The Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts Through The Poster

6 August − 3 December 2015

NLB Gallery Avla

opening 6 August 11 a. m.

Nowadays, as we are surrounded by images and messages displayed on various media, the poster, as the oldest form of visual communication, has already been pushed aside. The history of the poster is closely connected with invention and development of print and it flourished with development of industrial and consumerist society. The poster, which conveys cultural and artistic messages, reached its peak at the turn of the 20th century. Today such a poster is more than anything else a collectable and it no longer pursues its basic mission, which is attracting crowds to arts and culture events. Now collections of posters make it possible for us to follow and interpret cultural and historical events.

The Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts is an event that has chosen not to abandon the poster, even though the organiser is fully aware of its value, which is now somewhat cultural and historical rather than communicational. An overview of the Biennial through its posters is at the same time an overview of historical developments, tastes over time, and also the development of local graphic design.

This year it has been 60 years since the 1st international graphic exhibition was organised under the baton of a nine-member Organisation Committee, presided by France Stele. Secretary General at the time was Zoran Kržišnik, who later became its spiritual leader. It is evident from the minutes of the Organisation Committee that they set the framework and structure of the exhibition, criteria and technical rules for the exhibitors and the scope of visual communications to accompany the exhibition. At their second meeting they decided that a bilingual catalogue and poster would come along with the exhibition. Riko Debenjak started working on the poster, and a wood engraving Dance of Kurent, carnival figures from Ptuj, made by France Mihelič, was later selected as its leading graphic. It was printed in 500 copies and a Pablo Picasso’s graphic found its way to the cover of the catalogue due to the set of circumstances at the time. (Picasso's graphics arrived at the exhibition at the last moment, when the catalogue was already placed in the press, so the Committee decided at its 12th meeting to put a reproduction of a Picasso’s graphic on the cover, which was initially supposed to feature a graphic by Miha Maleš.)

From the first to the eighth international graphic arts exhibition, the process of making a poster was based on an invitation sent out to the artists to outline it. Ivan Picelj’s poster for the 5th international exhibition most likely broke with tradition because it was so different from previous posters. It was no longer a reproduction of an artwork laced with typography of letters, but a contemporary graphic design transmitting visual communication about this particular art event. Next year the Committee invited Jože Brumen to participate and the way he saw the visual image of the entire exhibition was so elemental, that he created both the poster and the catalogue cover (by reproducing a Riko Debenjak), and he also made a logotype by building upon the design of the previous Picelj’s posters. Since 1969 the poster and the cover of the catalogue represented a part of the Biennial design, which was practically always based on a concrete graphic arts collection, and after 1975 on a graphic of one of the award-winning artists from the previous Biennial. After 1971 the Biennial posters were therefore based on graphics by Janez Bernik, Adriana Maraž, Tetsuya Noda, Andrej Jemec, Lojze Logar, Dan Allison, Günther Uecker and other. This convention was interrupted by the 24th International Biennial of Graphic Arts in the new millennium, which revived the exhibition by challenging its structure, internal organisation, relations with the local and international public and the performance of the curator, and also by bringing a new promotional approach with new designs and tools unifying the visual identity of this event. Same as the difference in the concept of future Biennials, a constantly changing design by a different designers or a group of designers who were allowed to use visuals as they saw fit has also become its regular feature. Art graphics as the basis for visual communication has disappeared from the poster, replaced by graphic elements composing the visual identity of each upcoming event.

mag. Breda Škrjanec

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ARCHIVE

The Švicarija: Community, Art and Nature Project

Sunday guided tour of the exhibition
Švicarija: Community, Art and Nature in English and Slovenian, conducted by Matic Ferlan

Sunday, August 26, at 3 pm

The Švicarija: Community, Art and Nature project, by which the Švicarija Creative Centre is being introduced into the cultural life of the capital, derives from three basic elements that have marked the history of the building: community, art and nature. The project consists of an exhibition and supplementary exhibition programme inspired by the building that actualises the history of Švicarija, in such a way providing the guidelines for its activities in the future.

The multifaceted exhibition consists of four sections: HistoryThe Stojan Batič Memorial StudioArchitecture and Art. The exhibition takes us through the history and social life of the building, it presents us with activities of the artists in it and highlights its recent renovation. These sections are connected by the artwork.


Photo: Urška Boljkovac. MGLC Archive.

YOU ARE INVITED TO JOIN US IN THE CHILDREN'S STUDIO IN THE ŠVICARIJA CREATIVE CENTRE!

Creative workshops, animations and guided tours of the building are held for children every Friday. The studio operates free of charge every Friday from May to October, from 10 am to 1 pm. The activities are led by the gallery mentors Petra Derganc, Tina Boc, Petja Kolenko and Katja Kovše.

You may like to book your visit by writing to the following e-mail: petra.derganc@mglc-lj.si.

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS FOR AN ARTIST RESIDENCY IN POUGUES-LES-EAUX

MGLC/Švicarija Creative Centre and the Parc Saint Léger Contemporary Art Centre, Nievers, France, are announcing a public call for applications for an artist residency in Pougues-les Eaux in 2019. Visual and/or intermedia artists who come from Slovenia or live and work in Slovenia are invited to apply. The selected artist will attend a three-month artist residency at the Parc Saint Léger Contemporary Art Centre.

The deadline for applications is
17 September 2018!

Candidates are applying for the time frame of 1 September–30 November 2019

Additional information:
miha.colner@mglc-lj.si or
+386 (0)30 708 469.

Click here for full details of the call for applications!

Guided tour of the retrospective exhibition by Riko Debenjak

Tuesday, August 14, at 6 pm
admission payable to see the exhibition

The guided tours are conducted in Slovenian (beginning at 18.00) and in English (beginning at 18.45), led by Museum Information Officer, Gregor Dražil. Occasionally also theme-based guided tours are organised, please follow www.mglc-lj.si.

The part of the guided tour is also the presentations of the exhibition The Anonyms by Tina Mohorović.

On Wednesday, August 15, the MGLC Gallery is open (from 10 am to 6 pm).

Riko Debenjak
Retrospective exhibition

9.8.–11. 11. 2018

Riko Debenjak (1908–1987) established himself as a leading representative of contemporary colour experimental printmaking. The beginning of Debenjak's "classical" work in printmaking is marked by the year 1953. The exhibition is dedicated to the 110th anniversary of the artist's birth. Also displayed along with the graphic prints are the artist's other works: drawings, paintings, illustrations and printing plates. The exhibition was produced in cooperation with the Debenjak family, the Kanal ob Soči Riko Debenjak Gallery and the Museum of Modern Art.

Curator: Breda Škrjanec

Riko Debenjak: Traces on Plaster XII, etching and aquatint, 51 x 66 cm.

Tina Mohorović
The Anonyms

9.8.–9. 9. 2018

Tina Mohorović (1988) is devoted to the intaglio printing techniques, particularly etching, because of its special quality of line, which is produced by the resistance of the zinc plate when drawing with a needle and the subsequent manipulation with the timing and intensity of the etching process. The exhibition presents a series of fine art prints created by the artist in the most recent period as well as printed works produced in the Print Studios of the International Centre of Graphic Arts especially for the exhibition.

Curator: Božidar Zrinski


Tina Mohorović: On the Back of the World, 2018, etching, 70 cm x 50 cm.