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

The Švicarija: Community, Art and Nature Project

Tivoli – Art with Nature, lecture
Olga Paulič: Tivoli Architecture

TIVOLI ARCHITECTURE
Thursday, 18 October, at 6 pm
admission: 2 eur

The beginning of the architectural design of Tivoli Park is represented by the stately architecture of Tivoli Mansion and Leopoldsruhe Mansion (the Cekin Mansion of today). Later, buildings intended for leisure activities started to appear, especially sports and recreational facilities, as well as entertainment facilities. We must also not forget the important cultural buildings on the edge of Tivoli, which are, unfortunately, cut off from the rest of the park because of the railway line.


Tivoli Mansion.
Photo: Matevža Paternoster. MGLC Archive.

The Secret Life of Books,
literary panel discussions
Nature, Society, People

Wednesday, 24 October, at 6 pm
free of charge

Book: James Lovelock, A Rough Ride to the Future

How are nature and society connected? Do people also create and build nature? What are the links between the environment and social change? How does nature affect an individual? The starting point for the discussion is drawn from the ideas of the Švicarija: Community, Art and Nature project.

Guests: Janez MarkešMitja Pucer and Ajda Pistotnik, led by Nika Kovač.

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 November, 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.

Matjaž Geder, Preparations for improvisations

17. 10.–11. 11. 2018

opening: Wednesday, October 17,
at 6 pm

Matjaž Geder is an art teacher at the Murska Sobota  II  Elementary School. It is precisely the pedagogical profession that has a profound influence on his creative world, which is constantly in passing from a direct and illustrative visual language to more complex conceptual and symbolically conceived images. He puts the rigid school system, which is based on a way of thinking that is both clichéd and indiscriminate, under critical comparison with the attitude towards the destigmatisation of mental illness, which come surprisingly close in his works.  A selection of works created in the recent years is on view, as well as a series of new prints, produced specifically for the exhibition.



Matjaž Geder: Step-ping, 2018, monoprint, 66 x 100 cm.

Theme-based guided tour of the retrospective exhibition by Riko Debenjak

23 October, at 6 pm, admission for exhibition

Traces on Paper, Canvas, Wall ...
Tatjana Pregl Kobe, art historian: 

Riko Debenjak, illustration for the book Nikolaj V. Gogolj: Taras Bulba, 1948.