26th Biennial of Graphic Arts 

Thrust

23 June−2 October 2005

The title of the Biennial, Thrust, spoke to the power of the Biennial, which for fifty years had been one of the engines behind both Slovene culture and international graphic arts.
The artistic director for the 26th Biennial of Graphic Arts is the respected Slovene art historian Jure Mikuž. The concept for the show underscores the 50th anniversary of the Biennial, the wide diversity of views on contemporary graphic arts, and process as an organizational approach to staging an exhibition. He has invited eighteen prestigious institutions from all over the world to each present an exhibition that attempts to answer the question: What are the graphic arts today? Their answers give form to the artistic criteria of the cultural and geographic settings in which these institutions operate and thus help to constitute a postcolonial perspective on art. This approach underscores the great diversity of art as it exists today in our globalizing world.

The 26th Biennial of Graphic Arts began with the symposium in December 2004 at the MGLC and ended with the exhibition in June 2005 in Tobačna Ljubljana.


Grand Prix: San Juan Poly/Graphic Triennial: Latin America and the Carribean, Puerto Rico.
Photo: Tomaž Lunder.

Participating institutions and artists:

Bharat Bhavan International Print Biennial, Bhopal, India: Raj Mohammad Pathan.
Curator: Yusuf
Bibliotheque nationale de France, Paris, France: François Morellet, Paul-Armand Gette, Jean Le Gac, François Bouillon, Gérard Collin-Thiebaut, Jean-Michel Alberola, Yves Chaudouët, Françoise Petrovitch.
Curator: Marie-Cécile Miessner
Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, Birmingham, Great Britain: Paul Coldwell, Jane Dixon, Lucian Freud, Jane Joseph, Peter Kennard & Cat Picton Phillipps, Hughie O'Donoghue, Anne Rook, Colin Self, Ian Tyson, Catherine Yass, Webproductions (Telfer Stokes, Helen Douglas).
Curator: Tessa Sidey
Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA: Devorah Sperber.
Curator: Marilyn Kushner
Calcografía Nacional, Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, Spain: Juan Alberto García de Cubas, Mónica Gener, Centro I+D de la Estampa Digital, Calcografía Nacional, Anish Kapoor, Jesús Pastor, Elena Jiménez.
Curators: Javier Blas and María Zozaya
Egyptian International Print Triennial, Giza, Egypt: Amira Ehsan Abdel Malek, Eman Ezzat Elshazli, Moataz Mohamed Abdallah, Mohamed Nabil Abdel Salam, Rania Wagdy AbdAlla Mahmoud, Wael A. Sabour A. Kader.
Curator: Medhad Nasr Ali
Graphica Creativa International Print Triennial, Jyväskylä, Finland: Tuija Arminen, Hanna Oinonen.
Curator:Virve Lilja
International Centre of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana, Slovenia: son:DA, Marija Starič Jenko & Almira Sadar, Annu Vertanen, Federico Pietrella, Ingrid Ledent.
Curators: Breda Škrjanec and Božidar Zrinski
International Print Triennial, Krakow, Poland: Andrzej Bednarczyk, Ksawery Kaliski.
Curator: Tomasz Gryglewicz
Istituto Nazionale per la Grafica, Rome, Italy: Massimo Bartolini.
Curator: Luigi Ficacci
National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan: Shiou-ping Liao, Hsi-chi Li, Yang-che Liu, Yu-hui Chung, Chen-ping Tung, Shyh-twan Hwang, Hsueh-chin Lin, Chin-cheng Chu, Dean-e Mei, Ming-die Yang, Sheng-min Hsieh, Hung-yu Chang, Hsin-chen Chang, Ping-ho Lo, Juo-lan Kao, Ming-feng Hsu, Chao-an Lin, Yung-chin Chen, Yu-tzu Wu, Hsing-hsuen Wu, Hsiang Cheng, Chin-jui Pan, Yu-chi Wang, Hui-Lan Chang.
Curator: Judith Wan-ju Wang
Neue Galerie am Landesmuseum Joanneum, Graz, Austria: Jörg Schlick.
Curator: Elisabeth Fiedler
Novosibirsk Biennial of Contemporary Graphics, Novosibirsk, Russia: Rinat Minnebaev, Svyatoslav Ponomarev, Elena Bertollo, Vladimir Martynov, Ekaterina Rozhkova, Vladimir Nasedkin, Sergey Bryukhanov, Muratbek Djoumaliev, Gulnara Kasmalieva, Almagul Menlibaeva, Ayrat Teregulov.
Curator Vladimir Nazansky
Proyecto'ace, Buenos Aires, Argentina: Rimer Cardillo.
Curator: Alicia Candiani
San Juan Poly/Graphic Triennial: Latin America and the Caribbean, Puerto Rico: Allora & Calzadilla (Jennifer Allora, Guillerno Calzadilla), Miguel Luciano, Adál Maldonado, Antonio Martorell, Garvin J. Sierra, Mary Patierno and Natalia Munoz.
Curator: Elvis Fuentes
Sezon Museum of Modern Art, Karuizawa, Japan: Mitsuo Kano, Naoyoshi Hikosaka, Fumihiko Nishioka, Nana Shiomi, Keisuke Yamaguchi.
Curator: Sawako Ogiwara
Sofia Graphic Art International Triennial, Bulgaria: Buyan Filchev, Emil Mirazchiev, Mobile Graphic Art Room (Anastasia Panayotova, Alexander Alexov, Atanas Vassilev, Borislav Stoev, Valeri Vasilev, Valeri Chakalov, Vanko Urumov, Vesselin Damyanov, Galina Pavlova, Georgi Lechev, Gredi Assa, Darina Peeva, Dimo Kolibarov, Elena Panayotova, Zafir Yonchev, Ivan Dimov, Ivan Ninov, Kolyo Karamfilov, Kostadinka Miladinova, Maria Duhteva, Milko Pavlov, Mikhail Petkov, Plamen Monev, Plamen Penov, Plamen Solomonski, Ralitsa Nikolova, Roberto Andreev, Rumen Nechev, Rumen Rachev, Rumen Skorchev, Sasho Anastassov, Stefan Bojkov, Tedi Liho, Tihomir Manolov, Tsvetan Kazandzhiev, Yuli Minchev, Yavora Petrova, Hristo Kardzhilov).
Curator: Plamena Dimitrova-Racheva
Tallinn Print Triennial, Tallinn, Estonia: John Smith (Marko Mäetamm and Kaido Ole) and Margareete Fuks; Andres Tali and Anu Kalm, Leonhard Lapin, Silvi Liiva, Enno Ootsing, Vive Tolli, Urmas Viik; Marko Laimre and Theodor Kuul; KIWA (Jaanus Kivaste) and Kaarel Kurismaa; Kai Kaljo and Richard Kaljo; Avangard (Sandra Jogeva, Margus Tamm) and Peeter Allik.
Curators: Anders Härm and Eve Kask
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA/participates in the symposium only.

The 26th Biennial of Graphic Arts is accompanied by three exhibitions installed in the galleries of the International Graphic Arts Center:
Raymond Pettibon
American contemporary artist, winner of the Grand Prize d'Honneur of the 25th Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts.
The Most Beautiful Graphic Artworks
Slovene Graphic Arts over the Past Fifty Years.
The First Line
Avant-Garde and Alternative Printers and Presses in Slovenia from Conceptualism to the Present.

 

The catalogue of the 26th Biennial of Graphic Arts

The 26th Biennial of Graphic Arts was accmpained by two catalogues: 26th Biennial of Graphic Arts − Thrust and Accompanying Exhibitions − Raymond Pettibon, The Most Beautiful Graphic Artworks and The First Line.
Both catalogues are sold out.


Producer: International Centre of Graphic Arts
Co-producers: Cankarjev dom, Cultural and Congress Center, Tobačna Ljubljana
The Biennial was supported by:
Autocommerce, Europlakat, Gorenje, Imos, Lek, Marand, Mobitel, Petrol, RTV Slovenija, SGP Graditelj, AFAA, British Council, Embajada de Espana, Embassy of Finland Ljubljana, Embassy of the United States of America Ljubljana, Institut français Charles Nodier, Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Slovenia, Japan Foundation, Kulturforums der Österreichischen Botschaft
Adria Airways, Aerodrom Ljubljana, Hestia pro, Prevent Global, Tam – Tam.
Sponsor: Tobačna Ljubljana.

 

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From the Biennial Prize Winners Collection: Shifts in the Canon

Robert Jančovič, Rez I Nazenie-Pasca/, 1996, colour woodcut

 

Exhibition:

From the Biennial Prize Winners Collection: Shifts in the Canon

7 November 2019–23 February 2020

Every review of the history of the Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts is also informed by the stories inscribed by the prize winners of this exhibition. The selection made by the jury members – esteemed and influential art critics, curators, art dealers and other experts from all over the world – was, for many years, the only intervention into the seemingly multitudinous mass of exhibited artworks. The eagerly awaited and often critically-acclaimed decisions imparted the event with a touch of creative competition and were the driving force of the discourse that was generated by the exhibition in the professional and general public as well as the media. After every Biennial, when the hundreds of exhibited prints disappeared from the halls and what remained was only their trace in the form of an exhibition catalogue, a handful of selected works and artists – the winners chosen by the most prominent international jury – were inscribed into the history of the biennial in capital letters, and hence into the annals of worldwide printmaking.

In a sense, the exhibition of works by the prize winners from the collection of the MGLC – International Centre of Graphic Arts aims to get us thinking about the message of the awards of the Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts in the context of the canon of post-war art. Most often, the jury did not validate the Biennial’s basic guidelines regarding the quality of the artworks, nevertheless, their decisions spoke volumes in various other ways. The wavering between the need to consolidate already established directions and discover new, unknown ones can be noticed throughout.

On the other hand, the exhibition offers an insight into the collecting policy of MGLC, an institution based precisely on the heritage of the Biennial. Particularly those works that have been acquired by the museum through purchase and donation in the recent period and works that have not been especially exposed will be on display. They have been arranged chronologically into three main sections from the first exhibition of prints in 1955 to the present.

The shifts in the exhibited works from the first two periods, from 1955 to 1977, and from 1979 to 2001, can primarily be seen in the form and content of the graphic print. The prints demonstrate the emergence and consolidation of new artistic directions in the 1960s and 1970s, especially the distinct aesthetics of art informel, geometric abstraction and pop art. From the pool, not lacking in art celebrities of the older generation, the juries often awarded the most coveted prizes to young artists, the rising stars with highly innovative artistic insights.

The shifts in the printmaking of the late 1970s can also be seen in the award-winning works. With the era of popularity of the more contemporary printmaking techniques having subsided, classical ones, especially intaglio printing, came to the fore again, along with the greater popularity of smaller formats and more intimate subject matter. The award-winning works from the 1980s and 1990s do not bring about any essential artistic innovation, but rather exhibit an interlacement and diversification of established aesthetics and approaches.

With the new millennium, the Biennial experienced some radical shifts and breaks. The display of works in national pavilions was replaced by an original, curatorial approach, which has recently undergone attempts at inquiry and experimentation. At the same time, the range of artwork formats has gradually expanded. A leap from classical printmaking to the art of printing in a diversity of techniques occurred, whereas later the Biennial has also adopted performative as well as other contemporary practices. The two processes have, of course, also impacted the meaning of the prizes and the physical dimensions of the awarded works.

Authors of the exhibition: Nevenka Šivavec, Breda Škrjanec and Gregor Dražil