Top Online Art Galleries and Auction Houses

With the advent of online buying, the art
world—arguably, one of the world’s most elite clubs—is now accessible to anyone
with an Internet connection. Here’s our guide to the hottest sites for virtual
art shopping.

Art.sy: Functioning as a sort of “Pandora for art,” Art.sy allows collectors to search online for fine artworks using a detailed set of criteria, including art-historical movements, subject matter and formal qualities. art.sy

Artspace: The curators at Artspace collaborate with high-end museums, galleries and cultural institutions to provide contemporary artworks for sale; represented artists include both blue-chip artists (like Cindy Sherman and Chuck Close) and relative up-and-comers. artspace.com

Blacklots: An online-auction site featuring daily public offerings of modern art, Blacklots uses the same sort of business model as fashion flash-sale giant Gilt Groupe. blacklots.com

Paddle8: Each month, this online gallery features a different exclusively curated exhibition (by art-world luminaries such as Marina Abramovic and critic Vince Aletti). The site also allows private previews online of major art shows; this month, it gave buyers a special preview of works for sale at the Armory Show. paddle8.com

VIP Art Fair: This virtual art fair has digital “booths,” where works from top international galleries are displayed. The roster of past exhibitors includes the Gagosian Gallery and David Zwirner (both from New York), White Cube (London) and i8 Gallery (Reykjavik). vipartfair.com

Artnet: Formerly a news site for art-world cognoscenti, Artnet has branched out and now holds online auctions for a limited set of respected modern-art galleries. artnet.com

ExhibitionA: An online gallery that sells exclusive editions of contemporary artworks, for limited periods of time (usually only a week or two). Represented artists have included Terence Koh and David LaChapelle. exhibitiona.com