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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WELCOME TO THE BIENNIAL ARCHIVE WEBSITE

bienale.si

The new website of the Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts has been conceived as an overview of Biennial events from 1955 to the present day. It presents one of the oldest international art events that began with the desire to show a graphic map of the world in Ljubljana. With the introduction of the curatorial approach after 2001, the limitations to a single medium were dispelled and it began to develop into a museum and out-of-museum entity reflecting contemporary art and curatorial practice. The website presents the structural features of each Biennial with lists of artists, prize winners and jurors. The artistic credo of the Biennial is brought closer through the photo galleries and descriptions of the Biennial's main exhibitions, the traditional exhibitions of the prize winners and the accompanying exhibitions. A special section is dedicated to Biennial publications. The Biennial Archive website is conceived as a growing document of a diverse segment of cultural heritage. It is upgraded with the research findings on the history of the Biennial of Graphic Arts as well as topical news to keep you informed about related current events.

The English website is under construction.

ON THE PUBLICATION OF THE BOOK “AM I A MANAGER? YES, I AM.”

“This year we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Zoran Kržišnik, one of the founders and the longtime leader of the Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts. As the end of the year approaches, we are pleased to announce the publication "Am I a manager? Yes, I am.", which provides an insight into the international work of this ambitious visionary.

The booklet by the author, MGLC curator, Gregor Dražil, is available in the museum shop in Grad Tivoli and in the online shop.

You can view the book on the link:
“Am I a manager? Yes, I am.”

 

 

 

 

WE ARE OPENING THE DOORS OF TIVOLI MANSION AND ŠVICARIJA

As of Saturday, 23 January, we are with you again.
Visit us between 10 am and 6 pm.
Tickets can be purchased
untill 5:30 pm.

On disply are two exhibitions: 

Invader, Prints on Paper
Leon Zuodar, The Noodle

You are cordially invited to visit us at Tivoli Mansion and Švicarija!


Photo: Jaka Babnik. MGLC Archive.