This year marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Edvard Munch, Norway’s most celebrated artist. To celebrate the occassion, the Oslo Munch Museum and The National Museum (aka Nasjonalmuseet) for the most comprehensive retrospective every assembled of Munch’s artistic creations. The centennial exhibition Munch 150 for the first time brought together an unusually high number of his masterpieces with lesser-known works that have been painstakingly borrowed from public and private collections around the world. Of course Munch is best known for the iconic “Scream” painting, one of the most famous artworks in the world whose fame is comparable only with the likes of da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa”, Michelangelo’s “Last Supper” or Picasso’s “Guernica”. But his work excels far beyond the universal pathos of the “Scream”, often times reflecting the deep pain the other suffered watching his sister die of Tuberculosis as a child. (One painting in particular, “Spring”, juxtaposes this suffering with a single flower of spring; it is heartbreaking and uplifting all at once.)

To mark the occasion of this spectacular exhibition Gestalten is putting together a 432 page hardcover book titled Edvard Munch “1863-1944” that boasts 315 illustrations, paintings, drawings, prints and photographs that cover the entire development of Edvard Munch’s art from the 1880s until his death in 1944. The book not only highlights his major works but also his portraits, self-portraits, abstractions, representation and the staging of gender from Munch’s distinctive artistic perspective. Thus the book offers new perspectives on a oeuvre that was groundbreaking not only for Expressionism, but for the whole of modern art.

Leave a Reply