Gulbenkian European Commissions announced for Touched, Liverpool Biennial 2010 International Exhibition

09 jul 2010

Gulbenkian European Commissions announced for Touched, Liverpool Biennial 2010 International Exhibition

Liverpool Biennial is delighted to announce the continued support by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation of a series of new commissions by European artists for its international exhibition, Touched.

Liverpool Biennial is the largest and one of the most exciting contemporary visual arts events in the UK, and, with 975,000 visits in 2008, one of the best attended in the world.

Touched celebrates a decade of bringing new art to the UK through curatorial collaboration for the International show. It will involve more artists than ever before, while continuing to place an emphasis on commissioning ambitious new work from leading and emerging artists based outside the UK.

The award for the Gulbenkian European Commissions began in 2008 and continues until 2010. Artists supported by this award include: Rosa Barba (Italy), Emese Benczúr (Hungary), Daniel Bozhkov (Bulgaria), Nina Canell (Sweden), Danica Daki? (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Wannes Goetschalckx (Belgium), Eva Kot’átková (Czech Republic), Lars Laumann (Norway), Antii Laitinen (Finland), Cristina Lucas (Spain), Kris Martin (Belgium), Yves Netzhammer (Switzerland), and Franz West (Austria).

Touched will consist of art that succeeds in affecting the viewer: art that is close enough to us to move us in mind, body and soul. And with over half the commissions situated in disused shops and warehouses, a feature of Liverpool Biennial since its inception in 1999, the viewer will be touched by art in the most unexpected places!

Lewis Biggs, Director of Liverpool Biennial, said, “This award has already enabled some impressive new commissions for the Biennial and allowed us to embark on an equally ambitious programme for Touched in 2010.”

Andrew Barnett, Director of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in the UK, said:
“The Gulbenkian Foundation has been pleased to support Liverpool Biennial’s European Commissions over three years. The festival programming is always adventurous and thought-provoking, international in outlook and accessible in public spaces to a wide range of people.”

The curatorial team for Touched is Lorenzo Fusi, Liverpool Biennial (non-gallery sites), Peter Gorschlüter (Tate Liverpool), Patrick Henry (Open Eye Gallery), Sara-Jayne Parsons (the Bluecoat), Mike Stubbs (FACT – Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) and Mark Waugh (A Foundation Liverpool).

For further press information please contact Catharine Braithwaite on 07947 644 110 or [email protected]

Notes to Editors:

Liverpool Biennial International Festival of Contemporary Art was conceived and founded by James Moores (with Jane Rankin Read, Lewis Biggs and Bryan Biggs) in 1998, and is presented free to the public every two years over a ten week period. Alongside the International exhibition, the Festival includes the John Moores Painting Competition and Bloomberg New Contemporaries (both UK based competitions administered independently with more than 50 years history behind them) and for the first time, City States – international exhibitions exploring the cultural dynamics between cities and states – at the Contemporary Urban Centre.

Since its inception in 1999, the International exhibition at the heart of the Biennial has always been shown in multiple gallery and non-gallery spaces across the city. In 2000, Lewis Biggs became Chief Executive and Artistic Director. He initiated both collaborative curatorial responsibility and the principle of the exhibition being composed primarily of commissioned new work. This combined approach ensures the exhibition is embedded in the city, and remains unique among Biennials globally.

Liverpool Biennial International Festival of Contemporary Art 2010 will take place in venues and sites around Liverpool City Centre, including the Walker Art Gallery, FACT (Foundation for art and creative technology), the Bluecoat, Open Eye Gallery, Tate Liverpool, A Foundation Liverpool, and many other gallery and non-gallery sites. Visit

The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation is a European charitable foundation established in Portugal in 1956 with cultural, educational, social and scientific interests. Its founder, Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian, was an Armenian born in Turkey. Multicultural and multilingual, and a noted art collector, he spent his career bringing people from different cultures and nationalities together. Based in Lisbon with branches in London and Paris, we are in a privileged position of being able to address national and transnational issues and to act as an ‘exchange’ for ideas. The purpose of the UK Branch, based in London, is to help enrich and connect the experiences of people in the UK and Ireland and secure lasting, beneficial change. One of our core aims is to improve cultural understanding between cultures and through culture. For more information visit

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