A Trio of Upcoming Exhibitions in Amsterdam, Vienna & Madrid Complement Permanent Homages to Edvard Munch in Oslo & Zurich.
It’s not often that I write about the artist, Edvard Munch and yet coming up over the next couple of months are a trio of exhibitions across Europe devoted to this famous Norwegian Expressionist painter.
Kicking off proceedings is a fabulous exhibition taking place in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam entitled ‘Munch: Van Gogh’, concentrating “on the artistic affinity between the two giants of Western painting”, both known for their “emotionally charged paintings and drawings, their unique and innovative style and their tormented lives”.
The first time such an exhibition has explored the parallels between the two artists, ‘Munch: Van Gogh’ brings together over 100 masterpieces (75 paintings and 30 works on paper) from the Munch Museum (Museet) in Oslo and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and features iconic works that are rarely seen outside the Norwegian capital. These include Madonna, The Sick Child and, perhaps his most famous and recognisable masterpiece, The Scream. The exhibition opens on September 25th and runs until January 17th, 2016. The Van Gogh Museum is open daily and timed and dated tickets cost 17€ (free for under 17s).
If you happen to be in Oslo before September 6th however, you can catch the exhibition currently at the Munch Museum, alongside the museum’s permanent collection of Munch masterpieces (open daily from 10am until 5pm; 7pm on Thursdays). Bequeathing some 1,100 paintings, 3,000 drawings and 18,000 graphic works to the city of Oslo when he died in 1944, the museum’s collection complement those contained in the city’s National Gallery (Nasjonalgalleriet) and provides a fascinating retrospective insight into his oeuvre. Alongside its Munch collection, Oslo’s National Gallery is renowned for its magnificent collection of Norwegian artworks, in addition to an impressive ensemble of European artworks. The two together make for a perfect artistic angle to any Oslo city break.
Back to Munch and a second exhibition opening on September 25th goes on display at Vienna’s prestigious Albertina, home to one of the most important and extensive graphic art collections worldwide. Entitled ‘Love, Death and Loneliness’, this exhibition features around 120 of Munch’s most important artworks and, according to the Albertina’s website, includes lithographs of The Scream and Madonna, The Kiss and Melancholy, alongside a presentation of his approaches to printed graphics, many of which originate from a private collection.
Housed within the grandeur of the Imperial Palace, the exhibition runs until January 24th, 2016 and is open daily from 10am until 6pm (9pm on Wednesdays). Whilst you’re there, take time to visit the museum’s permanent collection comprising around 50,000 drawings and watercolours in addition to some 900,000 graphic art works, not to mention an impressive portfolio of architectural and photographic exhibits, too. Entrance costs 11.90€ for adults (9.90€ for seniors) and is free for children under 19 years of age.
Last by not least is Madrid’s Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, playing host to ‘Edvard Munch. Archetypes’. The first dedicated Munch exhibition to be held in the Spanish capital since 1984, the Thyssen Bornemisza, in conjunction with the Munch Museet, provides an overview of Munch’s long and prolific career through a collection of 80 works, half of them on loan from Oslo. Grouped thematically, the exhibition seeks to explore Munch’s representation of the human figure in different settings, be it externally (the coast, the forest) or inside (the artist’s studio, the patient’s room), as well as through his artistic language – his use of symbolic colour, his experiments with texture and his engraving techniques.
The exhibition goes on display from October 6th and runs until January 17th, 2016. The museum is open daily (hours vary according to day; the exhibition tends to be open for longer than the permanent collection) and the entrance cost also varies according to the day visited and whether you wish to visit both the permanent collection as well as the exhibition. My advice would definitely be to do both, as the permanent collection contains an impressive ensemble of some 800 works of art dating from the Renaissance all the way through to modern art.
And, as a final aside, no round-up of Munch mentions would be complete without a reference to the Kunsthaus in Zurich, home to the largest collection of works by Munch outside of Norway.