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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Two Norwegian Museums Organize a Comprehensive Edvard Munch Exhibit

Edvard Munch's 'Dance of Life.' Edvard Munch's 'Dance of Life.' Wikipedia

In honor of the 150th anniversary of the Norwegian artist’s birth, two museums in Oslo, Norway will organize the most comprehensive exhibit of Edvard Munch’s (1863-1944) work to date. Munch 150, which is currently on view at the National Gallery and the Munch Museum, includes the artist’s most recognizable works including The Scream, Vampire, and The Dance of Life.

The exhibition spans Munch’s extensive career from his earlier works to his death in 1944. The National Gallery’s show focuses on the artist’s formative years from 1882 to 1903 and the Munch Museum is handling his more mature works, created during the last 40 years of life.

Munch is revered for his visceral works that expertly capture the human condition but his home country did not readily accept him as a distinguished artist. In 1940, just days after the Nazis invaded Oslo, Munch bequeathed his entire oeuvre to the city in order to protect it. After the war, his works were placed in a nondescript building in the city, rarely visited, and poorly guarded.

Since then, Munch has become regarded as a highly important artist; exhibitions have been held across the globe to celebrate the 150th anniversary of his birth and a version of The Scream, the only one in private hands, recently sold at auction for a record $119.9 million, securing his role as a powerful presence in the art market. In addition, Oslo authorities agreed to built a new Munch Museum in a more distinguished building, which is expected to open in 2018.

Munch 150, which includes 270 paintings and drawings, will be on view through October 13, 2013.

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