The Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts, founded in 1955 – the same year as documenta in Kassel – enjoys a long and uninterrupted tradition. In an international context, it established itself as an event that, in the post-war decades, has managed to present art in “global” terms – regularly hosting artists from both sides of the Iron Curtain and, very early on, transcending the Eurocentric viewpoint by showing art works from the Third World, in particular from the non-aligned countries.
At the same time, the Biennial has recognized and included new art trends and changes in style. The Biennial’s responsiveness has been in part the result of its close ties with a number of art experts and curators, including, among others, Gulio Carlo Argan, Jorge Glusberg, Pontus Hulten, Pierre Restany, and Ryszard Stanisławski.
At a local level, the Biennial has been an inspiration and support to Slovene artists, bringing them closer to what was happening internationally and introducing them to new contemporary art currents. In the 1990s, the global and local political changes, as well as new cultural and technological developments, meant the Biennial had to rethink its role and find new ways of working. The Biennial has started going beyond the boundaries of the printmaking medium and today includes various modes of artistic expression.