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. At the heart of the programme is a remit to support artists from project inception to realisation. Chisenhale Gallery produces four major commissions each year presented as exhibitions at the gallery and at partner venues, alongside intermittent offsite and online commissions and residencies.

The Commissions Programme represents an inspiring and challenging range of voices and art forms, based on extensive research and strong curatorial vision. The programme explores myriad forms of exhibition making and artists are chosen for their desire to explore pioneering new forms and discourses.

Recent lines of enquiry include the impact of new technologies on image production and circulation, as well as questioning how history is constructed in order to challenge the consumption and distribution of knowledge. The programme has also addressed broader questions surrounding the body as a site of political enquiry and the ethics of collaboration. As part of the commissioning process, a series of talks and events are programmed in collaboration with commissioned artists and run throughout the duration of each exhibition.

The 2019 programme comprises four exhibitions by Ghislaine LeungMandy El-Sayegh, Ima-Abasi Okon and Sidsel Meineche Hansen. Working with painting, sculpture, sound and computer-generated animation these artists explore themes relating to labour, abjection and desire – often producing self-contained systems and complete worlds.

This year, Chisenhale Gallery has also produced  a major new film commission with Imran Perretta. the destructors (2019) is produced by Chisenhale Gallery and Spike Island, Bristol, and commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery; Spike Island; the Whitworth, The University of Manchester; and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead. The work is currently on show at Spike Island until 8 December 2019. the destructors will open at Chisenhale Gallery on 16 January 2020 and tours to co-commissioning partner venues throughout 2020.

Throughout 2019 – 2021, Chisenhale Gallery is working in partnership with The Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), BBC Arts and Arts Council England to present a new commissioning opportunity for young people, aged 16 - 30 years and based in London. Titled New Creatives, this initiative invites young artists to produce new audio or moving image works with the support of industry professionals. Chisenhale Gallery is one of seven production partners including the ICA, Kingston School of Art, NTS, SPACE, Dazed Media and Werkflow.

Partnerships are central to Chisenhale Gallery’s activities, enabling the production of ambitious projects. Through collaboration with partner organisations, Chisenhale Gallery shares resources and develops new networks. Works commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery go on to be shown in new national and international contexts, extending the reach of the programme.

Recent examples include: Lawrence Abu Hamdan’s 2018 co-commission Earwitness Theatre, presented at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam; Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis; and is currently on view at Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; Paul Maheke’s 2018 Chisenhale Gallery co-commission a fire circle for public hearing at Vleeshal Centre for Contemporary Art in winter 2019; Banu Cennetoğlu's 2018 Chisenhale Gallery commission at SculptureCenter, New York in winter 2019; and Luke Willis Thompson's 2017 commission, autoportrait at The Photographer's Gallery, London and the Berlin Biennial in 2018.

This autumn 2019, works commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery can be seen at the following national and international venues:

  • Lawrence Abu Hamdan, 2019 Turner Prize exhibition at Turner Contemporary, Margate from 27 September until 12 January 2020.  Lawrence is nominated for his Chisenhale Gallery commission Earwitness Theatre (2018), and associated performance After Sfx and video installation Walled Unwalled (both 2018), which was presented at Tate Modern last year. Earwitness Theatre is presented at the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane from September 28 - 21 December 2019.
  • Imran Perretta, the destructors (2019), co-commissioned and co-produced by Chisenhale Gallery and Spike Island, Bristol is currently on view at Spike Island until 8 December 2019.  the destructors will open at Chisenhale Gallery on 16 January 2020 and tours to co-commissioning partner venues the Whitworth, The University of Manchester, and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, throughout 2020.

Chisenhale Gallery is a registered charity and one of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio Organisations. Chisenhale Gallery’s Commissions Programme 2017-19 is supported by the LUMA Foundation.

Chisenhale Gallery fundraises for the artistic programme in its 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.