Posted by: viewfromtheriva | October 13, 2009

The fabulous fourth Splitgraphic Biennial–don’t miss it!


Close up view of part of the Grand Prix winner's tryptych

Close up view of part of the Grand Prix winner's tryptych

One of Hugo Besard's prints that won the Grand Prix award

One of Hugo Besard's prints that won the Grand Prix award

From the stark to the surreal, the Split Biennial was stunning

From the stark to the surreal, the Split Biennial is stunning

HNK like you've never seen it

HNK like you've never seen it

Textures that sizzle

Textures that sizzle

The fabulous fourth Splitgraphic Biennial is now in full swing at the old Split City Hall (the marvelous Rennaisance palace in the square just outside the West or “Iron Gate”).

The Biennial received more than 600 entries  from 192 graphic artists in 35 countries.  The show is so large that in addition to the three floors of gallery space at Old City Hall, the Vidovic Gallery (just to your right as you enter the East or “Silver” Gate of the Palace) and other venues will be used.  Admission at all locations is FREE and the website is http://www.splitgraphic.hr/

The jury members were Viktor Popovic from Croatia, Samuel Martin from Switzerland, Marina Majic from Croatia and Christian Legentil from France.

What I like about a graphics show is the wonderful range of textures and colors that can be coaxed onto paper by using a myriad of techniques from intaglio to multi-color silk scree.

Hugo Besard from Belgium won the Grand Prix award and rightly so. His three pieces are on the ground floor of the old City Hall and show a mastery of line, technique and imagination.  My photos don’t do his work justice, so do come and spend some serious time studying and enjoying them.

Yoshio Imamura from Japan and David Kidd from Canada won special awards.  Croatian Slobodan Tomic also won an award for “inventiveness in graphics”, and Josipa Saric won the young artist award.

During the Biennial, you’ll also be able to see works by Swedish artist Brita Weglin in the loggia of the Golden Gate Palace and a special exhibition of works by Dusan Dzamonja from 17 November to 15 December at Old City Hall.

An interesting feature of the Biennial here is that artists who win awards may hold solo exhibitions during the next one.

Only in its fourth year, Splitgraphic is already on the international map holding its own with such respected big city venues like the  La Biennale di Venezia, the Sidney Biennial, the Berlin Biennial and the Biennale de Paris.

A lot of the credit goes to Biennial founder Pavo Majic. a well-known graphic artist who runs Naranca Gallery here.  Pavo is a lively character with an intriguing history–he holds court most mornings just outside his gallery in the Palace proper.   He loves to meet new people and talk about everything from politics to sex.

You can’t miss him, he’s ‘the guy sipping an espresso with the Panama hat hashing it out with one of his many friends. Tell him Robert, the guy who did the map, sent you.

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