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"I never know what to expect from Chisenhale Gallery, which is why I love it. The one thing I do expect is to be intrigued, excited and challenged by whatever I find there... For anyone who is passionate about discovering new directions in contemporary art, there is no better place to go, or to support."
Alice Rawsthorn, Chair of Chisenhale Gallery’s Board of Trustees

"What makes Chisenhale a unique platform is its multifacited approach to art. I am always fascinated by the diversity of their shows, particularly their educational programme. Their Offsite projects are a great opportunity for the community (adults and children alike) to engage, learn and have fun."
Maria Sukkar, Chisenhale Gallery Benefactor

"Chisenhale has a kind of Kunsthalle character that is extraordinarily flexible and unique in London. The scale of ambition that it offers and demands of artists at a critical point in their career is very precious and something that no-one else in London can offer. It is challenging, immersive, self-contained, succinct, generous and probably the space I have most enjoyed showing in."
Toby Zeigler, Artist and Chisenhale Gallery Trustee


Chisenhale Gallery supports the production and presentation of new forms of artistic activity and engages diverse audiences, both local and international. This expands on our award winning, 30-year history as one of London’s most innovative forums for contemporary art and our reputation for producing important solo commissions with artists at a formative point in their career.

We enable emerging or under-represented artists to make significant steps and pursue important new directions in their practice. At the heart of our programme is a remit to commission new work, supporting artists from project inception to realisation and representing an inspiring and challenging range of voices, nationalities and art forms.

For audiences, Chisenhale Gallery provides an opportunity to experience the process of art production intimately – this is a place where art is not collected for presentation but where it is made – and this in itself provides important learning opportunities to critically reflect and participate.  As such Chisenhale Gallery operates alternately as an exhibition hall, production agency, research centre and community resource.

In the 1990s Chisenhale Gallery produced exhibitions with artists such as Rachel Whiteread, Cornelia Parker, Gillian Wearing, Sam Taylor Wood, Wolfgang Tillmans, Paul Noble, Pipilotti Rist, Peter Friedl and Thomas Hirschorn and more recently a new generation has emerged including artists such as Anja Kirschner & David Panos, Florian Hecker, Duncan Campbell, Pablo Bronstein, Josephine Pryde, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Amalia Pica, Helen Marten and Ed Atkins.

Artists participating in the programme have been nominated for the Turner Prize, the Paul Hamlyn Award for Artists, the Jarman Award, the Max Mara Art Prize for Women and The Future Generation Art Prize, and participated in major international exhibitions including the Venice Biennial and documenta.

In January 2014 Chisenhale Director Polly Staple was awarded the 2014 Genesis Prize, ‘recognising her work as an outstanding mentor of artistic talent’. This award, worth £25,000, will enable Chisenhale Gallery to expand the scope and quality of its programme by supporting four new commissions by young artists in 2014 and 2015.

Chisenhale Gallery occupies a renovated 1930s veneer factory on Chisenhale Road located in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, close to Victoria Park in the heart of London’s East End. With a committed local audience we aim to be a key organisation for artist led activities within the Tower Hamlets community, with a particular focus on providing activities for young people.
Exhibitions & Events

The gallery produces up to five major exhibitions and intermittent major live events, Interim, each year. Artists are given a platform to make ambitious new work often in response to the gallery’s unique space, a converted factory of 2,500 square feet. 21st Century hosts a diverse range of artists, curators, theorists and writers in a range of interdisciplinary, research-based projects with outcomes presented in our studio space.

Artists commissioned are always chosen due to their desire to explore pioneering new forms and discourses. We actively seek to represent and critically reflect on a diverse range of artistic interests and cultures.

Our online archive is a dynamic research resource and visitors can access audio recordings of all our recent talks alongside documentation on all projects and weekly news features.

Commissions since 2008 have included major film productions, live performances, expanded cinema and cross-over activities with dance, music and theatre alongside painting and sculpture exhibitions or one off talks and film screenings. Gallery and Offsite activities reach over 75,000 annually with events and performances regularly achieving capacity audiences.

Artists participating in the 2014/15 programme include Céline Condorelli, Edward Thomasson, Ed Fornieles, Caragh Thuring and Patrick Staff.

Céline Condorelli’s project is commissioned as part of How to work together, a major joint initiative with Chisenhale Gallery, The Showroom and Studio Voltaire taking place over three years. Edward Thomasson’s project is commissioned as part of his Chisenhale Gallery Create Residency 2012-14 presented as part of Chisenhale’s Offsite programme in partnership with Create London.
Offsite & Education

Chisenhale Gallery enables greater access to contemporary art by extending and developing new audiences. All projects position the gallery as a local resource where people are provided with opportunities to engage with contemporary art through the agency of artists.

Offsite includes commissions, collaborations and residencies all taking place outside the gallery. The core focus is on commissioning artists who have specific interests in collaboration and direct engagement with social and cultural contexts. The format aims to facilitate multi-platform outcomes, from site-specific and live events to online platforms; involving local to international partnerships, both intergenerational and interdisciplinary, and provoking unexpected outcomes.

Propeller is a self-directed forum for young people (15-20 years), offering creative learning opportunities beyond formal education. Propeller meets monthly at Chisenhale Gallery holding regular workshops, excursions and public events.

The education programme supports and sustains the development of artists’ practice by offering opportunities for a range of practitioners to devise projects that take both the exhibitions programme and their own practice as the starting point for participants’ engagement. These include artist-led workshops, family days, parents’ coffee mornings, activities for young people and teachers’ previews on site at the gallery.
Funding & Networks

Chisenhale Gallery is a registered charity and one of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio Organisations. The programme is fundraised for in entirety through funding bodies, sponsors, trusts and foundations, private benefactors and earned income streams such as sales of limited edition prints and event ticketing.

Resource sharing is central to all our activities and we continuously seek to develop new networks and reach new audiences locally, nationally and internationally through strategic collaborations with partner organisations on the commissioning and production of projects as well as exchanging ideas and research.

Chisenhale Gallery is a founding member of Common Practice an advocacy group working for the recognition and fostering of the small-scale contemporary visual arts sector in London. As an organisation we regularly aim to take the lead and provide a strong voice for the small-scale galleries sector within the wider arts ecology in London, nationally and internationally.

Chisenhale Gallery is a member of Allied Editions, a collaboration between seven public institutions in London, Camden Arts Centre, Chisenhale Gallery, the Insitute of Comporary Arts (ICA), the Serpentine Gallery, Studio Voltaire, the South London Gallery and Whitechapel Gallery. Over the past three years Allied Editions has come together to exhibit and sell each organisation’s collection of limited edition artists’ prints at Frieze Art Fair in London.  All funds raised directly support each organisation’s programme of exhibitions, events, education and community projects. For more information visit

Click here for recent

 press coverage of Chisenhale Gallery:

 Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3

Click here to download our new benefactor subscription form.

Click here to download our new supporters' booklet.

Click here to see Chisenhale Gallery Director Polly Staple talking about the gallery's projects and exhibitions for

Chisenhale Gallery
Registered charity no. 1026175
Registered company no. 02851794
Company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales
Registered office 64 Chisenhale Road, London E3 5QZ

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