Liverpool Biennial touring programme brings international artist Betty Woodman to the Cooper Gallery

11th April 2017

The Cooper Gallery is one of just two Yorkshire locations chosen to be part of a major new initiative by Liverpool Biennial.

The largest festival of contemporary art in the country launched its inaugural touring programme in March 2017. Artworks by leading international artists commissioned and presented at Liverpool Biennial 2016 are touring to venues in Northern England throughout 2017, with the Cooper Gallery being the final stop in January 2018. The touring programme is supported with National Lottery funding through Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring fund.

Through the programme the Cooper Gallery will display the work of world-renowned ceramicist Betty Woodman. Woodman’s international influence is evidenced by the fact that she was the subject of a major retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art 10 years ago, a rare accolade for a living artist.

Betty Woodman (b. 1930, Norwalk, Connecticut, USA) is known for her exuberantly painted ceramic vessels, which hover between sculpture and painting. While referencing ceramics from many cultures and historical periods, she is not bound by tradition, but rather uses it to explore relationships between structure, surface, and colour. Woodman’s work is part of more than 50 public collections and has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions at museums and galleries internationally.

The groundbreaking project enables galleries such as the Cooper Gallery to develop new audiences and build capacity within the partner organisations, collaborating together for the first time.

Cllr Miller, Cabinet Spokesperson for Place said: “The Cooper Gallery is fast becoming a hub for modern art.  As well as the stunning permanent collection people have the opportunity to see work by world class artists. We are delighted that a ceramists of Betty Woodmans calibre will be on display.  To see her work is a unique opportunity which I am sure visitors won’t want to miss.”

Sally Tallant, Director of Liverpool Biennial, said: “Taking the work of Liverpool Biennial to wider audiences is one of our top priorities. Over its last three cycles, the Biennial has broadened its reach to communities across the Liverpool city region, and extended its programming year-round. The Biennial touring programme is the next stage in our ambition to maximise the impact of working with international contemporary artists in communities across the North of England.”

Jessica Farmer, Senior Relationship Manager at Arts Council England, said: “We are delighted to be able to invest in Liverpool Biennial’s touring project through our Strategic Touring programme. It is a great example of how our funding can support organisations to work together to bring high quality art to more people and places. We particularly value the way in which this ambitious project will bring internationally-renowned, contemporary artworks to locations across the North of England. This partnership will not only increase the reach of the Liverpool Biennial programme but it will also develop skills within the touring venues, leaving a lasting legacy for the project partners and their audiences.”

For the full programme details, visit

Liverpool Biennial touring programme brings international artist Betty Woodman to the Cooper Gallery