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Nov 01 2019

Parasol Unit to Close London Space in 2020

by Michael Rasnic

Installation view of RAYYANE TABET’s “Rayyane Tabet: Encounters” at Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art, London, 2019. Photography by Benjamin Westoby. Courtesy Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art.

On October 30, the Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art announced its plans to shut down its east London gallery space. Though it will no longer have a permanent site, the foundation will continue its exhibitions and projects at international locations. 

Speaking of the change in the organization’s operations, Iran-born director Ziba Ardalan stated: “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.”

Ardalan founded the London platform in 2004. At the time, it was one of the first nonprofit contemporary art foundations established by an individual in the city. The organization has held a total of 58 exhibitions since its founding, providing a platform for local and international artists—whether emerging, established or recent graduates—to exchange ideas. Some artists featured in recent years include painter and sculptor Hyon Gyon, sculptor Rana Begum, and artist Rayyane Tabet, among others. Earlier in 2019, Parasol Unit staged a group exhibition “Nine Iranian Artists in London: The Spark Is You,” held concurrently with a corresponding show at the Conservatorio di Musica Benedetto Marcello di Venezia as a collateral event of the 2019 Venice Biennale. The exhibition consisted of multidisciplinary works commenting on the duality of private and collective experiences in Euro-Iranian contexts, curated by Ardalan under the unifying frame of classical Persian poetry.

The platform’s final show in its current space will be a solo presentation of hand-drawn, animated films by Christine Rebet, concluding on March 26, 2020. 

Michael Rasnic is an editorial intern of ArtAsiaPacific.

To read more of ArtAsiaPacific’s articles, visit our Digital Library.

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