PARIS.- The Pinacothèque de Paris
will provide from February 19th, and until July 18th, 2010, a new approach to Edvard Munchs work, one of the most mythical artists but equally one of the most mysterious, of the end of the 19th-century and early 20th-century. Edvard Munch has not been shown in France nor in Paris for twenty years. So the Pinacothèque de Paris is offering the public a unique opportunity to completely rediscover this immense artists oeuvre, through a simple approach, allowing everyone to grasp the major place this artist has held in art history.
Edvard Munch or the « Anti-Scream » will regroup about one hundred works (approximately sixty paintings and forty graphic works), chosen principally in private collections. The idea is to show Munchs work after the beginning of the century, when he had created an incomparable expressive style and when he started to include photos and silent lms in his body of work. The exhibition will start with works from 1880 up to 1890 as being the foundations of Munchs artistic career.
Edvard Munch is known almost exclusively through a single work: "The Scream". It is certainly emblematic but not really representative of his body of work. The overheated notoriety of this painting resulted in the overshadowing of the work as a whole, as well as of the artists true intent.
Regarded in Norway as the most important painter of all time, it is nowadays essential to return to the deeper meaning of Munchs legacy. It is vital to grasp how, more than any other painter of his generation, Munch worked in such a radical manner, with such an experimental vision from the very start and over such a long period. It is amazing to note so early in art history, a painter who broke away from all the conventions to which all the preceding artists and movement had accustomed us.
It is astounding to note that as early as the 1880s, Munch attacked the layers of color, he literally ploughed the pictorial surface, or else left his wok outdoors under the rain and the snow , transferred photographs and silent films onto the canvases and the graphic works. Another surprise is the manner in which he reduced boundaries between media and techniques of printed graphics, drawings, paintings, sculptures, collages, photos and films. He belongs to the tradition of William Turner and Gustave Courbet, he is the missing link between such artists as Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Jean Dubuffet and Jackson Pollock in the history of modernism. He was also and more than any other, the fore-runner and founder of fauvism and expressionism. His impact on the French artists of his time was radical.
It was through those limitless excesses at that time, and above all by his attachment to paintings and to the supports material qualities, that Munch provided a powerful exploration of the deepest human feelings and of lifes most fundamental experiments, even as the artistic world of the time was rather more absorbed by the relationship with nature and social representations of the world. He has left an overwhelming oeuvre, of incomparable strength.
To undertake this important retrospective Marc Restellini invited Dieter Buchhart, the acknowledged authority on Munchs work, to be its curator, surrounded by a prestigious committee of experts , which includes the famous art historian Richard Shiff as well as Øyvind Storm Bjerke, professor in Oslo University and Petra Pettersen from the Munch Museet.