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Monday, May 27, 2013

Munch Exhibition of the Century in Oslo



On 2 June the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design and the Munch Museum are combining forces in Oslo to stage the most comprehensive Munch exhibition ever.

Edvard Munch was born in 1863, and 2013 marks the Norwegian artist's 150th jubilee. The height of the celebration is the anniversary exhibition «Munch 150». The exhibition's goal is to provide as complete unified and comprehensive presentation of Munch's art and artistry as possible, with over 270 works displayed at the exhibition venues the National Gallery and the Munch Museum. Visitors will be treated to an array of Munch's major works as well as less known treasures.

"Our main objective is to celebrate Edvard Munch, but we also want to expand knowledge, curiosity and enthusiasm for Munch's life and art, locally, nationally and internationally," says Munch Museum Director Stein Olav Henrichsen.

"Munch is solidly place in the canon of modernism with works like The Scream and The Sun.  We've taken a fresh look at his response to modernistic issues, such as the relationship between art and reality, the position of the individual in the world, the modern role of the artist and art's impact on the public," says Audun Eckhoff, the director of the National Museum.

Over 60 years of Munch's art

The comprehensive perspective on Munch's work is reflected in the exhibition's structure. The works cover a period of over 60 years, from his debut as a 20-year-old in 1883 until he put his brushes down for good just before his death in 1944. The exhibition follows his art more or less chronologically and provides a running overview of his life's work. The presentation is also thematically structured. A core theme is Munch's changing depictions of himself and how he repeated and reworked certain motifs.

One exhibition, two venues

The exhibition emanates from long-term cooperation between the Munch Museum and the National Museum. The two museums have the world's most extensive collections of Munch's works and are in a league of their own for any presentation of this magnitude. This is also why the exhibition is necessarily divided between two sites. The period 1882-1903 is being exhibited at the National Gallery, while Munch's works from 1904-1944 are represented at the Munch Museum. However, the exhibition would not be possible without loans of work from public and private owners the world over.