A master by the age of 30, Edvard Munch (1863–1944) was among the most celebrated and controversial artists of his generation. But, as he confessed in 1939, his true “breakthrough came very late in life.”
Featuring 45 landmark compositions about love, death, social isolation, and psychic pain, Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed uses the artist’s last significant self-portrait as a starting point to reassess his entire career. Together, these profoundly human and technically daring paintings reveal him as a tireless innovator and an artist as revolutionary in the twentieth century as he was in the Symbolist era.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.
Whether or not you go, the exhibition catalog, Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed, provides a fresh look at the exceptional works of Edvard Munch (1863–1944) by examining them in the light of his precarious mental state. Following a nervous breakdown in 1908, Munch underwent electroshock therapy, which prompted a marked change in his art work. The haunting Self-Portrait between the Clock and the Bed, finished one year before his death, represents a culmination of the themes of mortality, isolation, and anxiety that he explored repeatedly, and provides, in these pages, a perfect lens through which to view the artist’s entire oeuvre. Informative essays consider Munch’s position in the art world, his conception of self as a means of experimentation, and the psychological content of his paintings, while a previously unpublished foreword by the celebrated Norwegian novelist Karl Ove Knausgaard offers a new perspective on Munch's life and work. Featuring over 40 masterworks from throughout the painter’s career, and an illustrated chronology that traces the progression of his emotional state and its influence on the images he created, this is an intimate, provocative study of an enigmatic artist and his remarkable legacy.
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