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 Institution

Norwich University of the Arts

Unit of Assessment

Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory

Summary Impact Type


Research Subject Area(s)

Studies In Creative Arts and Writing: Film, Television and Digital Media
History and Archaeology: Curatorial and Related Studies, Historical Studies

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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.

Underpinning research

`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 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.

3. `EASTinternational 2009.' http:/

4. `EASTinternational 2009, Artists' Archive,' Analogue: Norwich University of the Arts and Digital

5. Searle, Adrian. `East International plays fast and loose with the truth.' Guardian, 20 July 2009.

6. Fite-Wassilak, Chris. `East International.' Frieze, 27 July 2009.


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 (, 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'. Building 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

  1. Art Forum January 2012, London.
    Examples of the ongoing achievements of artists who received early exposure at `EASTinternational' and through related exhibitions.
  2. Factual statement, Director of Visual Art (1992-2006), Arts Council England. Information on the impact of the research to the arts in the UK.
  3. 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.
  4. Cherry, Eleanor ed. EASTGoesEast. Norwich: Norwich University of the Arts, 2010. Published documentation of the `EASTGoesEast' project.
  5. `EASTgoesEast' EU Culture Fund Final Report (2009-2010): total co-finance value of €103,000.
    Final report of the `EASTGoesEast' project to the European Commission.
  6. Bębenkowska, Joanna, Marta Dabrowska and Anna Hieropolitańska eds. `Mapa Projektów Programu Kultura (2007-2013).' Warsaw: Instytut Adama Mickiewicza, 2010.
    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.