[Guest Post] The Poetry of the Little-Known Red Brick Gallery

Dichen Ding is an Architectural Designer in New York City. She was born in China, received her Master of  Architecture from Columbia University and is currently working for TEN Arqitectos.

The Red Brick Art Gallery not only holds valuable artwork within its brick shell, but also offers amazingly choreographed and masterfully-crafted brick spaces that unfold as you move through them. Located in Northeastern Chaoyang District, Beijing No.1 International Art District, the entire gallery complex is around 20,000 square meters (about 180,000 sf) and the gallery itself takes up half that area. The Red Brick Art Gallery was founded by art collector Shijie Yan and Mei Cao and opened on May 23rd, 2014; the architect behind the gallery and its garden is Yugan Dong, a professor at Peking University’s architectural research center.  Dong is an architect who specializes in the use of red bricks; in this project he continues his exploration of red brick as an essential architectural element.  His efforts form a unique architectural language – as well as peaceful contemporary garden – in this modern gallery.

Top Image: Red Brick Art Gallery, All Photos Courtesy Red Brick Art Gallery.

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The Davids and Goliaths of the Art World

The most important part of a painting may not be paint at all, or even the canvas underneath it.

It’s the frame. The frame, whether ornate or simple, dignifies the painting it encloses. It’s an extra artistic flourish, an extra luxury, that connotes value and exclusive provenance. While modern painters eschewed the frame as an artistic crutch, today’s art world still relies on a frame of sorts: museums and galleries. They surround the artwork with spectacle or somber guardianship, heavily influencing how we see a work from an artistic and monetary perspective. In that sense, the frame is alive and well. With this in mind, I was pleased to talk to Lucy Hunter and R. Lyon, two artists who’ve transformed a small retail space in Brooklyn into a provocative art space called “Where”. While the art itself is intriguing, most fascinating is how they’ve fundamentally re-examined how institutions use architecture to shape the art world.

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Top Image: Where5, Photo ©Zachary Edelson