About us

We have 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.

The foundation

Founded in 2004 by art historian and curator Dr. Ziba Ardalan, Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art is a not-for-profit art institution and educational charity that operates purely for the public benefit.

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 Rana Begum, Michaël Borremans, Julian Charrière and Yang Fudong.


Every year the foundation organises three to four challenging and thought-provoking exhibitions of works by British and international contemporary artists working in various media, which are documented by an accompanying publication. The foundation also holds various artistic projects such as its Parasolstice – Winter Light series and Parasol Public installations.

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.


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. 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

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).


Ziba Ardalan
Trustee + Executive Director

Gabriel Caillaux

Claudia Steinfels

Berna Tuğlular

Pierre de Weck
Trustee + Chairman