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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Exhibition by Prešeren Fund Award Winner Tinca Stegovec

Opening, Friday, 10 March, at 6 pm, Gallery of the Prešeren Award Winners, Kranj

10 March–15 April 2017

You are cordially invited to the opening and viewing of the exhibition of prints by Tinca Stegovec, academy-trained painter and printmaker, and Prešeren Fund Award winner for 1976. The artist and her work will be presented at the opening by dr. Milček Komelj and mag. Breda Škrjanec. The exhibition includes 45 fine art graphic prints from the period between 1964 and 1984.

The exhibition was produced in cooperation with the International Centre of Graphic Arts on the occasion of the artist's life jubilee.

Tinca Stegovec is a Slovene painter and printmaker, a follower of the Ljubljana School of Graphic Arts. In 2010, she donated her entire printmaking oeuvre together with matrices and four drawings, as well as a large portion of her specialist library, to MGLC. The exhibition Tinca Stegovec, Prints and Drawings from the MGLC Collection followed a year after that, which was the first comprehensive presentation of the artist's printmaking oeuvre, placing her in the historical canon of modern Slovenian printmaking, within which the excellence of her colour aquatints had not come to full force in the past. In addition to her aquatints, the display also included woodcuts, lithographs, etchings, soft-ground etchings, matrices and drawings.

Tinca Stegovec: In the Harbour, 1974, etching and aquatint.

WATCH OUT! WET PRINT! #2

Mina Fina: Za vse je pravi čas / If only for the joy of my sadness

4. 4.–9. 5. 2017, the TAM-TAM Street Gallery at Vegova (opposite Glasbena matica)

opening event:
Tuesday, 4 April, at 5 pm

The project Za vse je pravi čas / If only for the joy of my sadness is based on the visual density of the space formed by the artist with the silhouettes of plants and human bodies. The plants, with their pristine appearance, simplicity of form, intertwining and complexity build up impassable, overgrown and lush landscapes in a contrasting environment of light and shadow. They include the flat and empty silhouettes of human figures, stripped of detail, but with an emphasised body language, in unnatural and played-out poses.

Mina Fina: This mess we’re in.
Photo: Žiga Mihelčič. MGLC Archive.

 

 

 

Watch out! Wet print! #1

Last week to see the exhibition:

Matjaž Wenzel: Men Face Down

7. 3.–3. 4. 2017, the TAM-TAM Street Gallery at Vegova (opposite Glasbena matica)

opening event: Tuesday, 7 March, at 5 pm

The exhibition begins the third season of the TAM-TAM Street Gallery at Vegova ulica in Ljubljana. In 2017, its curatorship has been taken on by the International Centre of Graphic Arts. Through our selection of artists and works, we are highlighting contemporary printed art. The cycle has been curated by Božidar Zrinski. In the past two years, twenty-five artists have been presented as part of the By The Way cycle under the auspices of Kino Šiska. On this occasion, a concluding catalogue to the project, Street Gallery LJ2016, will also be available to view.

The photographic project Men Face Down explores the phenomenon of the human figure lying-down in the public space and its effect within it, as the figure omits to take the usual vertical/standing pose, but finds itself in a horizontal – lying-down position. The depicted subjects include anonyms as well as carefully selected people from the public and cultural life. Their attitude towards the environment is expressed within an intimate, hermetic relationship in some cases, and as a recognizable commentary in others. The selection of the locations of the stagings stems either from the artist's suggestion or the choice of the subject, who experiences the chosen space as a place invested with an emotional or intellectual relationship.

Matjaž Wenzel (1973) is an artist working in the field of photography, video and graphic design. He has designed many books and book covers. He was the recipient of the best book design award in 2007 and 2016, and the Glazer Award in 2011. His photographic works have been presented in several solo and selected group exhibitions at home and abroad, and he was also a finalist for the OHO Award in 2007. He lives and works in Maribor. He is currently also showing his work in the Zines!, Contemporary Zine Production exhibition.

In co-operation with TAM-TAM Company.