We commission and produce art and discourse; providing an engaging, collaborative programme that challenges what art can be and do for a wide range of audiences, including art professionals and our local community.
Our programme focuses on collaborative and process-driven approaches to production be that art work, exhibitions, events, discussions, publications, knowledge and relationships. Through major commissions and smaller projects we work with artists and other practitioners who have not previously had significant exposure in London, often introducing international artists to London, and working in partnership with other individuals and organisations within our networks, both at home and abroad.
We also work closely with our local community through an aspect of the programme called Communal Knowledge, and have developed strong, long-term relationships with local groups and individuals who we bring together to work in partnership with artists on specific projects and commissions which feed into the programme as a whole.
Public events and workshops form part of these commissions, with a broader programme of publishing, research and events including discussions, screenings, panels, book launches and performances running alongside.
The Showroom was established in 1983 and in 2013 celebrated thirty years of supporting artists to stage their first solo shows in London and its role as a pivotal force in the development of contemporary art practice.
It was one of the first galleries in what is now a thriving East End art scene, but moved from its Bonner Road site in Bethnal Green to Penfold Street near Edgware Road in 2009. The first exhibition at Penfold Street was A Long Time Between Suns Part II, by The Otolith Group, which earned them a nomination for the Turner Prize 2010.
Artists commissioned by The Showroom at significant points in their career include Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Can Altay, Claire Barclay, Ricard Basbaum, Marc Chaimowicz, Mona Hatoum, Jim Lambie, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Uriel Orlow, Ciara Phillips (project nominated for the Turner Prize 2014), Eva Rothschild, Grace Schwindt, Simon Starling and Rebecca Warren.
As well as supporting artists at the right moment in their careers, The Showroom has always played a role in developing discourse around contemporary art practices. This activity has expanded significantly under the directorship of Emily Pethick, and the organisation now programmes around fifty public events a year, almost all of which are free to access.
The Showroom has had four directors: Emily Pethick (2008–current), Kirsty Ogg (1998–2008), Kim Sweet (1992–1998) and David Thorp (1988–1992).
Collaborative Projects Curator
Beth Bramich, Becky Buckman, Simon Clear, Fred Duffield, Deborah Findlater, Jon Frame, Olga Koroleva, Hermione Spriggs and Josh Wright
Rory Biddulph, Mark Couzens, Jamie George, Linda Persson, Richard Whitby, Bex Williams
Board of Trustees
Michael De Guzman, Art Management and Development Consultant
Mark Bell, Commissioning Editor, Arts, BBC
Elvira Dyangani Ose, Curator and Lecturer in Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths, University of London
Roland Fejfar, Morgan Stanley
Julie Lomax, Director of Development, Liverpool Biennial
Haroon Mirza, Artist
Francis Outred, Chairman & Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, Christie's
Andrew Renton, Professor of Curating, Goldsmiths, University of London and Director, Marlborough Contemporary
Emily Tsingou, Director, Emily Tsingou Fine Art
Maria Sukkar, Showroom Benefactor and International Council, Tate
Mercedes Vilardell, Lawyer and Co-Chair of Tate Modern African Acquistions Committee (AAC) and Tate Modern International Council
Michael De Guzman
Rees & Company
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