Sage Dawson: Brick Myth
Wednesday, July 20 at 8 PM

Brick Myth is an installation, a tent, designed to exist in the No Diving! environment. The work is inspired in part by Persian pleasure-pavilion tents--ornate, paneled tents that were set up outdoors for entertaining and gathering. The tent makes use of ornamental patterns in a similar way; however, it draws from rescued ornamental brick forms from the 19th century.

Over 40,000 such ornamental bricks in hundreds of designs–some of which were studied directly for this work–are housed at the National Building Arts Center, a conservatory and study center in Sauget, Illinois. Many of these were made in Saint Louis by Hydraulic Press Brick Company, then the world's largest brick company, and collected from buildings that once stood in Saint Louis, Chicago, New York, and other U.S. cities. Saint Louis was an epicenter for the manufacturing of building materials during the 19th and 20th centuries, and much of the face and ornamental brick found in Chicago today originated in Saint Louis.

Brick Myth is also partially inspired by Saint Louis Art Museum's 2016 exhibition The Carpet and the Connoisseur, as well as research of Persian miniatures in the museum's Study Room for Prints, Drawings, and Photographs. Like the rich sunshades, awnings, and fabric pavilions found in Persian miniatures, the installation fabric architecture is delicate. Ornamental bricks stack up the rust structure and hover over reclining viewers within the pavilion. Brick Myth imbues a complicated view of the city that addresses structure and collapse, and quotidian imagery’s influence on our lives.

For additional artist info, please visit