Studio Voltaire is one of the UK’s leading independent arts organisations. Our pioneering public programmes of exhibitions, participation projects, live events and offsite commissions have gained an international reputation for excellence.
Studio Voltaire has an outstanding track record of supporting artists at a pivotal stage in their careers. We champion emerging and underrepresented artists, placing great emphasis on risk–taking and experimentation, allowing us to offer an alternative and agenda–setting view of contemporary art. Many of our commissions are an artist’s first solo exhibition in London. We invest wholly in the production of new work that might not always be possible in commercial galleries or larger institutions, giving artists the chance to expand their practice, often working in residence in the gallery.
Exhibiting artists have included Phyllida Barlow, Judith Bernstein, Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Nicole Eisenman, Jamian Juliano–Villani, Sanya Kantarovsky, Scott King, Ella Kruglyanskaya, Henrik Olesen, Elizabeth Price, Charlotte Prodger, Richard Slee, Jo Spence and Cathy Wilkes.
We provide a much–needed resource of affordable and accessible on–site studios which house over 45 artists, supporting the development of a diverse range of individual and collective practices, from recent graduates to internationally recognised practitioners. We also host ActionSpace, an organisation supporting artists with disabilities. We are one of only four studio providers in England to provide full disabled access.
Our pioneering Participation Programmes commission a wide range of activities and projects working in collaboration with local and international artists, local schools, individuals and community groups. Working to redefine the role of arts and culture, our learning programmes connect communities and artists to generate responses to social and cultural issues, developing a closer relationship between the artist, the production of work and an active and engaged audience.
House of Voltaire, our innovative art and design shop sells unique artworks, limited edition prints, homewares, fashion, ceramics, books and objects by leading contemporary artists and designers. Drawing inspiration from influential artist’s shops including Keith Haring’s Pop Shop and the Bloomsbury Group’s Omega Workshop, House of Voltaire redefines the way in which our global audience engages with, and purchases, art and design. Whether online or at one of our special intermittent international presentations, every purchase from House of Voltaire directly supports Studio Voltaire’s exhibition and education programmes.
Studio Voltaire was founded in 1994 by a collective of twelve artists who set up a studio space in a disused tram shed on Voltaire Road in Clapham. In 1999 the organisation moved to its current location in a Victorian former chapel on Nelsons Row. In the past 24 years, we have grown from a local artist collective to a world–renowned not–for–profit institution recognised for spotting and supporting artists at a crucial stage. Studio Voltaire is a registered charity and receives regular funding from Arts Council England, a recognition of best–practice. 93% of our income is self–generated through the kind patronage of individuals, sales of our renowned limited edition art works, and public funding.
Our strengths, ambitions and reach have grown exponentially over the years. Our work now reaches over 250,000 people annually including the touring of Studio Voltaire commissions to national and international partners. We are proud of our unique way of working which remains close to the creative process at a grassroots level. We place artists at the centre of everything we do. Our commitment to the preservation and promotion of artistic talent is more ambitious than ever.
“One of the most dynamic spaces in London.”
“Studio Voltaire has become one of the most energising spaces in London. Its ad–hoc approach and knack for spotting young talent makes it a formidable presence on the city’s art scene.”
“Working with Studio Voltaire remains one of the deepest joys of my artistic career. It is a unique organisation in that its artistic voice is multi–layered, multi–vocal and ecstatic. The passion, commitment, hard work and trust of the team allowed me to take risks, to push myself and my project and to engage audiences that I have not had the ability to reach before.”
Artist Sharon Hayes
Phyllida Barlow, Bluff, 2010. Installation View, Studio Voltaire, London. Courtesy of the artist. Credit Andy Keate.