World's Best New Galleries and Museums


Berlin: Museum Berggruen

Museum Berggruen 2013 © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie, Museum Berggruen /


While the Museum Berggruen, part of Berlin’s National Galleries, isn’t exactly fresh out of the box, a recent two-year renovation by Kuehn Malvezzi architects has put an entirely new spin on the institution, with a new wing and a glazed walkway linking its two historical buildings. Berlin’s premiere collection of impressionist and classical modern masters such as Pablo Picasso,Henri MatissePaul KleeGeorges Braque, and Alberto Giacometti now sit in an extra 9,000-square-foot of exhibition space, split into 10 rooms, and a newly designed sculpture park. The expansion manages to maintain an intimacy with the collection’s 250 works, allowing the museum to feel much more like a private gallery than a state-run institution.  Alexander Forbes

Schloßstraße 1, Steglitz Tel: +49-30-2664-24242


Shanghai: The Shanghai Himalayas Art Museum

The Shanghai Himalayas Art Museum -- Courtesy of florian and whiz-ka via Flickr

This new art museum is housed within Shanghai’s Himalayas Center, a 1.9 million-square-foot multi-use construction designed by architect Arata Isozaki. Two squat towers emerge from a molten shape that resembles cave formations, which serves as an outdoor atrium. Prior to the museum’s opening in June, the Himalayas Center displayed sculptures by Tony Cragg, whose sublime works also take inspiration from natural processes, and outdoor video projections held beneath the building’s cave-like ceiling. The inaugural exhibition of the Shanghai Himalayas Art Museum, "Insightful Charisma," is a vast showcase of contemporary art drawing on a broad range of Chinese cultural traditions. The show continues through September. Sam Gaskin

1188 Fangdian Lu, Pudong Tel: +86-21-5033-9801


South Korea: Hansol Museum

This water garden is on the grounds of Hansol Museum, designed by star architect Tadao Ando.Photograph provided by the museum

For a Naoshima-esque art escape, architect Ando Tadao’s Hansol Museum in Wonju, nestled in the peaks of Daegwallyeong mountain range, satiates those looking for inspiration outside the typical creative hub of Seoul. Yet the Japanese-inspired museum, two hours southeast of the capital, pays tribute to a thoroughly South Korean tradition with its Stone Garden that recalls Gyeongju’s historic burial mounds and Jeju Island’s storied legends. Inside the poured concrete and locally quarried rock walls, the international art crowd is introduced to modern art pioneers like locals Chang UcChin and Park Seobo, as well as international names such as James Turrell. But at the museum’s core is founder Hansol Group, a papermaking company that dedicates an entire gallery to the craft of hanji paper — a Korean classic if there ever was one. Ines Min

1016 Wolsong-ri, Jijeong-myeon Wonju, Gangwon-do Province Tel: +82-33-730-9000


London: The Dairy Art Centre

The Dairy Art Centre -- Courtesy of Paul Raeside, The Daily Art Centre

Collectors Frank Cohen and Nicolai Frahm opened a new contemporary arts venue in Bloomsbury in April this year. The Dairy Art Centre features works from both of their collections, including an array of Modern British art, Indian, and Chinese works, as well as pieces borrowed from other institutions. The inaugural exhibition is a solo show by the Swiss artist John Armleder. The 12,500-square-foot space was formerly a milk depository and has been transformed by architect Jenny Jones to include two exhibition galleries, two sculpture gardens, rooms for education and design, as well as a café, and a shop. Samantha Tse

7a Wakefield Street, Bloomsbury Tel: +44-20-7713-8900


Kobe: Yokoo Tadanori Museum of Contemporary Art

Yokoo Tadanori Museum of Contemporary Art, courtesy of Y+T MOCA

Newly opened last November, the Yokoo Tadanori Museum of Contemporary Art (Y+T MOCA) occupies the refurbished west wing of the Oji branch of theHyogo Prefectural Museum of Art in the city of Kobe. The collection of around 3,000 pieces, consisting mostly of works that Yokoo donated to the museum, showcases the staggering breadth and protean, experimental sense of style that the artist sampled throughout his career. Early graphic, poster, and book designs from the 1960s are a testament to the social ferment of a newly resurgent postwar Japan, while his oil and acrylic canvases — dating from 1981, when he largely abandoned graphics for a belated turn towards painting — manifest a surreal, nightmarish imagination tinged with black, satirical humor. The fourth floor of the museum houses an archive (open to the public by appointment) devoted to cataloguing and studying Yokoo’s works, and includes everything from manuscripts and personal effects, to selected items from his personal library of books and records, offering visitors a valuable portrait of postwar Japanese art seen through the eyes of one of its most seminal figures. Darryl Jingwen Wee

 3-8-30 Harada-dori, Nada-ku, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture Tel: +81-78-855-5602


Cleveland: Museum of Contemporary Art

Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art -- Photos by Dean Kaufman

The gem-like structure that’s the Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art’s new home makes a bold statement in the Uptown district. Designed by the Iran-born London architect Farshid Moussavi (her inaugural building in the United States and her first museum), it’s clad in black-mirrored steel panels that reflect a city that felt the full impact of the economic downturn. It’s hoped the new building, which the institution moved to in October 2012, can contribute to Cleveland’s urban regeneration as part of the area’s emerging art district. Costing $27.2 million, this is a lean operation; no permanent collection means no storage space, so much of the 34,000 square feet has been handed over to showing artists such as Sam Taylor-Wood,Yoshitomo Nara, and Marilyn Minter in approximately eight exhibitions each year. A dominant feature in the interior, which is painted International Klein Blue, is the stark white staircase leading to the upper floors. On the fourth level there are no fixed walls, allowing for numerous configurations of the 6,000-square-foot space. Currently showing through October 2013 is “Realization is Better than Anticipation,” featuring a combination of established and new artists connected to Ohio, including abstract painter Frank Hewitt.

11400 Euclid Avenue



Rio de Janeiro: Museu de Arte do Rio

Museu de Arte do Rio, courtesy of Andrés Otero

Brazilian architects Bernardes + Jacobsen have linked two separate buildings to create the Museu de Arte do Rio (MAR) and an art school, which opened to the public earlier this year in the city’s downtown. A new roof gently waves above the 1916 Dom João VI mansion and a modernist former bus station from the 1940s. The undulating canopy on the rooftop allows for a covered bar and events space, while downstairs there are eight double-height galleries. MAR’s exhibitions combine art, social issues, and history. For example, this year’s “Constructive Will in the Fadel Collection” considers the links between one of the country’s most important art collections and Brazil’s cultural debate. Thais Pontes

Praça Mauá, 5, Centro  Tel: +55-21-3031-2741


Montreal: Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran

Michael A. Robinson's recent exhibition, courtesy of Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran

Following in his father’s footsteps, Montreal-born,Paris-raised Antoine Ertaskiran opened a new space for contemporary art in 2012, complete with an enviable and eclectic roster of artists, positioning it to become a major force in Montreal’s small but discerning market. He has already presented 11 exhibitions and shown at prestigious fairs, includingVOLTA in New York. Along with neighbors Fonderie Darling and ArsenalGalerie Antoine Ertaskiran joins a wave of cultural revitalization in Griffintown, a former industrial neighborhood now home to art spaces, residential lofts, and an emerging tech sector. In recent shows, Michael A. Robinson’s stunning assemblages of lights, lamps, and cameras glimmered in the gallery’s open spaces, while Sayeh Sarfaraz’s psychologically charged installations of children’s toys employed a cunning sense of scale. Keep an eye out for upcoming exhibitions such as the searing political commentary of Dominique Blain and Jacynthe Carrier’s lyrical film work. Joseph Henry

1892 Rue Payette, Griffintown Tel: 514-989-7886


Hong Kong: Spring

Spring entrance, courtesy of Spring

Spring is one of the most dynamic and exciting new art spaces in Hong Kong. The non-profit center is the brainchild of Mimi Brown, a collector who steers Spring’s program of artist residencies alongside guest curators. “Residency” is meant literally here as artists are encouraged to live at Spring while collaborating with the organization. At 10,764 square feet, the center includes three bedrooms, two kitchens, extensive outdoor terraces, and a lounge area. The merging of living and exhibition space is seamless: Douglas Young’s installation of toy guns dominates the ceiling, a lamp covered in Tsang Tsou Choi graffiti is placed in a corner, while ESKYIU’s “Industrial Forest” stands proud on a balcony.  Since opening in August 2012, the gallery has hosted Barcelona-based curators Max Andrews and Mariana Cánepa Luna, Chinese contemporary artist Qiu Zhijie debuted his installation “The Universe of Naming,” and, most recently, the artist writing workshop “A Fictional Residency.” Zoe Li

42 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aberdeen Tel: +85-22-110-4370  


Bangkok: Museum of Contemporary Art

Bangkok's Museum of Contemporary Art, courtesy of MOCA

Despite its inconvenient location in the northern suburbs, as a stepping stone to Thai art Bangkok's newMuseum of Contemporary Art is hard to beat. The founder of Thai telecoms giant DTAC, Boonchai Bencharongkul's private collection of over 400 paintings and sculptures are on show in this white marble monolith which opened in early 2012. Expect plenty of contemporary and abstract pieces, but most of this huge 215,280-square-foot space is devoted to neo-traditional Buddhist art and Bencharongkul’s great passion, the Thai surrealists, particularly the works of national artists such as  such as Chalermchai Kositpipat and Tawan Duchanee. Max Crosbie-Jones

499 Vibhavadi Rangsit Road Tel: +66 2953 1005

Singapore: Art Plural

Chun Kwang Young's abstract textured paintings at Art Plural Gallery, courtesy of Art Plural Gallery

Art Plural is a two-year-old gallery set up by Swiss dealer Frederic de Senarclens as a sassy injection intoSingapore’s gallery scene. Expect a fresh selection of international modern and contemporary art in this elegant space; previously featured artists include English painter Ian Davenport and India’s enfants terribles, the artist duo Thukral&Tagra. The current show by top Korean artist Chun Kwang Young showcases his abstract textured paintings that recall lunar landscapes. If Art Plural leaves you wanting more, pop across the street to The Substation for a grittier experience. This rough-and-ready haven shows emerging art. Adeline Chia

38 Armenian Street Tel: +65-6636-8360


Mexico City: CC186

CC186 gallery at the Cultura Colectiva, courtesy of Cultura Colectiva

On Chiapas street, in Mexico City’s Colonia Roma,Cultura Colectiva’s CC186 gallery provides an invaluable platform for new talent. The lower floors of an old building have been refurbished as an exhibition space (Cultura Colectiva promotes art and runs creative workshops throughout the rest of the building), and in less than a year, has proven to be the place to see a fresh perspective in photography, painting, architecture, design, music, and multimedia from all over the country displayed among tall white cement columns. Aline Cerdan Chiapas 186, Roma Norte Tel: +52-55-6284-5439


Sydney: Mclemoi Gallery

An opening at Mclemoi Gallery, courtesy of Mclemoi Gallery

Located in the suburb of Chippendale, where local gallerists are aiming to develop Sydney’s answer toNew York’s Chelsea, Mclemoi Gallery stands out as the leader of the charge with a focus on introducing Australian art lovers to the work of top international artists such as Friends With You, Luis GispertDiego Singh, and Tyler Shields. Gallery director Sara Leonardi-McGrath and curator Kristia Moises both hail from the USA and bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience — as well as the recipe for a proper exhibition launch party (think food trucks, a well-stocked bar, and plenty of Sydney socialites). Housed in a minimalist factory building, the high-ceilinged Mclemoi Gallery oozes urban chic but is also the epitome of restrained finesse. Here, art still takes center stage. Nicolas Forrest

45 Chippen Street, Chippendale Tel: +61-29-698-8177


Moscow: The Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center

The Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, courtesy of The Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center

The Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, which opened to the pubic in November 2012, was an immediate hit thanks to its state-of-the-art interactive displays, such as a virtual synagogue. Costing a reported $50 million, the Moscow museum (whose donors include Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg and President Putin) explores the complete history of Russia's Jews. At over 90,000 square feet, the former Bakhmetevsky Bus Garage built by the Constructivist architect Konstantin Melnikov in the 1920s had fallen into disrepair before being renovated and opened as The Garage Center of Contemporary Culture in 2008. It's now the biggest Jewish museum in the world.—Anastasia Barysheva

Obraztsova Street, 11, building 1А Tel: +74-95-645-0550


An Interview with Nadav Kander