'London's jaw-droppingly elegant new space'.
– Adrian Searle, the Guardian
Raven Row is a non-profit contemporary art exhibition centre in Spitalfields that is open free to the public, Wednesdays to Sundays. It has been constructed within eighteenth century domestic rooms, onto which 6a architects have added two contemporary galleries, and it stands on the part of Artillery Lane that was known as Raven Row until 1895.
Raven Row’s programme is intended to appeal both to a specialist audience and a broader, curious public. It is led by a desire to test art's purpose outside the market place. It will exhibit diverse work of the highest quality, often by established international artists, or those from the recent past, who have somehow escaped London's attention. However, the programme will remain improvisatory and un-dogmatic, and the qualities that might constitute Raven Row’s success, its ‘cultural value’, will remain open to question.
Flats in the building’s upper floors host visiting artists and curators, invited to contribute to the exhibition programme. Four Corners Books, an acclaimed non-profit publisher of artists’ books and books on art are based in the building and will occasionally programme exhibitions and share events.
Raven Row is programmed and funded by its founding director Alex Sainsbury. It is a charitable company with a board currently comprising Alex Farquharson, Director, Nottingham Contemporary; Pablo Lafuente, Managing Editor, Afterall and Associate Curator, Office for Contemporary Art Norway; Jenni Lomax, Director, Camden Arts Centre; Silke Otto-Knapp, artist; as well as Alex Sainsbury.
Raven Row – 56 Artillery Lane, London E1 7LS
is a registered charity number 1114350 and
company limited by guarantee number 5789471
56 and 58 Artillery Lane were built around 1690 on land that was previously a weapons practice ground, and in the Middle Ages the site of the monastery of St. Mary Spital, the largest hospital in Europe. In the 1750s the buildings were transformed into luxury shops in the Rococo style by Huguenot silk merchants, Protestant settlers from France. Nonconformist and politically dissenting groups as well as immigrants began settling in Spitalfields, which experienced waves of violent protest, often by journeymen weavers against wage exploitation. In 1827 no. 58 was modernised with a plain Regency front, only a few years before the weaving economy in Spitalfields collapsed and the area became impoverished. In the early twentieth century, 56 and 58 Artillery Lane housed many families who worked in the local food markets.
Communications & Publications Manager
Elizabeth Stanton (Maternity Cover)
Naomi Pearce (Maternity Cover)
Curator At Large
Alex Baggaley, Toby Boundy, Mike Cooter, Kit Craig, Peter Donaldson, Ross Downes, Duncan Marquiss, Kimiya Yoshikawa