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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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.