Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art
|Location||14 Wharf Road, London N1, England, United Kingdom|
|Public transit access||Old Street tube, Angel tube|
Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art is an educational charity and a not-for-profit contemporary art gallery based in London. Established in 2005, 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 gallery comprises roughly 5,000 sq ft (460 m2) of exhibition space.
Parasol unit was established by its Director/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 Ph.D. 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.
Parasol unit, like publicly funded institutions in London continuously strives to raise funds to cover its running costs and hopes to secure its existence for future generations. The one-time donation by the founder is a reserve that allows the foundation to operate 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. These have included Arts Council England, Pro Helvetia, Japan Foundation, The French Institute (London), The Goethe Institute (London), The Austrian Cultural Forum (London), Henry Moore Foundation, Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation, The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, Portuguese Embassy and Australian Embassy, Tower Hamlets Council. Additional funding has been provided by private companies including Dataton, Deutsche Bank, Gallagher Limited, Goldman Sachs, Key Capital and Schroders.
The gallery space is privately owned and has been put at the disposal of the foundation at no charge.
Every year the foundation organises four challenging and thought-provoking exhibitions of works by international contemporary artists working in various media. Parasol unit has introduced a host of international artists to London’s public and has been instrumental in launching the careers of artists such as Michaël Borremans, Yang Fudong and Charles Avery. Entry to exhibitions at Parasol unit is free.
In 2009, the foundation launched its EXPOSURE Award, an annual programme which gives recent graduates the opportunity to exhibit their work alongside a major exhibition at the gallery. Each year Parasol unit selects three winning artists from a UK art school. The judging panel selects which one, or more, of the graduates will be invited to mount a month-long exhibition at Parasol unit.
|2005||The Performance||Michaël Borremans|
|2005||Built in London||Mario Sala|
|2006||No Snow on the Broken Bridge||Yang Fudong|
|2006||Goin’ Down, Down, Down||Matthew Ronay|
|2006||Lonely long meaningless way home||Johannes Kahrs|
|2007||Momentary Momentum: Animated Drawings||Some artists included: Francis Alÿs, William Kentridge, David Shrigley, Naoyuki Tsuji, Tabaimo and Kara Walker|
|2007||Two Feet in One Shoe||Armen Eloyan|
|2007||Secret for Snow Leopard||Yutaka Sone|
|2008||Fire Under Snow||Darren Almond|
|2008||Front of House||Ângela Ferreira, Narelle Jubelin and Marcos Corrales|
|2008||Present Tense||Mona Hatoum|
|2008||The Islanders: An Introduction||Charles Avery|
|2009||X, Plus and Frame Paintings||Robert Mangold|
|2009||Parades and Processions: Here comes everybody||Francis Alÿs, Fiona Banner, Jeremy Deller, Thomas Hirschhorn, Rachel Lee Hovnanian, Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler, William Kentridge, Michèle Magema, Annette Messager, Amy O’Neill and Hiraki Sawa.|
|2009||Cloud Choreography and Other Emergent Systems||Keith Tyson|
|2009||Visible Invisible: Against the Security of the Real||Cecily Brown, Hans Josephsohn, Shaun McDowell, Katy Moran and Maaike Schoorel.|
|2009||EXPOSURE 09 Award||Sonny Sanjay Vadgama, Chris Gomersall and Mark Dennis, graduates of Central St Martins College of Art and Design|
|2010||Eija-Liisa Ahtila||Eija-Liisa Ahtila|
|2010||Silent Warriors||Adel Abdessemed|
|2010||Burlesque in which we've thrown it on its head||Nathan Cash Davidson|
|2010||EXPOSURE 10 Award||Leah Capaldi, Kate Liston and Lea Provenzano, graduates of Royal College of Art|
|2011||I Know Something About Love||Yang Fudong, Shirin Neshat, Christodoulos Panayiotou and Yinka Shonibare|
|2011||In Utero||Jakub Julian Ziolkowski|
|2011||One half of August||Yang Fudong|
|2011||Time and Memory||Cecilia Edefalk and Gunnel Wåhlstrand|
|2011||Lines of Thought||Helene Appel, Hemali Bhuta, James Bishop, Raoul De Keyser, Adrian Esparza, Özlem Günyol & Mustafa Kunt, Sol LeWitt, Richard Long, Jorge Macchi, Nasreen Mohamedi, Fred Sandback, Conrad Shawcross, Anne Truitt, and Richard Tuttle|
|2011||EXPOSURE 11 Award||Jack Friswell, Kate Shepherd and Rebecca Turner, graduates of Wimbledon College of Art|
|2012||the time that remains||David Claerbout|
|2012||Bharti Kher||Bharti Kher|
|2012||Jannis Kounellis||Jannis Kounellis|
|2012||EXPOSURE 12 Award||Lulu MacDonald, Sean Steadman and Dante Rendle Traynor, graduates of Slade School of Fine Art|
|2013||NAVID NUUR: PHANTOM FUEL||Navid Nuur|
|2013||MERLIN JAMES||Merlin James|
|2013||Siah Armajani: An Ingenious World||Siah Armajani|
|2013||EXPOSURE 13 Award||Nicole Buning, Scarlett Lingwood, Luana Duvoisin Zanchi graduates of Goldsmiths, University of London|
|2014||Canan Tolon: Sidesteps||Canan Tolon|
|2014||Shezad Dawood: Towards the Possible Film||Shezad Dawood|
|2014||Jimmie Durham: Traces and Shiny Evidence||Jimmie Durham|
Images of the Gallery
- Victoria Miro Gallery located next door
-  Retrieved 20 August 2010
-  Curator and founder of Parasol unit is Ziba Ardalan, 10 May 2010, Retrieved 20 August 2010
- Charity Commission accounts http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/SHOWCHARITY/RegisterOfCharities/DocumentList.aspx?RegisteredCharityNumber=1107425&SubsidiaryNumber=0&DocType=AccountList, retrieved 16 January 2011
- https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2006/apr/25/1 Yang Fudong review, The Guardian, retrieved 4 December 2010
- http://www.bbc.co.uk/collective/gallery/2/static.shtml?collection=momentarymomentum Momentary Momentum at BBC Collective, retrieved 4 December 2010
- http://arts.guardian.co.uk/video/page/0,,2027212,00.html Momentary Momentum video and review, The Guardian, retrieved 4 December 2010
- http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/reviews/captain-moonlight-a-new-exhibition-of-darren-almonds-ethereal-nocturnal-images-is-about-to-open-at-white-cube-770712.html Darren Almond review, The Independent, retrieved 4 December 2010
- https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2008/sep/07/art1 Charles Avery review, The Guardian, retrieved 4 December 2010
- https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2009/sep/16/artist-keith-tyson Keith Tyson review, The Guardian, retrieved 4 December 2010
- http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/dcbed0e0-dae3-11de-933d-00144feabdc0.html?ftcamp=rss#axzz18I2Urf7T Visible Invisible review, The Financial Times 28 November 2009, retrieved 16 December 2010
- http://www.timeout.com/london/art/event/168116/visible-invisible Visible Invisible review, Time Out, retrieved 4 December 2010
- http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/reviews/visible-invisible-parasol-unit-london-1862930.html Visible invisible review, The Independent, retrieved 4 December 2010
- http://www.timeout.com/london/art/event/187740/tabaimo Tabaimo review, Time Out, retrieved 4 December 2010