BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors

Vermelho – São Paulo, Brazil

There were no galleries open to a new generation of artists working in a nontraditional way

Installation view: Jonathas de Andrade, Museu do Homem do Nordeste, 2013
Installation view: Jonathas de Andrade, Museu do Homem do Nordeste, 2013

The most varied ideas and concepts are associated with the color red: from passion to danger, from Communism to Ferrari. But for Eliana Finkelstein and Eduardo Brandão, founders of São Paulo gallery Vermelho - which means “red” in Brazilian - the color represents the analog process of developing photographs.

In particular, this refers to the background of Eduardo Brandão, who used to be a photographer and teach classes at Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado, where he and Eliana Finkelstein met. "I studied publicity," Finkelstein remembers, "but after university I became interested in art. I began to attend Eduardo's courses, we started talking about art, and I convinced him to open a gallery with me."

Installation view: Chiara Banfi, Gravações Perdidas, 2013
Installation view: Chiara Banfi, Gravações Perdidas, 2013

The need to open a gallery derived from the fact that at that time - the end of the 1990s - there were no galleries open to a new generation of artists working in a nontraditional way. "These artists were not working in painting, sculpture, or photography," Finkelstein explains. "They were working conceptually, using media like concrete and iron. They were interested in other things than Brazilian galleries at the time." Among the first artists of Vermelho were Marcelo Cidade, André Komatsu, and Chiara Banfi.

So Finkelstein and Brandão opened their gallery in 2002 in a former warehouse. The choice of location was in itself pioneering. "We wanted to be well-connected to trains and busses, in order to be accessible to many people. And we wanted a terrace where people could meet and talk about art," Eliana Finkelstein says. Ten years ago Consolação, the neighborhood where the gallery is located, was not as expensive as it is today. It was actually a dangerous place with many drug dealers. "When I came to see the place the first time I was alone and I did not feel safe, but I understood that it had potential. We bought the house and created a gallery, a bookstore for artists' books called Tijuana, a restaurant, and a bar."

Eliana Finkelstein
Eliana Finkelstein
Eduardo Brandão
Eduardo Brandão

Vermelho aims to be a place for aggregation around art. Once a year it also organizes a performance festival. "Performance is the language of many of our artists, so it is important to us even if it is difficult to sell," Finkelstein explains. The gallery represents 37 artists, mostly from Latin America, all working in a conceptual way; many produce books. "We are interested in the intersection of literature, music, and art. We like to work closely with the artists, and let them work with each other. We currently have a show with two new young artists engaging in a dialogue: Guilherme Peters and Henrique Cesar."

Installation view: André Konatsu, O estado das coisas 2, 2011
Installation view: André Konatsu, O estado das coisas 2, 2011

Other young artists working with the gallery are Nicolás Bacal and Jonathas de Andrade. Among the more established ones are Rosângela Rennó, Daniel Senise, Carmela Gross, and the duo Dias & Riedweg. Eliana Finkelstein and Eduardo Brandão's desire to connect with people shows in their relationship with collectors as well. "When collectors come to the gallery it is never a quick visit," Eliana Finkelstein explains. "It takes time to understand the artists, we need to talk and to read. But this is a great pleasure, and in the end we become friends with a common interest, art. And we are very lucky because, as we participate in ten international art fairs a year, we have friends all over the world."

by Silvia Anna Barrilà

The freelance journalist Silvia Anna Barrilà is specialized in the art market. Since 2008 she has been writing for the Italian financial newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore and for international media covering art, including Damn, Auction Central News, Artinvestor, and Monopol.

All images via Vermelho, São Paulo. Photos by Edouard Fraipont

More Information on Vermelho

Galleries (40)

Futura Art Gallery — Pietrasanta, Italy

A gallery that unites established and emerging artists

Gianni Manhattan - Vienna, Austria

Young, International and Critically Astute

Misako & Rosen — Tokyo, Japan

Redefining the Conversation Around Aesthetics

Tiwani Contemporary – London, Great Britain

The London Gallery Promoting African Self-definition

Frutta Gallery — Rome, Italy

Understanding Tradition Without Hesitating to Break It

Contemporary Fine Arts – Berlin, Germany

From West to East and Back Again: a Berlin Institution That’s Made Its Mark

Bo Bjerggaard – Copenhagen, Denmark

Showcasing Figurative Painting With a Side of Communal Spirit

Pierre-Yves Caër Gallery – Paris, France

The Parisian gallery creating a home for Japanese artists in the European art market.

Blindspot Gallery — Hong Kong, China

Throwing a Spotlight on Local Artists

Vane – Newcastle upon Tyne, Great Britain

The Not-for-profit Space Offering Context And Critique In Newcastle

H’art Gallery — Bucharest, Romania

One of Bucharest’s Oldest Private-Run Galleries

LambdaLambda Lambda – Pristina, Kosovo

Mastering the Language in the Kosovan Capital

Deák Erika Galéria – Budapest, Hungary

Beyond Budapest’s Baths

The Breeder Gallery – Athens, Greece

Breeding New Forms in Athens

Tim Van Laere Gallery – Antwerp, Belgium

An autonomous gallery representing both upcoming and well-established artists

Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler – Berlin, Germany

One of the most cutting-edge galleries in Berlin

Galerie Fons Welters – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

A Doorway to Amsterdam’s Contemporary Art

Bosse & Baum – London, United Kingdom

Ambitious perspectives in Peckham

TM51 – Oslo, Norway

Three Galleries in One – Oslo’s Most Accessible Space

mfc-michèle didier – Paris, France

A Space that Reflects the Artistic Discipline

V1 Gallery – Copenhagen, Denmark

Challenging the Boundaries of Art

Upstream Gallery – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Tackling the Shift Between the Analog and Digital in a Post Internet World

Galerie Forsblom – Helsinki, Finland

Bringing international contemporary art to the Finnish capital

The Journal Gallery – New York, USA

Saving New York from Becoming a Sale-Focused Gallery Wasteland

Peres Projects – Berlin, Germany

Bridging the Gap Between Los Angeles and Berlin

Galeria OMR – Mexico City

Mexico City’s advocate for modern artistic tendencies and international contemporary art

LOYAL – Stockholm, Sweden

A Gallery that Pushes the Dialogue Around Young and International Art in Sweden’s Capital

Chimera-Project — Budapest, Hungary

Post-contemporary interest in aesthetics while eagerly re-constructing and defining traditions

La New Gallery — Madrid, Spain

Celebrating contemporary art in all its multi-faceted forms

Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery – Sydney, Australia

Her uncanny ability to recognize unique Pacific Rim talent

Take Ninagawa Gallery – Tokyo, Japan

Promoting emerging Japanese artists within a cross-generational, international framework

RaebervonStenglin – Zurich, Switzerland

It is much more about concepts, long conversations and long-term commitment

Galerie Emanuel Layr – Vienna, Austria

Finding the right chord among the various artists

Platform China – Beijing/Hongkong, China

This shows how much prejudgment there still is

Fluxia – Milan, Italy

Strive to discover new approaches in contemporary art

Gaudel de Stampa – Paris, France

“Discreet” seems to be the perfect adjective

NON – Istanbul, Turkey

The dawn of an era of collaboration

Eleven Rivington – New York, USA

Newfound talent and rediscovers international artists for a new audience

Ibid. – London, Great Britain

Rather than listing names