NEW YORK CITY
Greene Naftali
One of the original West Chelsea galleries (it opened in 1995), Greene Naftali has drawn groundbreaking artists such as Tracey Emin and Jack Pierson, hosted 1999's notorious "Free Coke" group show, and expanded its stable by teaming with highly regarded talents like Alex Katz to attract up-and-comers. Like great art, the gallery has only gotten better with age.
508 W. 26th St., 8th fl.
212-463-7770
http://www.greenenaftaligallery.com

Gavin Brown's Enterprise
Brown left London for New York in 1988 and founded a meatpacking-district hot spot that's a departure from the stuffy galleries in neighboring Chelsea. The Enterprise also provides support to nonvisual artists by organizing concerts in the space and remains a place to be seen as much as a place to see.
620 Greenwich St.
212-627-5258
http://www.gavinbrown.biz

Team Gallery
Team has, under the leadership of director Jose Freire, brought on a small, carefully selected cadre of cutting-edge young artists (including "New Kings of the Art World" Gardar Eide Einarsson and Slater Bradley) that attracts an audience of equally hip collectors and voyeurs.
83 Grand St.
212-279-9219
http://www.teamgal.com

Deitch Projects
Since opening in 1996, Jeffrey Deitch's cool factory has produced 250 projects and public events, broken emerging artists from 33 countries, and produced exhibitions and books revolving around the city's art-scene heavies. (It doesn't hurt the place's cachet to be the exclusive representative of the estate of Keith Haring.)
76 Grand St.
212-343-7300
http://deitch.com

CHICAGO
Shane Campbell Gallery
Take a long look at the installations by Minneapolis artist Jay Heikes or sculptures by Chicago's own William J. O'Brien if you have any lingering doubts about whether the Second City's galleries can be as edgy as their Manhattan competitors.
1431 W. Chicago Ave.
312-226-2223
http://www.shanecampbellgallery.com

LOS ANGELES
China Art Objects Gallery
Chinatown's art scene emerged in 1999 when, as the Los Angeles Times put it, "a small band of young, hip, energetic dealers descend[ed] upon a forgotten corner of the city in search of reasonable real estate." It all started at this gallery—and it's still as relevant as ever.
933 Chung King Rd.
213-613-0384
http://www.chinaartobjects.com

SAN FRANCISCO
Ratio 3
The aged wooden planks covering the floor at Ratio 3 in the Mission district continue to take a beating for a reason—the art space draws in the crowds with innovative multimedia works like the wild video art of Takeshi Murata and the geometric, hand-woven linen pieces of Ruth Laskey. Art you can see and, more important, feel.
1447 Stevenson St.
415-821-3371
http://www.ratio3.org

Gallery Paule Anglim
Founded during the rise of California Beat artists of the 1970s, Gallery Paule Anglim has earned its reputation as an artistic cornerstone by maintaining close ties with Bay Area talents (renowned painter Robert Bechtle, among others) and continues to break new ground in digital and online art. It's the rare historic destination that never rests on its laurels.
14 Geary St.
415-433-2710
http://www.gallerypauleanglim.com

AUSTIN
Lora Reynolds Gallery
After seven years toiling in the London and New York art worlds, Reynolds forged a niche in the competitive Austin scene by luring a roster of international talents like British artist Ewan Gibbs to Texas. As she told the Austin American Statesman when the gallery opened in 2005: "Why not bring art here that otherwise wouldn't be shown?" And what she shows doesn't just make you look—it makes you look twice.
360 Nueces, Suite 50
512-215-4965
http://www.lorareynolds.com

MINNEAPOLIS
Midway Contemporary Art
If you think Minnesota culture is dominated by A Prairie Home Companion, Midway proves that you're the uncool one. The not-for-profit gallery is dedicated to breaking emerging and underrepresented local artists and blowing the minds of the local public—and yours, too, for that matter.
527 2nd Ave. SE
612-605-4504
http://www.midwayart.org