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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ARCHIVE

Watch out! Wet print! #12

Ivian Kan Mujezinović
Interference 3/1

6. 2.–5. 3. 2018

Opening: Tuesday, 6 February, at 5 pm
TAM-TAM Street Gallery at Vegova ulica (opposite Glasbena matica)

Ivian Kan Mujezinović, designer, photographer, member of the Ee Grupa design group, bass player and vocalist of the Čao Portorož music group. He is the recipient of many prizes and awards for providing integral design solutions,


Ivian Kan Mujezinović:
Interference 3/1.

 

ŠVICARIJA: COMMUNITY, ART AND NATURE

8. 2. 2018–6. 1. 2019

Opening, 8 February, at 12 noon

The Švicarija: Community, Art and Nature project takes us through the prism of cultural history, architecture and visual art into the past of the building, revealing the recent renovations and presenting the activities of the artists working there. The multifaceted exhibition is complemented by a variety of educational activities for children, young people, adults and families with an inclusive, innovative and engaging approach to visitors. We are bringing Švicarija's heritage to the fore through lectures, guided tours, talks and other events, in such a way becoming a part of its new life.

Slovenian Cultural Holiday and Švicarija Creative Centre Day

Thursday, 8 February, 12.00–20.00
12.00 Opening of the Švicarija: Community, Art and Nature project
Musical-visual backdrop: VJ Ticho Pixel.
13.00 Viewing of the exhibition Švicarija: Community, Art and Nature with studio open day and socialising with the artists – studio users in the Švicarija Creative Centre.

The exhibition and studios will be open until 8 pm on that day.
Free of charge.

Photo: Jaka Babnik. MGLC Archive.

The Švicarija: Community, Art and Nature Project

Švicarija in Time and Space
(Theme-based Saturday public tours)

Maruša Zorec, Transformation of Švicarija in Ljubljana

Saturday, 17 February, at 4.30 pm, admission fee: 2 eur

The former hotel on the outskirts of the city has undergone countless transformations in over a hundred years of existence. At the guided tour we will see the most exciting corners of the building and get to know the different images of its transformation over time.


Photo: Urška Boljkovac. MGLC Archive.