the prominent artists featured in Galeria 111 is Alex Flemming, the renowned Brazilian painter, sculpture, and engraver. He was initially an engraver and turned to paintings after 1983. His autobiographical paintings, in which he used clothes as primary components, are very popular. He has a unique style of working, where he uses extracts from newspapers and poems and displaces the pre-established relations with objects like chair, armchair, or sofas that he used to collect and paint. Flying Carpet, Schuld, Gravatas are some of his masterpieces.
In 2014, Galeria 111 conducted an exhibition featuring 18 of the unpublished works of Paula Rego, the well-known Portuguese visual artist. Apart from these unpublished pastel drawings, which were dated back to late 1970s, three other large works named The Pig’s Head, Fawn and Blind Sister, were displayed for the first time.
The gallery remains open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 to 19:00.
The Uffizi Gallery, Italy
If you trace the history of Florence, every trail will be dotted with art. This city is happily endowed like that. The Uffizi Gallery, one of the best Contemporary art galleries in the world, also known as Galleria degli Uffizi, is located in this very same city in the Historic Centre of Florence, Tuscany. The gallery has many titles to claim like one of the most important Italian museums, one of the most visited, largest and best known in the world, home to several unique collections of priceless works, dating back to the period of Italian Renaissance. Built by Giorgio Vasari, under the orders of Cosimo I de’ Medici, the first Grand Duke of Tuscany (1560-1580), it was used to for exhibiting paintings, statues, jewelry, scientific instruments, etc. The top floor was allotted for entertaining the ruling family of Florence. It wasn’t until 1769 that it became a public gallery.
The Galleria degli Uffizi, a shining example of one of the best Contemporary art galleries in the world, holds the world’s finest collection of Renaissance paintings. The gallery has paintings from almost all of Italian artists, Renaissance masters, painters from the early medieval, baroque, and Mannerist heydays.
The works of the legendary artist Artemisia Gentileschi is in one of the best Contemporary art galleries in the world, the Galeria degli Uffizi — who was also the first female painter to become a member of the Accademia di Arti del Disegno in Florence in the 17th century — is featured in this gallery. After years of neglect, her works are currently being re-evaluated and recognized as one of the most progressive ones of her generation. Her work is laced with the theme of strong and suffering women from myths or Bible, coupled with her own bitter experiences. Her work titled Judith and Holophernes is a popular piece of art in the Uffizi gallery.
Other main attraction of the best Contemporary art galleries in the world is the Italian painter of early Renaissance Sandro Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus, probably made in the mid-1480s. The Ognissanti Madonna by Giotto, La Primavera by Botticelli, Doni Tondo by Michelangelo, Bacchus by Caravaggio, Madonna with Child and Two Angels by Filippo Lippi are some of the other masterpieces at the gallery.
Situated near Piazzale degli, Uffizi opens on all days from 08:15 to 18:50, except Monday.
Hauser & Wirth, Switzerland
Founded by Iwan Wirth, Ursula Hauser and Mauela Wirth in 1992, Hauser & Wirth is an international gallery based in Switzerland devoted to contemporary and modern art and is one of the best Contemporary art galleries in the world. The gallery is home to seventy established and emerging artists, including Mark Bradford, Rita Ackermann, Ida Applebroog, etc. This gallery was pivotal in the creation of several artist estates and foundations like Louise Bourgeois Studio, The Estate of Philip Guston, The Eva Hesse Estate, Allan Kaprow Estate, Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, The Estate of Jason Rhoades, Dieter Roth Estate and The Estate of David Smith.
The prominent Hungarian-American artist Rita Ackermann has conducted several solo and group exhibitions with this example of one of the best Contemporary art galleries in the world. Her solo exhibitions named ‘Turning Air Blue’, ‘Kline Rape’, ‘Negative Muscle,’etc. Coronation and Massacre of Love, Turning Air Blue, Nude21 are displayed at the gallery.
Mark Bradford is another prominent figure featured in Hauser & Wirth. Hunger with Salt and Pepper, Cigarettes and Bubble Gum, Waterfall, Let’s Walk to the Middle of the Ocean are some his popular works.
Banana Hill Art Gallery, Kenya
Banana Hill Art Gallery, known as ‘the pearl among the art galleries in Nairobi’, represents over 70 African artists and mainly focuses on contemporary artworks of East African artists. It is also one of the best Contemporary art galleries in the world. Shine Tani, who is a self-taught painter, established the museum and continues to operate it with the help of his wife, Rahab. Breastfeeding, Hunter, Hunting the Innocent are his masterpieces. The museum features several dynamic, stunning paintings and sculptures, which depicts the daily life in urban or rural Africa, wildlife, etc. Most of the artworks represent the real essence of Africa as perceived by the artists.
Kenyan artist Alex Wainaina is one of the prominent artists featured in this moment of the best Contemporary art galleries in the world: the Banana Hill Art Gallery. He blends the elements of African culture with the environment and utilizes abandoned materials to give them a new life in a creative way. He has made a number of creations using junk materials among which Rhino, Lion, Bugs, Fish are noteworthy. The museum is open to visitors on all days, except Sunday, from 10:00 – 18:00.
David Zwirner, New York
American contemporary art gallery founded and named after David Zwirner, is spread over the City of New York in three locations (19th, 20th and 69th Street) and one in London. It is by far one of the best Contemporary art galleries in the world. And, it has managed to earn a unique reputation with the artistic representations of over forty artists.
One of the main attraction of the David Zwirner gallery, one of the best Contemporary art galleries in the world, is the German-born visual artist Tomma Abts who is known for her abstract oil painting. She starts each of her artwork without a premeditated idea or composition or even preliminary sketch. She works without precise parameters, guided solely by her intuition. Her paintings are abstract, often providing a three-dimensional effect, and illusionistic in nature. Oeje, Dako, Wybe, Voke, Isko, and Feio are some of her major works displayed in this museum.
Works of Josef Albers, another influential abstract painter, is also displayed at David Zwirner, an example of one of the best Contemporary art galleries in the world. His works mark a transition between traditional European and the new American art. Some of his major works displayed in this gallery are Dominating White, Six and Three (6 and 3) (Four Sixes and Four Threes), Zelte (Tents), Elefant (Elephant), etc.
The gallery is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 to 18:00. The gallery remains closed on Mondays and Sundays.
Birla Industrial and Technological Museum, India
Birla Industrial and Technological Museum, located in Kolkata, India, is one of the major museums and art galleries in India. It was established on May 2, 1959, and is managed by the National Council of Science Museums. The museum is concerned with manifesting the growth in science and technology, preserving important historical objects, expanding and fabricating model exhibits, helping teachers to create and use low-cost scientific teaching aids, and implementing projects to popularize science and technology in urban and remote areas.
The museum conducts different educational activities like Daily Science shows, Sky observation, and creative ability centers and lectures. It also arranges educationally enriching events like Science-based seminars, fairs, quiz, drama competitions, film festivals, etc.
The museum also has a massive science and technology library with books, journals, CDs and films. The museum remains open every day, including Sundays and other holidays, from 10:00 to 17:30, except during festivals like Doljatra and Kalipuja.
Whitespace Gallery, Thailand
Whitespace, one of the best Contemporary art galleries in the world, was established in 2006 by the American architect David Mayer — who is also the owner of a famous Interior Design company, — and Thailand artist Maitree Siriboon at Bangkok’s Siam Square. The gallery has emerged as one of the best known among the independent galleries in Thailand. The central goal of the institution is to support and help emerging artists for displaying their art in non-commercial galleries and promote their talents. It organizes exhibitions of painting, sculptures, photography, and installation; especially solo shows of emerging Thai artists.
Suwit Maprajuab is one of the prominent artists featured in this example of one of the best Contemporary art galleries in the world. He worked wonders with discarded oil and gas tanks. Being an environmentalist, Maprajuab’s work reflects his concerns on how humans are inflicting devastation on nature with pollution, global warming, and climate disturbances. In his solo exhibition called ‘Survivors,’ he displayed a collection of sculptures constructed from discarded oil and gas tanks, depicting coastal marine life: crabs, prawns, shrimps, mussels, fish, etc.
Maitree Siriboon, on the other hand, works mainly on subjects related to nature and serene environments like rice paddies, farmers, landscape, water buffalo, and sceneries filled with trees on both sides. Rebirth of the Blue Dinosaur, Isarn Boy Dream, Dream Boy (Part I, Part II), Rice is Art, etc. are some of his great works.
Contemporary by Angela Li, Hong Kong
Contemporary by Angela Li, Hong Kong, established in 2008, promotes contemporary and avant-garde global artists, especially from China and Hong Kong. It features artworks by Jacky Tsai, a leading Chinese contemporary pop artist, who is mainly known for his creation of the iconic floral skull for the British fashion designer Alexander McQueen. His solo exhibition called ‘Human Nature’ explored art forms like traditional Chinese lacquer woodcarving, traditional Suzhou embroidery, and acrylic on canvas and screen prints, etc. The museum also features photography and other works by the Chinese artist Cang. His major works include Hidden Consciousness, Spiritual Sensation Installation, and Spiritual Sensation.
Opening Hours: Mondays – Saturdays 10:00 – 18:30; Closed on Sundays and public holidays.
SCAI The Bathhouse, Japan
Tokyo based contemporary art museum SCAI is one of the best Contemporary art galleries in the world. The Bathhouse displays artworks by artists from World War II till the present. The gallery was built in 1992 under the direction of Masami Shiraishi, the former Chief Curator of The Crafts Gallery at the National Museum of Modern Art Tokyo. The gallery has a history of conducting exhibitions of prominent figures in the Contemporary Aarts such as Lee Ufan, Tadanori Yokoo, Toshikatsu Endo, Tatsuo Miyajima, and Mariko Mori. It also identifies and promotes emerging artists from all over the world. It undertakes site-specific projects including public art by Tatsuo Miyajima and Louise Bourgeois at Roppongi Hills.
One of the prominent figures in this example of one of the best Contemporary art galleries in the world is Anish Kapoor, an Indian-born British artist, who is best known for his elegant sculptures combining simple material, geometric shape, and organic form. His Mirror (Cobalt Blue to Black/ Green), Untitled, and Mirror (Black to Magenta) are displayed in the gallery. He won the Turner Prize and Padma Bhushan.
The gallery is open for five days a week from 12:00 to 18:00, with Sundays and Mondays as holidays.
Next time when you find wander lusting in any of these countries, make sure to visit the galleries and be awed.