Red Bull Closes Influential New York Art Space Home to Trendy Exhibitions

Red Bull Arts will close its New York location, bringing an end to a six-year run of mounting cutting-edge exhibitions that included key surveys devoted to Rammellzee, Gretchen Bender, and more.

A representative for the art space, which is owned by the energy drink company Red Bull, said that the physical location’s last outing was Akeem Smith solo show there, which closed on November 15. The Smith show will travel next year to the organization’s Detroit exhibition space.

In a statement, Red Bull said, “After six years, we are closing the physical Red Bull Arts New York space to focus our community impact at a more grassroots level. We remain committed to supporting local artists and partners.”

Formed in 2013 and opened the following year, Red Bull Arts became known in New York for its hip, offbeat programming that exuded a youthful élan. Though it started out with a focus on emerging artists, its offerings soon expanded to include a focus on under-known artists from past eras. The vast multi-floor space was located on West 18th Street in Manhattan, not far from the Chelsea gallery district.

The first show mounted at Red Bull Arts was 2014’s “DISown – Not For Everyone,” a group exhibition curated by DIS Magazine that looked at the relationships between the internet and consumerism. The show featured a retail environment, designed by artist Lizzie Fitch, and included works by Antoine Catala, Carissa Rodriguez, Timur Si-Qin, Katja Novitskova, K-HOLE, GCC, and others.

Later shows included a Bjarne Melgaard solo show that he termed a “psycho-pathological department store,” complete with a fashion line produced by Telfar creative director Babak Radboy, and “BIO:DIP,” a two-person outing featuring sculptures by Nicolas Lobo and Hayden Dunham. Alongside these outré shows were surveys devoted to art historically significant figures. Bender’s 2019 survey was among the most widely praised New York shows of that year, and exhibitions devoted to Rammellzee and the GALA Committee were likewise acclaimed.

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