Petja Grafenauer

Assist. prof. Petja Grafenauer, PhD (1976) is a curator, writer and assistant professor at the Department for Theory of the Academy of Fine Arts and Design, University of Ljubljana. She is a Doctor of Science and a specialist in the local and regional art created after World War II, primarily painting. Since 2012 she has also been researching possible cross-sections of economy and art. Since 2017 she has run the Più Institute for Visual Art.

In 2015–2017 she ran the Vodnik Homestead Gallery in Šiška, a non-profit organisation. In 2016–2017 she was the head of the Department for Photography at the Higher School of Applied Sciences (VIST), Ljubljana. In 2009–2015 she was a co-editor of the Slovenian visual-arts magazine called Art Words. In 2005–2016 she lectured on the history of contemporary art at the Arts Academy of the University of Nova Gorica. In 2013–2014 she was a curator at the Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana (MGML), working at the City Gallery of Ljubljana. In 2006–2009 she was a curator at the Ganes Pratt Gallery, exhibiting and selling works of art. In 2001–2008 she worked as a journalist for Radio Študent, and in 2005–2006 also as the editor of its Section for Culture and Humanities.

Since 2010 she has been writing for the Mladina Magazine; she has contributed her texts to Radio Študent; the newspapers Dnevnik (2005-2007), Delo and Večer; magazines Borec, ISH Monitor, Maska, Art Words, Ekran, Fotografija, Zarez, Život umjetnosti, Manifesta Journal, Art on Paper and others. She wrote or edited several books and catalogues about visual art, i.e., An Authentic Interest by Zdenka Badovinac (2010) and Aleksij Kobal (2008).

She organised the following exhibitions: Non-Aligned Pop (2016-2017); the December Illustration Fair (2016, 2015); the Ciciban Magazine: its first 70 years (2015); Made in China (2012–2015); the Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts, with you since 1955 (the 30th Biennial of Graphic Arts, 2013); We Want to be Free as our Fathers (2010, with Božidar Zrinski); An Unstable Reality: 6 monkeys, 300 envelopes and 1 love: Imperfect as Always (the 28th Biennial of Graphic Arts, 2009); Stereo Exhibition (2009); Down the Rabbit Hole (2007).

She organised solo exhibitions by Žiga Kariž, Viktor Bernik, Dejan Kaludjerović (AT), Urša Vidic, Gorazd Krnc, Aleksij Kobal, Dušica Dražić (SR), Sašo Sedlaček, Ksenija Čerče, Adrijan Praznik, Ivan Fijolić (CR), Jasmina Cibic, Jaša, Luiza Margan, Arjan Pregel, Igor Eškinja (CR), Mark Požlep, Ištvan Išt Huzjan, Beli sladoled, Nina Slejko, Maja Smrekar, Conny Blom (SWE), Ibro Hasanović (BE), Ignacio Uriarte (GE), Zvonka Simčič, Meta Grgurevič, Sanela Jahić, Sašo Vrabič, Miha Štrukelj and other artists.




  • Petja Grafenauer, Postmedia Image: mass media in Slovenian painting of the last decade, Monitor ISH (journal for humanities and social sciences; Ljubljana, ISH), Vol. 7, 2005, Issue 1, ISSN 1580-688X
  • Petja Grafenauer, From Monochrome Painting to Computer Art, Monitor ISH (journal for humanities and social sciences; Ljubljana, ISH), Vol. 9, 2007, Issue 2, pp. 47–59, ISSN 1580-688X
  • Petja Grafenauer, ‘New figural painting’ in Slovenia: “the artist’s task is to be a witness of his time in history”, Monitor ISH (journal for humanities and social sciences; Ljubljana, ISH), Vol. 14, 2012, Issue 2, pp. 109–130, ISSN 1580-688X
  • Contemporary and Eastern European Art: exhibition policy of the Museum of Modern Art, Art Words (Ljubljana, ZDSLU), 2006, Issue 77/78, pp. 162–172, ISSN 0352-7263
  • Museum of Modern Art (1957–1986): the period of Zoran Kržišnik, Maska, Vol. 24, 2009, Issue 123/124, pp. 160–176, ISSN 1318-0509
  • Petja Grafenauer, Andrej Srakar and Marilena Vecco, Slovenian visual artists throughout history: A network analysis perspective, Redefining art worlds in late modernity, Paula Guerra and Pedro Costa (eds.), Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto, Porto 2016


  • The Critics Pen Award for Art Criticism and Curating awarded by the Slovenian Association of Art Critics, 2014
  • Certificate of Appreciation from MSS (NYCS) for mentorship in the area of master’s studies involving young people, 2014
  • PATTERNS Lectures Grant, Erste Foundation, 2014/2015
  • Work Grant from the Ministry of Culture (MK) of the Republic of Slovenia, 2011
  • MK Residence in New York, 2009
  • MK Grant for the ICCPR Conference in Istanbul, 2008
  • MK post-graduate study scholarship, 2003


  • Since 2016, a member of the Prešeren Award Committee
  • Since 2015, a member of AICA – International Association of Art Critics
  • Chair of the Commission for the Promotion and International Cooperation of the Ministry of Culture of the RS, 2012–2015
  • Chair of the Commission for Fine Arts of the City of Ljubljana, 2012–2015
  • Since 2014, a member of IKT – International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art
  • Chair of the Jury of the Slovenian Biennial of Illustration, 2014
  • Since 2008, a member of Asociacija, a society working within Culture Action Europe
  • Since 2006, a member of the Slovenian Society of Aesthetics
  • Since 2006, a member of the Slovenian Association of Art Critics


Foto: Anže Grabeljšek