Year founded: 2003
Organiser: Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova Museum


The Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova Museum in Turku, Finland, has hosted the Turku Biennial regularly since 2003. Each Biennial shows newly produced contemporary artworks by Finnish and international artists.

The Turku Biennial is a concept that is constantly evolving; the planning of the event never follows the same path. Each exhibition has been shaped by new curatorial procedures, selection processes, themes, fringe events and artists.

Invited jury members and curators have in previous years included Martí Anson, Ann Demeester, Milovan Farronato, IC-98, Reino Kanerva, Otto Karvonen, Anna Kortelainen, Elena Kovolskaya,  Magdalena Malm, Martí Manen, Jorge Luis Marzo, Susana Nevado, Heta Saarelainen, Larisa Skobkina, Pedro Soler, Anu Tuomi and Alicia Vela. In 2013 the artists were selected by Laura Boxberg, Power Ekroth, Ellen Friis, Eeva Holkeri, Silja Lehtonen, Johanna Lehto-Vahtera, Æsa Sigurjónsdóttir and Karolin Tampere.

In the past ten years the Turku Biennial has invited artists from Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Russia, Spain, Italy and USA. Partnerships allowed the exhibition to be shown in the Central Exhibition Hall Manege, St Petersburg in 2003 and in the Can Felipa Gallery, Barcelona in 2007.

Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova is a museum of history and contemporary Art, founded in 1995 and maintained by the Matti Koivurinta Foundation. Aboa Vetus is an underground archaeologal site of genuine ruins in a historical area of the oldest city in Finland. The art museum Ars Nova functions in the Rettig Palace, a former private home built in 1928. The architecture and history of the palace, as well as the the proximity of medieval Turku, have both been sources of inspiration for site-specific works produced for the Turku Biennials.