About the biennial

The Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts is one of the oldest biennials in the world. Its emergence in 1955 pinpointed Ljubljana and the visual art of Slovenia on the world map.

The Biennial is highly esteemed by international measure and is recognized as a high-quality event, whereas Slovene art has in turn become well-known outside Slovenia’s borders because of the Biennial. It is the printmakers that most widely represent Slovene art in the museums of the world, something which the Biennial contributed to, as well as inviting artists to major international exhibitions.

During its sixty years of existence, the Biennial has helped to raise the quality of Slovene artmaking. By regularly presenting the works of artists from different cultural backgrounds and artistic environments, it has had an impact on local goings on. It also greatly contributed to the formation of the Ljubljana school of graphic arts and those art pieces that represent the highlights of classic printmaking production. The Biennial took shape during a period when printmaking and its reproductive techniques grasped perfectly the disposition of art and society in general. That was precisely the time when pop art was coming to the fore in Great Britain and in the United States. Post-war capitalism, consumer society and the loose division between so-called high and low culture greatly affected the production of art. Art became an object of consumerism, yet another product on the supermarket shelf, placed next to the cans of soup, where Andy Warhol had put it. In this climate, the Biennial made a head start in becoming one of the world’s renowned art events. As the oldest manifestation of this type, it has also encouraged the emergence of similar types of events around the world.

Between the ends of the seventies and the eighties, the currents in the art world changed. The focus was again placed on the so-called originality of the artist’s hand, which pushed printmaking as a mass production technique into the background, whereas the events of the Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts went through a period of crisis. The nineties re-established art inclined towards printmaking, which held an interest for the attributes of post-industrial society, environmental awareness, political correctness in various scopes and its communicative capacities. And so the International Biennial of Graphic Arts once again gained prominence. After 2001, it also began to make active connections with reproductive techniques other than printmaking, such as photography, film and computer programs. The 24th Biennial in 2001 embarked on the process of revitalization, checking the structure, organization, attitude towards the local and international public, curatorship. The self-reflection and questioning of its role will continue also with the biennials to follow.


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21 January–8 February 2017

At the 9th edition of the Bobri festival, whose central theme is multiculturalism, we will be discovering and exploring the riches of various cultures around the world. We will be talking about the importance of cultural diversity and the richness it brings to the understanding and coexistence with other cultures. We will also touch upon topics such as respect for diversity, (in)tolerance, migration and exile. We will meet artists and migrants, who come from foreign countries.

Organiser of the festival: Municipality of Ljubljana; executive producer: Mladinsko Theatre

Visitors to theatre, dance and music performances as well as films can collect their tickets on Saturday, 14 January, between 11 am and 4 pm (or until available) at Festivalna dvorana at Vilharjeva 11, Ljubljana.

Bobri for kindergartens and the first three years of primary school at MGLC

Bobri for 11+ at MGLC

Bobri website

Bobri catalogue

Adapted experience of the exhibition The Centres of Printmaking: At the Intersection of Knowledge, Learning and Cooperation for the blind and the visually impaired

A guide through the exhibition adapted for the visually impaired and a guide in Braille are both available to accompany the exhibition.

The International Centre of Graphic Arts has prepared an exhibition in cooperation with two similar institutions from Serbia and the US. The Print Centre from Philadelphia, founded in 1915, is taking part with works by contemporary artists paired up with artists that have an important historical connection to their organization. The "Akademija" Centre for Graphic Art and Visual Researches, founded in 1995, is part of the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade. The exhibition presents a selection of prints from its own production with an emphasis on artists of various artistic expressions, to whom printmaking represents an additional opportunity for exploration. The focus of the International Centre of Graphic Arts in the show is on works from the collection and current production, which have investigated the status of the graphic arts during the thirty years of the institution's functioning, placing it in dialogue with contemporary artistic trends. 

Curators: Božidar Zrinski (MGLC), John Caperton (The Print Center, Philadelphia) and Ljiljana Tašić ("Akademija" Centre for Graphic Art and Visual Researches, Belgrade).

Photo: Jaka Babnik. MGLC Archive.


Thursdays: 26 January and 2 February, between 4 pm and 6 pm

You can print six designs, which can be freely combined, and to which you can add an activist slogan.

Bring the t-shirt with you!

Nika Rupnik, academy-trained painter, will be making the prints with you.

In 2013, Tomas Vu participated in the 30th Biennial of Graphic Arts and received the Audience Award for the series Songs from the Beatles' "The White Album", presented for the first time. The story of the exhibition of GREEN GO HOME is part myth and part folklore. Wherever the installation is put on view, a spirit of resistance is invoked – resistance against the invader, the colonial power, or the repressive government.

Curator: Božidar Zrinski

Photo: Urška Boljkovac. MGLC Archive.