Edvard Munch: The Modern Life of the Soul

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In an exploration of modern existential experience unparalleled in the history of art, Edvard Munch, the internationally renowned Norwegian painter, printmaker and draftsman, sought to translate personal trauma into universal terms and in the process to comprehend the fundamental components of human existence: birth, love and death. Inspired by personal experience, as well as by the literary and philosophical culture of his time, Munch radically reconceived the given world as the product of his imagination. This ...
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Hardcover New In an exploration of modern existential experience unparalleled in the history of art, Edvard Munch, the internationally renowned Norwegian painter, printmaker ... and draftsman, sought to translate personal trauma into universal terms and in the process to comprehend the fundamental components of human existence: birth, love and death. Inspired by personal experience, as well as by the literary and philosophical culture of his time, Munch radically reconceived the given world as the product of his imagination. This book explores Munch's unique artistic achievement in all its richness and diversity, surveying his career in its entire developmental range from 1880 to 1944. The comprehensive volume features a lavish selection of color plates, an introduction by Kynaston McShine, Chief Curator at Large at The Museum of Modern Art, and essays by Patricia Berman, Reinhold Heller, Elizabeth Prelinger, and Tina Yarborough, as well as in-depth documentation of Munch's art and career. It will accompany Read more Show Less

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2006 Cloth New in Fine Condition jacket 256 pp., many illustrations 156 in color. Edited with an introduction by Kynaston McShine. Published on the occasion of the exhibition ... from February 17-May 8, 2006. Chronology, selected exhibition with a selected bibliography. Read more Show Less

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Overview

In an exploration of modern existential experience unparalleled in the history of art, Edvard Munch, the internationally renowned Norwegian painter, printmaker and draftsman, sought to translate personal trauma into universal terms and in the process to comprehend the fundamental components of human existence: birth, love and death. Inspired by personal experience, as well as by the literary and philosophical culture of his time, Munch radically reconceived the given world as the product of his imagination. This book explores Munch's unique artistic achievement in all its richness and diversity, surveying his career in its entire developmental range from 1880 to 1944. The comprehensive volume features a lavish selection of color plates, an introduction by Kynaston McShine, Chief Curator at Large at The Museum of Modern Art, and essays by Patricia Berman, Reinhold Heller, Elizabeth Prelinger, and Tina Yarborough, as well as in-depth documentation of Munch's art and career. It will accompany the most extensive exhibition of Munch's art in America in three decades.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780870704550
  • Publisher: The Museum of Modern Art
  • Publication date: 2/1/2006
  • Edition description: REVISED
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 12.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Edvard Munch was born in 1863 on a farm outside Kristiania (now Oslo), Norway. His early work was inspired by the art of the Norwegian naturalist painters, among them his mentor Christian Krohg, but it was not long before he began to look elsewhere for more evocative aesthetic models. He developed his psychologically resonant style in the 1890s and early 1900s, first in Paris and then in Berlin. The paintings from this period ultimately made up Munch's 'Frieze of Life', a cycle of pictures that comprises many of his best-known motifs, including The Screamand Madonna. The Frieze drew largely on Munch's personal memories, including the devastating losses of his mother and favorite sister Sophie to illness, in 1868 and 1877 respectively, as well as his doomed love affair with Milly Thaulow, a married woman. After several years of travel and illness, many spent in and out of sanatoriums, Munch returned to Norway in 1909, where he remained, barring brief trips, for the rest of his life. He sought solace in his native surroundings, turning to the Norwegian countryside and its inhabitants as subject matter for his art. However, as an artist, he never abandoned his interest in the human psyche, as evidenced by a late series of penetrating self-portraits. Munch lived his final years in relative seclusion and died at his estate at Ekely, Norway, in 1944.

Kynaston McShine is Acting Chief Curator of the Department of Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

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Table of Contents

"Could only have been painted by a madman," or could it? 16
Edvard Munch's "Modern life of the soul" 34
Metal, stone, and wood : matrices of meaning in Munch's graphic work 52
Public confrontations and shifting allegiances : Edvard Munch and the art of exhibition 64
Edvard Munch : plates 79
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