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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Watch out! Wet print! #9

Pri Zlatem stegnu (Nataša and Katja Skušek): Unicorns Come and Unicorns Go

7. 11.–4. 12. 2017

opening event:
Tuesday, 7 November, at 5 pm
the TAM-TAM Street Gallery at Vegova (opposite Glasbena matica)

Pri Zlatem stegnu, they play about with taste. In fact, they play about with the taste for food and the taste for art.
Pri Zlatem stegnu is an art project by Nataša and Katja Skušek, which has been ongoing since 2004 in various forms, from spatial installations, to video works, objects, photo-collages, fine art graphic prints, drawings and performances. The project brings the questions related to food preparation and eating as the basic human need to the forefront in a humorous and light manner. 


Pri Zlatem stegnu: Unicorns Come and Unicorns Go.

Upcoming exhibition

Boris Jesih: Connections

30. 11. 2017–11. 3. 2018

Boris Jesih (1943) established himself as an artist at the end of the 1960s as part of the expressive figuration circle of painters. Under the influence of pop art, he responded to the characteristics of the spirit of the time with his geometric transformation of everyday objects, later also turning predominantly to landscape. As a printmaker, he excels in the techniques of relief printing and flat printing, with superior results in colour lithography. As a prize winner of the 13th International Biennial of Graphic Arts in 1979 (special prize for a young artist), he attracted attention with his series of lithographs, a set of which is part of the MGLC collection. Beside the lithographs, the retrospective exhibition also presents drawings, paintings and photographs, which highlight the connections between his creative process and his works. 

Boris Jesih: A Doors (1983, color lithography).

The 32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts: Birth as Criterion

THE PRIZES OF THE 32ND BIENNIAL OF GRAPHIC ARTS HAVE BEEN AWARDED

The Grand Prize winner of the 32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts is Alejandro Paz, for the work Hypodermic (2017, intervention), the work was made for the 32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts.

The recipient of the Research Residency Award is Carlos Monroy, for the work Baphomet. One single birth made incarnate. (2017, performance and video installation), the work was made for the 32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts.

The jury of the 32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts:
Anne Barlow, Mike Cooter, Bige Örer in Maruša Sagadin.

The recipient of the Audience Award of the 32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts is american artist Christopher Myers, for the work Detritus of Dreams (2016).


Alejandro Paz: Hypodermic (2017).
Photo: Jaka Babnik. MGLC Archive.