Idea or concept of the exhibitions during Splitgraphic biennial has changed over the years. The concept of the first Splitgraphic in 2003 was the Diocletian’s palace that was chosen as a continuation of Split’s graphic tradition. We wanted to link Splitgraphic biennial with city’s printmaking history and with the famous and influential book by British architect Robert Adam. He dedicated this book to the architecture of Diocletian’s palace in the eighteenth century, and published it with the engravings made by Charles L. Clérisseau.
The second Splitgraphic introduced the theme of dialogue as a fundamental idea that has been since then the underlining thought of all Splitgraphic exhibitions. During second Splitgraphic a series of exhibitions was organized with the concept of dialogue among artists of different artistic genres, printing techniques or even generations: Kristina Restović – Ivan Kožarić (Gallery Of Art Conservation Institute), Sandra Mateljan – Marko Pogačnik (Ethnographic Museum Split), Nikola Skokandić – Janice Wong (Gallery Of Art Conservation Institute), group exhibitions of Italian and Japanese printmakers (The Split City Museum) and Croatian and American photographers (Fotoklub Split).
The third Splitgraphic in 2007 was based on an idea of a female printmakers dialogue whose prints made two-thirds of the group exhibition. The Award for Young Artists was founded during the third Splitgraphic. Over the past years we have exhibited, supported and awarded young and unknown Croatian artists and made it one of Splitgraphic’s primary goals.
The fourth Splitgraphic in 2009 was developed as a dialogue and confrontation of printing techniques and questioning of graphic media in contemporary artistic tendencies. Apart from the group exhibition we organized three solo exhibitions (Dialogue Nevenka Arbanas and Maja Franković, exhibition of Brita Weglin and the exhibition of Dušan Džamonja). The retrospective exhibition of Dušan Džamonja’s prints and drawings was one of the Splitgraphic’s highest points. Splitgraphic in 2009 was up that moment the largest one, which signifies the importance of the event and the acclaim Splitgraphic gained.
Splitgraphic encouraged not only a dialogue among artists and printmaking techniques but also a dialogue of exhibition venues, one of the reasons being that we still lack our own space to work in, and the other the importance of connecting and establishing dialogue among city’s exhibition spaces. By installing exhibitions in various galleries during Splitgraphic biennials we created a dialogue and a connection among city structures “invading” them with graphic art. We had group and solo exhibitions in: Gallery Of Art Conservation Institute, The City Museum Of Split, Ethnographic Museum, Emanuel Vidović Gallery, Old City Hall, Gallery Loggia of POUS, gallery Studio Naranča.
Even more artists applied for fifth Splitgraphic, we had 205 applications for the group exhibition. The new feature of fifth Splitgraphic was the ONLINE part of the biennial and the online print exhibition on Splitgraphic’s web site. The new Artist’s award was introduced: the award is won by the print with most votes – artists and visitors of our web site voted for the best work. Sixty artists were chosen and are exhibited on the group Splitgraphic exhibition in Old City Hall and during November artist Hugo Besard, winner of Grand Prix 2009, exhibited his prints in the same venue. The number of artists that have applied and a visit of one of today’s most renowned graphic artists who had won thirty-four international awards acknowledge our work so far. With this short history of Splitgraphic biennial we would like to confirm the unquestionable significance of manifestation for the city’s cultural life as the only international art event in Split.
The fifth Splitgraphic promoted the idea of not imposing curatorial concept to graphic artworks, but gave them freedom to exist without assigning meaning in space. We have respected the sovereignty of the artist as the primary producer of work of art. We would like to emphasize our consistent preference for good printmaking, for quality artistic prints with the concept without concept and the installation and this is what we would like to present to our audience. We do not want to tell you what to look at, what is visible, we do not want to create frame and context; we do not want to define someone’s art production. We want you to discover it yourself, to enjoy graphic art and to have had a dialogue with fifth Splitgraphic.