Munch: A Retrospective
27 October 2018 – 20 January 2019
Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
Edward Munch (1863-1944) is one of the greatest masters of Western modern art, best known for The Scream.
This retrospective exhibition will trace over 60 years of Munch’s career through his works, covering the best known subjects to landscapes and self-portraits. These works, presented by the dominant themes, will provide a powerful testimony to the artist’s achievement.
The Munch exhibition 2018
Exclusively devoted to Munch’s works
The exhibition will feature a total of some 100 works realized by Munch, mostly coming from the world’s largest collection of the artist held by the Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway. They include about 60 oil paintings, as well as lithographs and other works by the Norwegian artist.
Edvard Munch, Self-Portrait, 1882, Oil on paper mounted oncardboard, 26×19.5cm ©Munchmuseet
Munch produced the Scream in several versions – two paintings and two pastels, as well as lithographs. The 1910(?) Scream, a tempera and oil painting owned by the Munch Museum, will be on display for the first time in Japan.
Edvard Munch, The Scream, 1910?, Tempera and oil on unprinted cardboard, 83.5x66cm ©Munchmuseet
Who is Munch?
He lost his mother and beloved sister Sophie when he was young. Throughout his life, he suffered torments and from frequent illnesses. Relationships with women were difficult… Munch painted until his death, nearly through the end of the Second World War.
This retrospective will present a comprehensive overview of Munch, tracing the stages of his life and the motifs that he chose to express through his art, most notably the innermost emotions, such as love, lust, despair and solitude.
Highlights of the Munch exhibition
While Munch gradually became acclaimed internationally, he continued to spend summers in his homeland at his summer house overlooking the Oslo Fjord. Short nights of the Norwegian summer and moon-lit fjords appear repeatedly in his paintings.
Edvard Munch, Summer Night.Mermaid, 1893, Oil on canvas, 93.5×118cm ©Munchmuseet
Symbolism and expressionism
In Paris and Berlin, Munch was inspired and influenced by new ideas and art schools including Impressionism. The artist eventually established his own style to give artistic forms and expressions to deep-seated emotions. He conceptualized the “Frieze of Life” series and The Scream became a forerunner of the expressionism in the 20th century.
Edvard Munch, Despair, 1894, Oil on canvas, 92×73cm ©Munchmuseet
The Kiss, Vampire and Madonna
These figure among the core motifs of the series “Frieze of Life – A Poem about Life, Love and Death”
Edvard Munch, Kiss on the Shore by Moonlight, 1914, Oil on canvas, 77×100.5cm ©Munchmuseet
Love and lust
Munch worked on the theme of love and hate between man and woman, dwelling on his failed love affairs, in the era of free love.
Edvard Munch, The Dance of Life, 1925, Oil on canvas, 143×208cm ©Munchmuseet
Munch established a reputation as a most outstanding artist in his home country Norway. He produced monumental works of landscape paintings that dynamically represented Norwegian nature.
Edvard Munch, Galloping Horse, 1910-12, Oil on canvas, 135.5×110.5cm ©Munchmuseet
In his later years, the artist realized paintings of bright colours and light brushstrokes. He also continued to re-work his earlier paintings such as “Two Human Beings. The Lonely Ones”.
Edvard Munch, Two Human Beings. The Lonely Ones, 1933-35, Oil on canvas, 91×129.5cm ©Munchmuseet
Edvard Munch, Self-Portrait.Between the Clock and the Bed, 1940-43, Oil on canvas, 149.5×120.5cm ©Munchmuseet
Edvard Munch, The Sun, 1910-13, Oil on canvas, 163×205.5cm ©Munchmuseet
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