Founded in 2004 by art historian and curator Dr. Ziba Ardalan, Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art is a not-for-profit art institution that operates purely for the public benefit. Central to the Parasol unit philosophy is a total commitment to artists and their creative endeavour, an attitude which leads to a singular relationship developing between each exhibiting artist and the foundation.
Internationally recognised for its forward-thinking and challenging exhibition programme, 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.
Every year the foundation organises four challenging and thought-provoking exhibitions of works by international contemporary artists working in various media, holds artistic projects and gives awards and exhibition possibility to graduating students from a UK art school.
Public & Community
The foundation also engages with the public and the neighbouring community through a full programme of educational events. In its genuine mission to serve the public, the foundation does not bear the founder’s name and its exhibitions do not derive from any particular private collections. Admission to all exhibitions at Parasol unit is free of charge. Thanks to this innovative model between private funding and public support one of London’s most vibrant contemporary art spaces has come to exist and thrives.
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.
We thank you for your visit and support.
Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art is a registered educational charity in England and Wales (registered charity number: 1107425).
Robert Mangold, Parasol unit installation view 2009. Courtesy the artist and Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art, London.
Photography Stephen White
Bharti Kher, Parasol unit installation view 2012. Courtesy the artist and Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art, London.
Photography Stephen White
Sunday family workshop at Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art, London.
Parasol Circle members enjoying a curator-led tour of the Matadero Contemporary Art Centre during a bespoke art trip to Madrid.