November 2, 2020 - Chisenhale Gallery - 2021 Commissions Programme
November 2, 2020

Chisenhale Gallery

[1] Yu Ji, Wasted Mud (production image), 2020. [2] Abbas Akhavan, cast for a folly (detail), 2018. [3] Rindon Johnson, Working Still #2 (I do not walk a line that is thin, straight, or secure), 2020.

2021 Commissions Programme

Chisenhale Gallery
64 Chisenhale Road
London E3 5QZ
United Kingdom
Hours: Thursday–Sunday 12–6pm

T +44 20 8981 4518
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Chisenhale Gallery was founded by artists. The same experimental vision and spirit of possibility that changed an empty veneer factory and brewery warehouse into an art gallery guides our work today. We commission and produce contemporary art, supporting international and UK-based artists to make their most ambitious work to date by pursuing new directions in their practices. The gallery has an award winning, 38-year history as one of London’s most innovative forums for contemporary art. 

Chisenhale Gallery’s Commissions Programme for 2021 comprises three new exhibitions by artists Yu Ji, Abbas Akhavan and Rindon Johnson. Honouring our commitment to artists, Yu Ji and Akhavan’s commissions, originally scheduled for 2020, will now be realised in 2021. The 2021 programme will culminate with Johnson’s major new commission. Working within and beyond the walls of the gallery, the artists in the 2021 programme use video, sculpture, painting and installation to individually address urgent issues related to our natural and built environments. As part of the commissioning process, a series of talks and events are programmed in collaboration with commissioned artists and run throughout the duration of each exhibition.

Yu Ji 
January 30–April 25, 2021 

Chisenhale Gallery presents Wasted Mud, the first solo exhibition in a UK institution by Shanghai-based artist Yu Ji. Comprising sculpture, video, print and performance, Yu Ji’s work often responds to a specific context or location to examine the interplay between the human body and space. Taking London’s canals and rivers as a starting point, Yu Ji’s new commission acts as a ‘living sculpture’, where the body, liquid and concrete become sites in transformation. Through the use of water and vegetable matter, the gallery will become a provisional space under construction. Here, what might otherwise be considered wreckage will take on the potential for newly discovered vitality. 

Abbas Akhavan
May 22–August 15, 2021 

In Spring/Summer 2021, Chisenhale Gallery presents a new commission by Montreal-based artist Abbas Akhavan. Akhavan’s work ranges from context-specific installations to drawing, video, sculpture and performance. For his Chisenhale Gallery commission, Akhavan develops his ongoing research on the relationship between cobb, a material made from subsoil, water and organic fibres, and chroma key green-screen technology. Through working with these materials Akhavan recreates sections of a historic Syrian landmark believed to have been destroyed by ISIS, and in doing so comments on themes of material production, absence and destruction.

Rindon Johnson
September 11–December 12, 2021 

Autumn 2021 marks Rindon Johnson’s first solo exhibition in a UK institution. Deftly combining CGI and sculpture, Johnson presents multifaceted ideas of identity and belonging. Central to the commission is a live rendering of ocean weather data collected by Johnson throughout 2020. The moving images anthologise a year-long portrait of the North Atlantic “cold blob.” This ocean-surface is located at the approximate geographical midpoint between Chisenhale Gallery and co-commissioners SculptureCenter, New York, where the work will also be presented in February 2021.

Chisenhale Gallery is a registered charity and part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio. All of the gallery’s exhibitions and the majority of events are free.

Chisenhale Gallery’s 2021 Commissions Programme is supported by Shane Akeroyd; Joe and Marie Donnelly; the Chisenhale Gallery Commissions Fund; the Henry Moore Foundation; the UK-China Connections through Culture Grants and British Council; and The London Community Foundation and Cockayne – Grants for the Arts. With additional support from the Yu Ji Supporters’ Circle and Sadie Coles HQ. Forming Chisenhale Gallery’s Engagement Programme 2021, the Talks and Events Programme is supported by Brian Boylan and Sarah Lee Elson; whilst Chisenhale Gallery’s Schools’ Programme in collaboration with Artis is supported by Goodman Gallery.

Chisenhale Gallery’s commission and production partners include SculptureCenter, New York and Delfina Foundation, London as part of their artist residency programme.

Chisenhale Gallery’s current exhibition Becoming Alluvium by Thao Nguyen Phan, continues until December 6, 2020.

For further information please contact:
T +44 (0) 20 3328 1964 /

Chisenhale Gallery
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