Chelsea and Meatpacking galleries come and go. But White Columns has a proven staying power. Founded in 1970--and residing in its current location in since 1998--White Columns is widely considered to be the oldest non-profit art space in the city. The crisp, clean interior of an otherwise nondescript Meatpacking building continues to house some of the most interesting alternative art exhibitions in the city.
What You Will See
Despite its preeminence among Manhattan galleries, White Columns continues to devote its efforts to the discovery of new artists. After 40 years, White Columns is responsible for the first major display of dozens of now-major contemporary artists. But it does not rest on its laurels and continues to experiment with the latest in alternative art from heretofore undiscovered creatives.
Why You Should Go
The newly-constructed Whitney Museum around the corner may not have happened without the visionary efforts of galleries like White Columns, which have established creative gallery spaces in overlooked neighborhoods since the 1970s. The success of White Columns and others transformed the areas into creative and commercial meccas, eventually drawing a behemoth like the Whitney. Certainly, enjoy the Whitney, but allocate some time to experience the independent gallery energy that started it all.