Chisenhale Gallery was founded by artists. The same experimental vision and spirit of possibility that transformed an empty veneer factory and brewery warehouse into an art gallery guides our work today. Our mission is to commission new artworks and support artists at every stage of project development, from concept to completion. The gallery has an award-winning 39-year history as one of London’s most innovative venues for contemporary art. Building on this rich and varied history, we continue to put artists at the heart of everything we do.
The Chisenhale Gallery’s Commissions Program for 2023 includes four new exhibitions by artists Ravelle Pillay, Laurie Kang, Benoît Piéron and Alia Farid. The program includes painting, photography, sculpture and textiles and focuses on the body – its movements through space and time as well as its physical, emotional and material imprints. As part of our commission process, a series of talks and events is developed in dialogue with each artist to extrapolate and reinforce ideas that underpin their new work. In 2023 we will also launch two new artist publications by Laurie Kang and Benoît Piéron as part of Chisenhale Books and continue our new partnership with Hurtwood Press.
February 23–March 23 April 2023
This is Ravelle Pillay’s first major solo exhibition and presentation in the UK. The artistic practice of the Johannesburg-based artist develops from a personal archiving process, which often draws on found and family photos to depict the emergence of life in the wake of mass migration. Simultaneously figurative and illusory, her artworks consider the material possibilities of the medium and offer color as mediation between past and present, memory and experience. Pillay’s paintings expose the repression of the contract and the dehumanization of apartheid, exploring the way we remember things, be it history, ourselves, or the fragile formations of personal and collective memory. For her Chisenhale commission, Pillay will produce a series of oil paintings of various sizes set within a larger installation contemplating the colonial spirits of bodies of water and botanical gardens.
June 1–30 July 2023
Laurie Kang is interested in unstable, continuously sensitive materials that are functionally and metaphorically in flux. Rooted in an ongoing preoccupation with the body and the forces that shape it—political, affective, and otherwise—recent work has employed processes rooted in photographic innovation. Kang draws on biology, feminist theory, and science fiction to stage ambitious, site-specific installations that relate to the formation of the self and the memories imprinted on us. The Chisenhale Gallery will present a major new commission and Kang’s first solo show in the UK, featuring her most ambitious site-specific installation to date. Consisting of a series of sculptures and architectural interventions, the commission will continue her interest in the body as a process, shaped and reshaped by the structures that surround it. Kang’s first artist publication is being developed alongside the commission and published by Hurtwood Press.
September 14th – December 12th November 2023
Benoît Piéron creates moments, installations and objects. His work unravels the sensuality of plants, the confines of the body, and the temporality of waiting rooms. From cosmogonic huts and patchwork tents to hand-drawn wallpaper and metabolized gardens, Pieron’s practice is an art of survival. Living with and through various diseases, his work deals with the uncertainties of life, death and immunity. His practice draws on surrounding hospitals and medical environments for materials and reappropriates them to explore other enchanting worlds free of binaries and borders. For his Chisenhale commission, Piéron will create a new work that explores illness and hallucination as spaces of potential and abundance. Pieron’s first artist publication is being developed alongside the commission and published by Hurtwood Press.
November 30, 2023–4 February 2024
This will be the first exhibition by Kuwaiti-Puerto Rican artist Alia Farid in the UK. Through his work in film and sculpture, Farid exposes less widely accepted stories that are often deliberately weakened by Western hegemony. Much of Farid’s work is underpinned by an ongoing project mapping Arab and South Asian migrations to Latin America and the Caribbean. A growing tapestry and material archive tracing these shifts and movements forms the basis of Farid’s ambitious commission at the Chisenhale Gallery. Much like her own legacy, Farid’s work relates seemingly disparate places to one another, creating a trans-regionality that challenges national boundaries. Farid’s new work is a co-commission with The Power Plant, Toronto, where it will be presented in Spring 2023, and CAC Passerelle, Brest, where it will travel after its presentation at the Chisenhale Gallery. The broader research project is significantly supported by the Creative Capital Award she received in 2022.
The Chisenhale Gallery is a registered charity and part of the National Portfolio of Arts Council England. All our exhibitions are free.
The Chisenhale Gallery’s commission and production partners include The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto and CAC Passerelle, Brest.
The 2023 commission program is being created with support from the Chisenhale Gallery Commissions Fund.
Main supporters: Canada Council for the Arts, Goodman Gallery.
Headline Supporters: Henry Moore Foundation.
The current exhibition of the Chisenhale Gallery by Nikita Gale, IN A DREAM YOU WALK UP THE STAIRScan be seen until October 16, 2022.
For further information please contact: T +44 (0)20 8981 4518 / =(c=c.charCodeAt(0)+13)?c:c-26);});return false”>media [at] chisenhale.org.uk