A private collection of lithographs and woodcuts by the celebrated Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, will have its UK opening this spring at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.
Edvard Munch: Graphic Works from The Gundersen Collection, opening on 7th April, will feature over fifty of Munch’s prints including a number of unique, hand-coloured impressions by the artist, among them an "extraordinary" version of the world-famous The Scream. This rare work is one of only two hand-coloured versions of the iconic print – the other is held in the Munch Museum, Oslo.
Pål Georg Gundersen was inspired to build his collection following his encounter with the artist’s painting The Sick Child in the National Gallery of Norway and several impressions of the related print will be included in the show in Edinburgh.
By focusing on prints, the Gundersen collection introduces the intensity and directness of Munch’s work and provides an insight into his pioneering exploration of universal concerns that made him one of the most influential artists of his day.
Graphic Works from The Gundersen Collection draws out the themes of love, human relationships, death, melancholy and anxiety that preoccupied Munch throughout his career.
The exhibition, which includes multiple versions of many of the images, investigates Munch’s rigorous experimentation as he revisited and reworked subjects to heighten their emotive impact and to explore colour, texture and techniques. For example, visitors will be able to compare three different versions of Madonna and five examples of Vampire II.
Edvard Munch was born in Norway in 1863. Many of the artist’s most poignant and arresting pieces are the prints he made throughout his long career. Print-making appealed to Munch for the opportunity they gave in disseminating his images to a wider public, and he was innovative in the different processes and methods that he employed to create such works.
As well as frequently printing his own subjects, Munch also worked with master printers in Paris and Berlin, where he spent much of his time over the turn of the 20th century and where his work was regularly exhibited.
Munch in Scotland
The exhibition will be supplemented with additional prints by Munch that are held on long-term loan by the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art from two further private collectors.
It will also feature a special display focusing on the legacy of the artist’s first solo exhibition in the UK, staged in Edinburgh in 1931, that will explore how Munch’s work has been experienced and received in Scotland.
Works by other artists from the Gallery’s permanent collection will be shown on the ground floor at Modern Two, in displays introducing the European context in which Munch was active and highly influential, particularly in the realms of Symbolism and Expressionism.
Edvard Munch: Graphic Works From the Gundersen Collection is at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art 7 April − 23 September 2012