From 02.02.23 – 23.02.23 you’re invited to TYPA Gallery and Balcony Gallery (rõdugalerii at Aparaaditehas) to visit the “Photo/Print: The Role of Photography in 1970’s Printmaking and Graphic Design in Slovenia” exhibition.

The opening of the exhibition takes place on the 2nd of February at 6pm and is free for all visitors.

The exhibition is open Wed – Sun from 12pm – 6pm.

Curators of the exhibition: Gregor Dražil and Lucija Šutej

In the late 1960s, photographic inserts began to appear in Slovenian graphic art and design alongside established pictorial elements. The use of parts or whole photographs soon became a popular form of expression that can be traced into the 1970s and beyond. The Photo/ Print project, which consists of an exhibition and a monograph, aims to shed light on the phenomenon of the photographic image and photographic thinking in graphic art and design.

In what context does this phenomenon develop? First, it must be said that at the end of the 1960s, there was a great interest in photography in Slovenia. Photography was on the rise as a leisure activity and hobby. The importance of photography in the media (newspapers, magazines), industry and advertising (as part of the overall graphic image) was growing. Another type of photography – art photography – also emerged, which regained the medium’s prominence in art institutions. It is important to emphasise that, more and more, television, which was only first broadcast in colour in Slovenia in the 1970s, was becoming a part of everyday life. Its aesthetics and technology attracted artistic exploration. Artists’ interest in the medium of the moving image, among other things, was evident in the late 1960s with the emergence of video art.

In the 1960s, with Pop Art and related fields, reflection on the artificially created boundaries between high and popular art, between the artistic and the utilitarian, between the mass and the unique came to the forefront of artistic research. Screen printing attracted the attention of artists who were looking for ways to respond to the social reality of mass production of objects, information and images. In the eyes of artists, this printing technology, which had until then dominated industry, became a tool or starting point for thinking about the economic boom, consumer mentality and other social phenomena characteristic of the post-war Western world.

Screen printing’s shift from the industrial to the artistic sphere led to a veritable boom in graphic production in the 1960s and 1970s. The industrial character, the new colourfulness and the general aesthetics of screen printing attracted artists. Its great advantage was that it made it possible to transfer external, non-artistic material into new pictorial images using photographic processes. The principle of collaging photographic images in the screen printing technique became a key element of the new graphic language worldwide in the 1960s and, with a slight delay, also in Slovenia.

In addition to screen printing, another technical invention is important for the consideration of photography and its applications in the visual arts: the photocopy. With the advent of the photocopier, the technique of reproducing, enlarging and manipulating (photographic) material became affordable. From the late 1970s, the subcultural scene extensively used photocopying for posters and other types of production. Photocopying enabled the simple and efficient dissemination of information and artistic and political ideas, and it introduced a new, specific aesthetic to the art of printing.

The exhibition will show the framework conditions described and many other nuances of the phenomenon of photography in graphic art. We will present artists who have used the technical possibilities of screen printing and photocopying and those who have achieved artistic excellence with classical printmaking techniques. We will aim to cross the often artificially-drawn line between graphic art and design and loosen the boundary between “mainstream” art and alternative production.

The exhibition Photo/Print: The Role of Photography in 1970s Printmaking and Graphic Design in Slovenia was first exhibited at the International Centre of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana from April to June 2022. In cooperation with TYPA Printing and Paper Arts Centre the exhibition is presented in Tartu in February 2023 in a slightly modified version.

The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive monograph. In the texts, authors from Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia address the phenomenon of photography in graphic art and design in the broader regional context of the former Yugoslavia and partly beyond. The monograph contains texts in Slovene and English, interviews with artists and colour reproductions.

Produced by the International Centre of Graphic Arts (MGLC), Ljubljana

Artist(s): Berko, Janez Bernik, Brane Bitenc, Vesna Črnivec, Harald Draušbaher, Marko Gosar, HC Kolektiv, Aldo Ivančič, Stane Jagodič, Jure Jančič, Zmago Jeraj, Boris Jesih, Bogoslav Kalaš, Oskar Kogoj, Neven Korda, Nino Kovačević, Marjan Kravos, Peter Krivec, Lojze Logar, Anita Lopojda, Dušan Mandić, Adriana Maraž, Simon Mlakar, Ranko Novak, Iztok Osojnik, Jani Osojnik, Milan Pajk, Dušan Pirih Hup, Aleš Sedmak, Judita Skalar, Peter Skalar, Darko Slavec, Jože Spacal, Cveta Stepančič, Janez Suhadolc, Gorazd Šefran, Rudi Španzel, Jane Štravs, Matjaž Vipotnik, Cveto Zlate

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