Chisenhale Gallery commissions and produces contemporary art, supporting international and UK-based artists to pursue new directions and make their most ambitious work to date. For audiences the gallery provides opportunities to experience this process of art production through participation and critical reflection.
Chisenhale Gallery has an award winning, 36-year history as one of London’s most innovative forums for contemporary art. With a reputation for identifying new talent, the gallery is committed to engaging diverse audiences with a focus on young people. Chisenhale Gallery operates as a production agency, exhibition hall, research centre and community resource.
Chisenhale Gallery is located on Chisenhale Road, a residential street in the heart of London's East End. Chisenhale Gallery was founded by artists in the early 1980s in a former veneer factory and brewery building. Since then the building has been home to Chisenhale Gallery and our neighbours Chisenhale Dance Space and Chisenhale Studios.
Early exhibitions at Chisenhale Gallery included solo presentations by Chisenhale Studios artists and group shows including Ruins of Glamour and Beyond Structure, as well as Essential Black Art, which featured artists Rasheed Araeen, Sonia Boyce, Lubaina Himid and Mona Hatoum, among others. In the 1990s, the gallery produced first solo exhibitions in the UK with artists such as Rachel Whiteread, Cornelia Parker, Pipilotti Rist, Gillian Wearing, Wolfgang Tillmans and Thomas Hirschhorn. More recently, the gallery has commissioned new works by Hito Steyerl, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Ed Atkins, Helen Marten, Camille Henrot, Jumana Manna, Maria Eichhorn, Yuri Pattison, Luke Willis Thompson and Hannah Black.
Building on this rich history, the gallery continues to place artists at the centre of all activities. The 2018 commissions programme comprises four new exhibitions by Lydia Ourahmane, Paul Maheke, Banu Cennetoğlu and Lawrence Abu Hamdan. Working with video, performance, sound and installation these artists explore how history is constructed in order to examine the production, distribution and consumption of knowledge. Their work also addresses the emotional and political charge of material and place, raising complex questions about the effects of geographic borders on bodies and how systems of governance influence everyday experience.
As part of the commissioning process, discursive events are programmed in collaboration with each artist, and contribute to the organisation’s Engagement Programme of public talks and events held at the gallery and offsite. The Engagement Programme also encompasses partnerships with schools, higher education institutions and local community organisations.
The gallery is also committed to training and professional development. Now in its fifth year, the gallery’s Curatorial Trainee Programme offers two full time paid roles each year, providing emerging curators with structured mentoring, supporting them to develop their curatorial practice within a renowned public institution.
Chisenhale Gallery is a registered charity and part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio. Chisenhale Gallery fundraises for the artistic programme and curatorial traineeships in their entirety, as well as more than half of all core costs, through trusts, foundations and individual donations. All donations directly support the production of new work by artists, while enabling the gallery to keep all exhibitions and the majority of events free. Please visit the Support page to find out about ways you can support Chisenhale Gallery.
For more information about current and forthcoming commissions, please visit our Commissions page. To find out about our historic programme, please visit our Archive.
Chisenhale Gallery continuously seeks to develop new networks and reach new audiences both locally and internationally through working collaboratively with other organisations on the commissioning and production of projects, as well as sharing resources and ideas.
Chisenhale Gallery is a founding member of Common Practice, London, an advocacy group for the contemporary visual arts sector in the capital. Chisenhale Gallery is also a member of Plus Tate, a network of museums and galleries across the UK, set up by Tate to strengthen the contemporary visual arts ecology by sharing resources.
Between 2014 and 2016 Chisenhale Gallery collaborated with The Showroom and Studio Voltaire to deliver How to work together, a shared programme of contemporary art commissioning and research. Together, over three years, the three organisations produced a series of nine major artists’ commissions, exhibitions, events and an online Think Tank – a collection of commissioned research by artists, writers and thinkers in response to the question of ‘how to work together’.
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- Chisenhale Gallery Booklet
The Studio is a 660 square foot space comprising wooden floors, white walls and natural light, also equipped with a small kitchen area. The Studio is ideal for presentations, workshops and rehearsals, and is well suited to hosting meetings and small events such as conferences and launches, community projects and film screenings.
A ceiling mounted HD projector, audio equipment and projection screen can also be hired. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss hire fees and your requirements.