Year founded: 1998
Organiser: Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art


Liverpool Biennial is the UK’s largest festival of contemporary visual art, established in 1998.

Founded in 1998, Liverpool Biennial presents the UK biennial of contemporary art. Taking place every two years across the city’s public spaces, galleries and historic buildings, the Biennial commissions artists to make and present work in the context of Liverpool. The festival is underpinned by a year-round programme of research, education, residencies, projects and commissions.

Since its inception, Liverpool Biennial has commissioned over 340 new artworks and presented work by over 480 renowned artists from around the world. Amongst artists presented in previous editions are Doug Aitken, John Akomfrah, Mona Hatoum, Yayoi Kusama, Takashi Murakami, Yoko Ono, Ai Weiwei and Franz West.

Major public artworks commissioned by Liverpool Biennial include Ugo Rondinone’s Liverpool Mountain (2018), Peter Blake’s Everybody Razzle Dazzle (2015), Jaume Plensa’s Dream (2009) and Antony Gormley’s Another Place (2005).

Liverpool Biennial also has a year-round role commissioning art for the public realm. Past projects include Antony Gormley’s work ‘Another Place’, which has found a permanent home at Crosby beach, and ‘Turning the Place Over’ by Richard Wilson, which turns a building inside-out. The mission through all the biennial’s activities is ‘engaging art, people and place’. This is done by commissioning artworks and other programmes collaboratively, in partnership with a myriad of organisations and individuals, from the city’s established art institutions to community groups in local neighbourhoods. These activities find support from a range of local authorities, private trusts and regeneration agencies in the city region and beyond.

The Liverpool Biennial also works towards ambitious educational objectives, through a programme of activities developed within the context of the work we commission. The biennial plays a key role in the ongoing development of Liverpool as a place for artists to learn, live and work, and engage in discourse-based activity with peers locally, nationally and internationally.

The 11th edition of Liverpool Biennial: The Stomach and the Port will take place from 20 March – 6 June 2021. This edition was originally scheduled to take place in 2020 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.