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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From the MGLC Collection

Christian Boltanski: Le Club Mickey
Collection of the Institut français Slovénie

The artist’s book presents a series of newspaper photos of children from the Mickey Mouse Club in moments depicting their most vulnerable periods. By cataloguing these faces as well as the membership numbers of the Mickey Mouse Club members, Boltanski reveals his own fascination with historical memory and the way in which we construct the past.

The work of French conceptual artist Christian Boltanski explores the nature of classification and inventory-making and how these relate to our need to construct the past. Death is used by the artist as a metaphor to communicate his doubts, while at the same time managing to transcend the categories of morbidity and despondency tied to it.

The book was published by Imschoot, Uitgevers in Ghent. The first edition of 400 copies was published in 1990 and the second edition, in a circulation of 600 copies, in 1991. The book has 32 pages and 148 illustrations.

  

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WORKSHOP: MOKULITO – WOOD LITHOGRAPHY

 

Friday–Sunday, 6–7 June 2020 (12 hours)

Print workshop, conducted by artist Tihana Karlović

The mokulito technique is an alternative form of the classical printmaking technique of wood lithography and comes from Japan. 


Photo. Urška Boljkovac. MGLC Archive.

The 2-hour workshop takes place in the Print Studio at MGLC:
Friday, 5. 6.: 17.00–20.00
Saturday, 6. 6.: 10.00–18.00
Sunday, 7. 6.: 10.00–12.00

The workshop is conducted by artist Tihana Karlović (Rijeka, Croatia) and is intended for participants with some knowledge of the graphic arts. The group is limited to a maximum of 8 people. Participants should attend the workshop from beginning to end. Participation fee: 90 EUR.

We offer a 15% discount for members of the Friends of the Biennial Club and a 10% discount for students and the unemployed.

Applications must be made using the appropriate application form outlining relevant experience and/or by submitting a portfolio.

Applications taken up till the available quota at lili.sturm@mglc-lj.si

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ANDREJ ŠKUFCA: BLACK MARKET

19. 5.–16. 8. 2020

Black Market by Andrej Škufca is a sculptural installation based on modular iterations. Its body represents a futuristic animal composed of our contemporary biotechnical debris – of oil pipelines, ocean fibre optic cables, eels, exoskeletons and the earliest forms of tubular multicellular micro-organisms. 
Curator: Àngels Miralda

The Black Market exhibition is on view free of charge until the end of May.


Andrej Škufca: Zero Hedge (2019),