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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

"It’s quite improbable to imagine that a decommissioned factory in a remote canal-side setting could bolster such a dazzling and unexpected programme of international contemporary art, but not only does Chisenhale continue to push beyond the parameters of convention, it does so in a manner that is both joyful and infectious. Whether at the point of urgent new discovery, or looking back to refresh more established positions, Chisenhale never wavers in its commitment to critical engagement and provocation." 
Helen Marten, 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, 33-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 based on extensive research and strong curatorial vision.

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 their first public exhibitions with artists such as Rachel Whiteread, Cornelia Parker, Gillian Wearing, Sam Taylor Wood, Wolfgang Tillmans, Paul Noble, Pipilotti Rist and Thomas Hirschorn. Artists who have participated in the recent exhibitions programme include: James Richards, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Amalia Pica, Helen Marten, Ed Atkins, Mariana Castillo Deball, Pratchaya Phinthong, Nick Relph, Jordan Wolfson, Camille Henrot, Céline Condorelli, Edward Thomasson, Ed Fornieles, Caragh Thuring, Patrick Staff, Ahmet Öğüt, Nicholas Mangan, Jumana Manna, Park McArthur and Maria Eichhorn.

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, The Future Generation Art Prize and the Hugo Boss 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, has enabled Chisenhale Gallery to expand the scope and quality of its programme by supporting four new commissions by young artists across 2014-16.

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 four major exhibitions 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.

Recent commissions 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 100,000 people annually with events and performances regularly achieving capacity audiences.

Artists participating in the forthcoming exhibitions programme for 2016-17 include: Yuri Pattison, Peter Wächtler, Alex Baczynski-Jenkins, Maeve Brennan and Luke Willis Thompson. 

Offsite & Education
Chisenhale Gallery enables greater access to contemporary art by 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.

The Education programme focuses on three core strands, offering multiple platforms for engagement. A series of talks and events runs concurrent to the Exhibitions programme and includes lectures, screenings and workshops, which expand on ideas within artists’ work. Our young people’s programme builds on the success of Propeller, our youth forum for 14-20 year olds, which ran from 2011 – 2014, and centres on our new programme Stop Play Record.

Stop Play Record is a three year initiative (2015 -18) for young people aged 16 -24, who live in London and are interested in experimental film. As part of the initiative we will work with six young people over three years on the production of six new short films. A series of talks and workshops runs throughout the programme, offering young people access to a range of expert-led activities and the opportunity to meet their peers and share ideas.  

Chisenhale Gallery is a key organisation for artist-led education activities within the local community, with a particular focus on young people. Each year Chisenhale Gallery directly engages with up to 2,000 school children and university students through our partnerships with local schools and higher education institutions.
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 through collaborations with partner organisations. 

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 has been a member of Plus Tate since early 2015.  The network was launched in 2010 with an aim to share collections and expertise and build a network that would use Tate’s resources to strengthen the contemporary visual arts ecology in the UK.