About Studio Voltaire

Studio Voltaire is one of the UK’s leading not–for–profit arts organisations. Placing great emphasis on risk–taking and experimentation, our pioneering programmes of exhibitions, collaborative projects, artist development, live events and offsite commissions have gained an international reputation.

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, Clapham. An artist–centered approach remains at the core of our work. We are creating an essential artists’ community and resource in South London; our current site on Nelsons Row affords a significant level of support, providing much–needed affordable and accessible studios for a diverse range of individual and collective practices. Our growing studio and residency programmes forefront artists–led development, research, experimentation and production, and provide opportunities for our audiences to engage with this process.

We have an outstanding track record of supporting artists at a pivotal stage in their careers. Investing wholly in the production of new work, we offer significant opportunities for emerging and under-represented practices, providing time, care, and resources for artists to create ambitious work on their own terms. Many of our commissions are an artist’s first solo exhibition in London, or bring work by well-established international artists to UK audiences for the first-time. Artists developing new commissions for the gallery are often encouraged to respond to its architectural context, or are created onsite during production residencies. Occasional retrospective and archival shows provide an important platform for practices that sit outside of contemporary discourses, or have lacked representation in larger institutions.

Studio Voltaire commissions a wide range of ongoing and collaborative projects. We work with artists, organisations, schools, colleges and communities to create contexts for people to share and collaborate, while also supporting critical engagement and lifelong learning. We often work beyond the walls of the gallery, initiating projects in the public realm and supporting artists to work in unconventional spaces and in new social and cultural contexts.

Through these core exhibition, participation and studio programmes, Studio Voltaire supports a diverse range of artistic practices and creates opportunities for wider access and engagement with contemporary art. We work for parity between our programmes, which impact on and inform each other. Commissioned artists and solo presentations have included:

Aaron Angell, Nairy Baghramian, Phyllida Barlow, Judith Bernstein, Monster Chetwynd, Anne Collier, Thea Djordjadze, Nicole Eisenman, Sunil Gupta, Sharon Hayes, Sanya Kantarovsky, Nnena Kalu, Ella Kruglyanskaya, Dawn Mellor, Cookie Mueller & Vittorio Scarpati, Henrik Olesen, The Neo Naturists, Elizabeth Price, Charlotte Prodger, Rehana Zaman, Richard Slee, Jo Spence and Cathy Wilkes.

Studio Voltaire is a registered charity and part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio. Our programmes are fundraised for in their entirety through the kind patronage of individuals, sponsorship, public funding, sales of our renowned limited edition works through House of Voltaire and funding from charitable trusts and foundations.

Image credit

Alexandra Bircken, Mammal, 2018. Courtesy of the artist and Studio Voltaire. Photo: Andy Keate