The Biennial of Slovene Book Illustration has been organised since 1993 by Cankarjev dom Gallery in cooperation with the Illustration Section of the Slovenian Association of Fine Arts Societies (ZDSLU) with the aim of promoting book illustration as a fine arts discipline.
Among the selected exhibited works, the best ones are bestowed with the Hinko Smrekar Award and associated accolades.
Slovene book illustration
The long and rich history and tradition of Slovene book illustration started with Protestant books and continued with the work of Slovene modernists who reached another summit at the end of the 19th century. Slovene book illustration production remained rich and strong even during World War II. Afterwards, with the development of vivid publishing activities, Slovene book illustration become internationally recognised. The Biennial of Slovene Book Illustration provides a glimpse of these endeavours by giving an overview of the latest book illustration achievements in Slovenia.
Exhibitions goal is to reveal the excellence of Slovenian illustration with a variety of authorial poetics. At the same time representing new artistic solutions, as artists are constantly updating painting techniques, introducing elements of film, comics, animated film, electronic media and other modern technologies.
The core of the biennial is the exhibition of original works of Slovene book illustrators as well as books of recent dates in the Cankarjev dom Gallery.
Alongside the older generation, the biennial increasingly presents the work of young illustrators, such as Kristina Krhin, Suzana Bricelj, Arjan Pregl, Daša Simčič, Ana Šalamun, Petra Preželj, Dalibor Zupančič, Matija Medved, Ana Baraga, etc.
The biennial also includes a special exhibition dedicated to the pioneers of Slovene illustration. The 5th biennial was dedicated to the late Marija Lucija Stupica, one of the greatest representatives of Slovene children’s book illustration, also one of the stronger initiators of the biennial. In 2004, an exhibition at the National Gallery of Slovenia presented the beginnings of Slovene illustration (the authors Hinko Smrekar, Gvidon Birolla, Ivan Vavpotič and Maksim Gaspari were presented). In 2008, the exhibition in the [[Moderna galerija (MG)] was dedicated to Marij Pregelj, one of the foremost Slovene fine artists of the 20th century who was engaged also in illustration (Iliad and Odyssey, French Fairytales, Tristan and Isolde, Peter Pan). As part of the 13th edition, the Biennial of Slovene Book Illustration presented a digital overview of works by Allstars authors. The Allstars collection of digitised visual works presents a selection of the Independent Biennial, done by authors of the mostly younger generation who participated in the Biennale of Independents between 2007 and 2017.