Parasol Unit To Close London Gallery

The Parasol Unit has announced that they will be closing their Wharf Rd gallery space in East London next year. The organisation is not shutting down entirely but have decided to run a programme of exhibitions remotely mounting shows and events at several international venues. The French artist Christine Rebet will be the final show in the space in Shoreditch. (23 January-28 March 2020) 

Artistic projects will now be held in the UK as well as other international venues – Ziba Ardalan

Ziba Ardalan said, “Today, in the current artistic climate, it seems that my mission as a curator ought to be to think ever more dynamically and beyond the borders, and to take considerably more time to reflect on the worldwide practice of art. Therefore, from the spring of 2020, Parasol Unit will only hold exhibitions in whatever part of the world, I feel the dialogue is needed.” The statement also said, that “artistic projects” will be held in the UK as well as other international venues.

The Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art is an educational charity and a not-for-profit contemporary art gallery based in London. Established in 2004, the foundation is housed in a converted warehouse over two floors in a building that was renovated to a design concept by the Italian architect, Claudio Silvestrin. The space is roughly 5,000 sq ft (460 m2) of exhibition space. The foundation does not own the gallery building which is next to Victoria Miro Gallery.

Parasol Unit was established by its director and curator, [Ziba Ardalan] A graduate in the History of Art from Columbia University New York, Ardalan worked as Guest Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art. She guest curated the exhibition ‘Winslow Homer and the New England Coast’ at the Whitney’s Stamford, Ct. Branch (1984). Ardalan became the first Director/Curator of New York City’s Swiss Institute in 1987, before moving to Zurich, Switzerland, and then relocating to UK and founding Parasol Unit. She has curated numerous exhibitions and has also lectured and written about art. Prior to her career in art, Ardalan obtained a PhD in physical chemistry.

Parasol Unit is devoted to promoting contemporary art for the benefit of the public. The exhibition programme comprises work by emerging and contemporary artists in a variety of media: sculpture, painting, installation, video and photography. The institution was developed on the model of a Kunsthalle, with no permanent collection.

Each exhibition is supported by a programme of educational events that engage with the public and local community. Exhibitions are also accompanied by a new publication, an artist’s monograph or catalogue, which is distributed worldwide, while other funding sources are identified. The reserve currently covers about 60% of the foundation’s operating expenses whereas the remaining 40% are financed through Gift Aid scheme, grants from charitable organisations, private donations and sales of merchandise.

Top Photo: P C Robinson © Artlyst 2019

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