Building on the critical acclaim of the event in 2004, the fourth Liverpool Biennial launches on 16 September 2006 and continues until 26 November.

For ten weeks every two years, several hundred of the world&8217;s most exciting visual artists show their work in over 40 locations across the city, ranging from Tate Liverpool to unexpected temporary locations. In 2006 the character of the Biennial will be shaped by the rapid development of Liverpool&8217;s centre, as this ‘city in transition’ gears up to its position as European Capital of Culture 2008.

The 2006 Biennial will have the following core programmes:

International 06 exhibition is the critical focus of the Biennial and recognises the specific cultural context in which it is shown: Liverpool is unique in its people, history and built environment, and yet it is also representative of many post-industrial cities. The exhibition will be sensitive to the context of the city – made and seen in Liverpool. Since it promises 90% new commissions, this is a show of art that will never be seen anywhere else. Two international arts professionals are working with the Liverpool team in developing International 06: Manray Hsu, a critic and curator based in Taipei and Berlin and Gerardo Mosquera, an art critic, lecturer, historian and writer based in Havana, Cuba.

Independents 06 will be a cluster of exhibitions generated by artists, architects, filmmakers and other practitioners. It takes place in a variety of venues, ranging from existing galleries, to temporary spaces in disused buildings. It provides an opportunity for the region&8217;s artists to exhibit their own work and to present art from the UK and abroad.

John Moores 24 Exhibition of Contemporary Painting is the UK’s most prestigious and longest-running national open painting competition. Organised by National Museums Liverpool and supported by the John Moores Exhibition Trust and the AFoundation, the exhibition has been hosted by The Walker Art Gallery since 1957. Celebrating the vitality of contemporary British painting, it is open to artists living and working in the UK and in 2006 offers a first prize of £25,000.

Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2006 is the annual exhibition by students and recent graduates of Fine Art colleges throughout the UK. Established in 1949, New Contemporaries is recognised for supporting new work and artists at the start of their professional careers.

Liverpool Biennial&8217;s 2006 programme will be delivered in association with The Walker (National Museums Liverpool), New Contemporaries, as well as smaller city centre galleries and alternative spaces. International 06 partners include Tate Liverpool, FACT, and Open Eye Gallery. The Bluecoat Arts Centre will be closed for development during the Biennial, but contribute through the Connect and Live Art programmes.