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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Lecture: Robertina Šebjanič & Gjino Šutić: aqua_forensic

Thursday, 28 February, at 6 pm, Švicarija

As part of the year-long programme at Švicarija pursuing the motto community, art and nature, whose focus in 2019 rests on the analysis of the state of independent journalism and the issue of the right of the public to information, the artists and researchers Robertina Šebjanič (Ljubljana) and Gjino Šutić (Zagreb/Dubrovnik) will prepare a lecture on the subject of invisible water pollution.

Through a profound lecture, the artists and researchers will present their research project entitled aqua_forensic that exists at the intersection of art and science. Within this framework, they illuminate and reflect upon the invisible anthropogenic pollutants in the world’s water habitats (heavy metals, oils, antibiotics, leftovers of phytopharmaceutical products) and open up a discussion on human empathy towards (sub)aquatic habitats. The project therefore raises questions on so-called aquafarming in the period of the Anthropocene and on so-called terrafarming, i.e. the human imprint on the waters. But more than that, the artists raise the crucial question: How do the oceans feel our impact?

GUIDED TOUR WITH KATE SUTTON, THE CURATOR OF THE EXHIBITION FAIR GAME

Tuesday, 26 February at 5 pm


Photo: Urška Boljkovac. MGLC Archive.

NATHALIE DU PASQUIER, FAIR GAME

30. 11. 2018–3. 3. 2019

Nathalie Du Pasquier’s compositions transform the interiors of the International Centre of Graphic Arts into a series of immersive microenvironments, sampling from over three decades of the artist’s paintings, prints, drawings and murals, as well as a new series of silkscreen prints, which was produced precisely in the screen-printing studio of the International Centre of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana.

Du Pasquier first made her name with vibrant, eye-catching graphics and textile prints shaped by the artist’s eclectic influences, boundless imagination and impulse towards experimentation. Since the late 1980s, she has focused primarily on painting, building up a tremendous body of work, much of which has yet to be exhibited publicly. Fair Game shuns a chronological ordering in favor of forging more intuitive formal affinities between the various series. Assorted elements or objects appear and reappear in different compositional configurations, like a card in a deck that takes on new powers and limitations with each hand dealt. This visual vocabulary is distilled in a new series of silkscreen printed modules – or as the artist calls it, “virtual furniture.”

Curator of the exhibition is Kate Sutton.

ACCOMPANYING PROGRAMME TO THE EXHIBITION


Nathalie Du Pasquier: Mensola piena, 2011, oil on canvas.

 

 

MILTON GLASER, POSTERS

23. 11. 2018–3. 3. 2019

Milton Glaser (1929, New York) is one of most important graphic designers in the world, who has designed hundreds of corporate images, magazines, newspapers, books, LP covers, and has created thousands of posters during his career spanning over fifty years. He has been inscribed into the world history of design with his iconic “I love NY” logo. Milton Glaser has decided to donate thirty-five original posters (created between 1966 and 2016) to the City of Ljubljana, which will enrich the collection of the International Centre of Graphic Arts after the exhibition.

A special thanks on the occasion of the exhibition goes to Mirko Ilić, who came up with the idea for the donation in 2017, when he was hosted at the Festival of Tolerance as a lecturer and the author of the TOLERANCE exhibition. The show is organised every year by Mini teater and the Ljubljana Jewish Cultural Centre with the support of the City of Ljubljana (MOL).

Accompanying Programme to the Exhibition


Milton Glaser, Posters, 2018.