Impact Case Study 2 ‘EASTinternational’: the impact of an international open-submission exhibition on the professional, career and commercial development of contemporary artists, curators and dealers
Submitting InstitutionNorwich University of the Arts
Unit of AssessmentArt and Design: History, Practice and Theory
Summary Impact TypeCultural
Research Subject Area(s)
Studies In Creative Arts and Writing: Film, Television and Digital Media
History and Archaeology: Curatorial and Related Studies, Historical Studies
Summary of the impact
The leading open submission exhibition `EASTinternational' is
significant in establishing the reputations of prominent artists and
curators who have become major forces in contemporary art in the UK and
across the world. `EASTinternational' parallels the rise of the
Young British Artists, and is not dependent on an established commercial
network. Many influential curators and dealers have used the exhibition as
a serious sounding board for new artists, who otherwise might not have
been provided a platform through which to engage with high profile
practitioners, curators and dealers, and to access new markets. In
researching contemporary and emerging practice, identifying topical
exhibition themes, commissioning new works, originating solo exhibitions
and developing international networks `EASTinternational' has
supported the professional, career and commercial development of over 700
artists, curators and dealers, and enhanced critical discourse in a
variety of disciplines.
`EASTinternational' is an open submission exhibition founded by
Professor Lynda Morris in 1991 as a democratic platform that is uniquely
artist-focused and which provides opportunities for artists and curators
from across the world to develop and present new work, expand artistic
networks and contribute to contemporary UK and international art markets.
`EASTinternational' exhibitions are curated in partnership with
renowned selectors in developing curatorial themes, presentation formats
for exhibitions, commissions and off-site projects. Through the 16 major
exhibitions held since 1993 `EASTinternational' has provided
opportunities for over 473 artists (e.g. Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Jeremy
Deller, Matthew Higgs, Lucy McKenzie), 33 selectors (e.g. Tacita Dean,
Konrad Fischer, Marian Goodman, Nicholas Logsdail, Lawrence Weiner, Peter
Doig, Gustav Metzger, Dirk Snauwaert) and 7 curators (e.g. Michelle
Cotton, Andy Hunt, Kirsty Ogg,) to develop and share new insights into
contemporary art, to create and influence forms of expression and to
establish or re-establish individual art practices.
The research underpinning the success of `EASTinternational',
conducted by Morris with assistant curators Hunt (currently Director,
Focal Point Gallery), Ogg (currently Curator, Whitechapel Gallery), Cotton
(currently Curator, FirstSite Gallery) and Nav Haq (currently Curator,
Arnolfini), was on the one hand subject-based and on the other curatorial.
In the first place, research was undertaken into those artists the
exposure of whose work by this means might benefit both them and the
widest public, to which the project uniquely gave access. It led also
directly to a reassessment of their work. In the second place curatorial
research identified selectors and curators who would be responsible for an
exhibitor list and who would work in partnership with the chosen artists
to develop and present new works. This process effectively led to new
discoveries about the symbiosis of creative partnerships in relation to
local and global themes. The research has also enabled the creation,
enhancement and adoption of new methodological frameworks and critical
dialogues by bringing artists, selectors and curators together to present,
examine and debate practice through `EASTdiscourses', which are
convened to accompany exhibitions. `EASTdiscourses' have been
important in connecting local and global issues with curatorial themes and
in developing practical and intellectual links between practitioners based
in the UK, Europe and further afield.
In recent years selectors, artists and curators associated with `EASTinternational'
have been instrumental in developing and presenting new art, and in
influencing contemporary practice, representation and collection in the UK
and overseas. Targeted dissemination and impact is key to the success of
`EASTinternational'; the relationship between exhibition and
archive is central to its curation, and this unique record forms an
important resource for contemporary art in the UK and beyond. Norwich
University of the Arts (NUA) has invested in the development of the
archive of `EASTinternational' as a key aspect of the NUA
Collection, which also houses material relating to the history of art,
design and media education in the region and the Norwich Gallery. Through
research conducted by Morris with NUA research students Sophie Richards,
Catherine Mosely and Samantha Epps, this work has been expanded to address
the international networks of conceptual artists, dealers, exhibitions,
collections and publications in partnership with key international
archives developed by Seth Siegelaub (Amsterdam) and Anton Herbert
(Ghent). Working in tandem with `EASTdiscourses', edited
catalogues featuring texts positioning the curation of the exhibition
alongside articles and artists' pages are produced to accompany each
exhibition. The website www.eastinternational.net
has been developed as both a platform to disseminate the research
undertaken for each exhibition and to document the work produced by
exhibiting artists though the online catalogue.
Since 1993 `EASTinternational' exhibitions have been curated in
partnership with Raster Gallery (Łukasza Gorczycę and Michała
Kaczyńskiego) & Art and Language (2009), Matthew Higgs & Marc
Camille Chaimowicz (2007), Jeremy Deller & Dick Snauwaert (2006),
Gustav Metzger (2005), Neo Rauch & Gerd Harry Lybke (2004), Toby
Webster & Eva Rothschild (2003), Lawrence Weiner & Jack Wendler
(2002), Mary Kelly & Peter Wollen (2001), Keith Piper & Sebastian
Lopez (2000), Peter Doig & Roy Arden (1999), Alan Charlton &
Michel Durand-Dessert (1998), Nicholas Logsdail & Tacita Dean (1997),
Richard Long & Roger Ackling (1996), Guiseppe Penone & Marian
Goodman (1995), Jan Dibbets & Rudi Fuchs (1994) and David Tremlett
& Konrad Fischer (1993). During this period exhibitions have focused
on social documentary, conceptualism, histories of Socialism and
Capitalism in art, anarchism, race, industrial decline and climate change.
References to the research
1. Morris, Lynda, ed. EASTinternational. Norwich: Norwich
Gallery, 1993 to 2009.
2. Morris, Lynda, ed. EAST17. Norwich: Norwich Gallery, 2007.
6. Fite-Wassilak, Chris. `East International.' Frieze, 27 July
Details of the impact
The January 2012 issue of ArtForum included 22 artists who
received early exposure at `EASTinternational' and through related
exhibitions. The coverage includes full-page adverts, reviews and articles
featuring their work. Created to support artists and curators whether from
the UK or overseas, `Eastinternational' has demonstrable
significance not only for London based artists but also for those in the
UK regions, in continental Europe and as far afield as Japan, Canada,
Argentina, Mexico and the USA. During this timeframe the artists, curators
and selectors associated with `EASTinternational' have been
concerned with diverging expressions and viewpoints that have resulted
from differing histories, generations and ideologies as paradigms of the
intellectual issues confronting the international practice of contemporary
art. Alongside stories, films and performances representing ideas of play,
artists have explored ideas based on minimalism, personal mythologies and
the body, the examination of the individual, and stories between the
visual and the theoretical. Through the development of new works selected
artists have expressed ideas about language and the narration of presences
in histories as varied as modernism, terrorism and progressive education.
`EASTinternational' has also led to the launch of new ventures,
including the Outpost Gallery (norwichoutpost.org/), which formed in 2006
in response to `EASTinternational' discourses around the
relationship between artistic practice and curation.
Integral to the structure and impact of `EASTinternational'
exhibitions are the early career artists who are employed to work on all
aspects of the administration, transportation and installation of the
exhibitions, commissions and offsite projects. The training opportunities
provided to these artists have supported the acquisition of creative,
critical and curatorial skills and experience through working directly
with artists selected for exhibitions. Between 2009-11 links between these
groups of artists were developed through a €103,000 EU Culture programme
and Arts Council England co-financed project `EASTgoesEast', which
focused on the development of multi-national, cross- boarder networks and
exhibitions informed by research undertaken for `EASTinternational'.
on the East European focus of `EASTinternational 2009' and
organised in partnership with Bunkier Sztuki Contemporary Art Gallery
(Krakow, Poland) and Trafo House of Contemporary Arts (Budapest, Hungary)
the project provided opportunities for artists' groups in Norwich, Krakow
and Budapest to establish new communities of practice, and to develop new
infrastructures for creative and critical practice. Alongside the
development of links between curators in the UK, Poland and Hungary, and
the curation of exhibitions of artworks created for `EASTinternational
2009' at Bunkier Sztuki and Trafo Gallery, `EASTgoesEast' supported
touring exhibitions featuring the work of early career artists in each of
these cities, providing opportunities for artists to present their work to
new audiences in pan-European contexts.
Many of the world's leading contemporary art galleries and dealers have
participated in `EASTinternational' as selectors and/or
representatives for artists featured in exhibitions. Nicholas Logsdail
(Lisson Gallery, London) has supported the project as selector and dealer
since 1997 and Rene Gimpel (Gimpel Fils, London and Paris), Matthew Higgs
(White Columns, New York), Andrew Wheatley (Cabinet Gallery, London) and
Charles Saatchi have all supported the work of artists associated with
`EASTinternational'. Work produced by artists for `EASTinternational'
has also been purchased by public organisations for national archives and
collections. The Arts Council Collection includes a substantial number of
works created by artists associated with the project. `EASTinternational'
has also had an important role as a training framework and source for
gallery curators, who continue to work with artists selected for `EASTinternational'.
Kirsty Ogg (Curator, Whitechapel Gallery London), Michelle Cotton
(Curator, FirstSite Colchester), Nav Haq (Curator, Arnolfini Bristol) and
Andrew Hunt (Director, Focal Point Southend) were all trainee curators
between 1993-2009, working alongside student interns from the Royal
College of Art to develop skills and experience in curation, research and
public engagement. Several artists, curators, collectors and dealers
affiliated with `EASTinternational' including Andrew Hunt (2012),
Jack Wendler (1997), Marjorie Allthorpe-Guyton (1994) and Rudi Fuchs
(1984) have served as Turner Prize judges.
Notable `EASTinternational' artists include Hurvin Anderson, BANK,
Phyllida Barlow, Tilo Baumgärtel, Zarina Bhimji, Karla Black, Karsten
Bott, Mark Boulos, Pavel Buchler, Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Common Culture,
Cornford and Cross, Martin Creed, Kate Davis, Jeremy Deller, Haris
Epaminonda, Patricia Esquivias, Ruth Ewen, Luke Fowler, Free, Matthew
Higgs, Hubbard and Birchler, Richard Hughes, Runa Islam, Peter Kennard,
Janice Kerbel, Beat Klein, Martin Kobe, Suzanne Kuhn, Hugh Locke, Rosa
Loy, Lucie McKenzie, FrenchMottershead, Tazro Niscino, Bik van der Pol,
Clunie Read, Christoph Ruckhäberle, Hiraki Sawa, Steven Shearer, Lara
Schnitger, Tomoko Takahashi, Dre Wapenaar, Keith Wilson, Rose Wylie and
Joseph Zehrer to name but a few. Since 2008 three artists who gained early
exposure through `EASTinternational' have been shortlisted for the
Turner Prize. Martin Creed, who exhibited in 1996 won the prize in 2001;
Luke Fowler, who exhibited in 2007, was nominated in 2012; Karla Black,
who exhibited in 2003, George Shaw, who exhibited in 1999, and Laure
Prouvost, who exhibited in 2009, were nominated in 2011 and 2013. In this
period artists participating in `EASTinternational' have also been
associated with a range of other major awards. For example, Luke Fowler
won the Jarman Award for UK artist- filmmakers in 2008 and Matt Stokes,
Laure Prouvost and Corin Sworn were shortlisted in 2011 and 2012. These
recognitions add to an established history of artists receiving their
first major commissions through `EASTinternational' being nominated
for the prize. Of other artists featured in previous incarnations of `EASTinternational',
Zarina Bhimji was a Turner Prize nominee in 2007, Jeremy Deller a winner
in 2004, and Tomoko Takahashi and Creed nominees in 2004 and 2001.
Sources to corroborate the impact
Art Forum January 2012, London.
Examples of the ongoing achievements of artists who received early
exposure at `EASTinternational' and through related exhibitions.
- Factual statement, Director of Visual Art (1992-2006), Arts Council
England. Information on the impact of the research to the arts in the
- Works produced by artists associated with `EASTinternational'
held in the Arts Council Collection.
Information on artworks held in the Arts Council Collection produced by
artists who received early exposure at `EASTinternational' and
through related exhibitions.
- Cherry, Eleanor ed. EASTGoesEast. Norwich: Norwich University
of the Arts, 2010. Published documentation of the `EASTGoesEast'
- `EASTgoesEast' EU Culture Fund Final Report (2009-2010): total
co-finance value of €103,000.
Final report of the `EASTGoesEast' project to the European
- Bębenkowska, Joanna, Marta Dabrowska and Anna Hieropolitańska eds.
`Mapa Projektów Programu Kultura (2007-2013).' Warsaw: Instytut Adama
Excerpts from a report on examples of good practice initiated,
coordinated and co-organised by Polish cultural operators within the EU
Culture Programme (2007-2013) for the years 2008- 2010 with reference to
the `EASTGoesEast' project.