In the sixteen years of its existence, through encouraging new ideas and discourses developed by emerging or already established artists, Galeria Vermelho has secured its niche as an alternative to the widespread rigidity of commercial art spaces.
An initiative by Eliana Finkelstein and Eduardo Brandão, the gallery was opened in 2002 after an intensive process of remodeling and restoration of three small houses located in Villa #350, on Rua Minas Gerais, in the city of São Paulo’s Higienópolis District. Conceived and developed by architects Paulo Mendes da Rocha and José Armênio de Brito Cruz, the design incorporated exhibition spaces to the already existing architectural structure, while also transforming the area between the three houses into a large open square adjoining the main building’s 120-square-meter façade. A total of 90 different projects have already been presented on this huge wall, including paintings, collages, excavations, projections, installations and prospections.
In 2007, new exhibition spaces were integrated to the original building. Also conceived by Mendes da Rocha and Brito Cruz, the design added Room 3 to the already existing exhibition area, along with an outside garden used to show sculptures and installations. This enlargement furthermore included the creation of Tijuana, an exhibition space designed specifically for showing works whose format is incompatible with the traditional space, especially artist’s books. In 2009 the first Printed Art Fair was held at Tijuana, bringing together publishers who are dedicated to the publication of artist’s books and special editions. The fair is currently held at Casa do Povo, and in 2014 the first international edition of the event was held in Buenos Aires. Starting in 2010, Tijuana began to publish its own artist’s books, through the Edições Tijuana label.
Another project that Vermelho has been developing since 2005 is the annual show of performance art Verbo, which after ten editions has secured its slot on the calendar of cultural events in São Paulo. As a not-for-profit undertaking, it aims to foster discussion, presenting works by artists and theoreticians whose content points to current questions that expand the field of performance, including creators in the fields of dance, theater, literature and poetry. The space at Vermelho thus becomes an environment of shared experience that allows for encounters and interchange between the public and artists from different parts of Brazil and the world.
Vermelho’s most recent endeavor is Sala Antonio, the gallery’s cinema. Sala Antonio came to create a field of action for artists and filmmakers working on the frontier of the two practices.