Thomas M. Messer
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Long before the first theories of psychoanalysis were formulated, Edvard Munch (1863-1944) became the pioneer of an art which discovered and depicted the inner conflicts of modern man.
The initiator of the movement known as Expressionism, Munch's work was greeted with indignation and incomprehension. But by 1902 he had achieved recognition in artistic circles on the Continent and was considered a leader of the new art.
In an introductory essay & in commentaries that accompany the forty colorplates in the book, Thomas M. Messer, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in New York, traces Munch's growth as an artist, placing him in the context of his times. He introduces the reader to the family scenes & familiar places that haunt Munch's art, & to the wider relationships-with writers, poets & patrons that nurtured Munch & sustained him in difficult times.
for the death chamber. 27x15". The sitting. inscription 1893. reads: Inger standing. (fig. 68). COLORPLATE 9 EVENING ON KARL JOHAN STREET Painted about 1892. Oil on canvas, 33/4X47%" Rasmus Meyers Samlinger, Bergen The themes and moods of the various panels, [Frieze of Life] would not know sprang directly from the controversies of the eighties and con- when Munch's attainments could be measured by stitute a reaction against the Realism then prevalent. Parisian (i.e., his
simultaneously now gives way bring both ears into The The print pro- The slight tilt of the to an unmitigated fron- full and somewhat abrupt whiteness then returns on two mar- gins: the upper, to state in large printed letters the identity of the sitter and the date of completion fleshless by vision. features in dramatic whiteness against a surrounding black void. lower, to As one penetrates the other and moribund death Munch's somber jects subsequent Expressionist
that his paintings and prints, as they left easel is adjusted and often refined to the requirements new medium and press, were fragments of an emerging comprehensive world view. This unique a painting into a woodcut in any sequence. Inevitably, such re-creations reveal the inter- vening passage of time through the handwriting, a cases, a basic new stylistic artist's modified awareness, or, in extreme change of sensibility. Transformations of the kind referred to may be ob-
Foundation, ABRAMS, INC., BRIGHTON Publishers, New York New York ; Frontispiece: c. SELF-PORTRAIT BENEATH THE MASK. 27% x UVs". Munch-museet, Oslo. 1892. Oil on canvas, See page 39 for commentary ISBN 0-8109-1415-8 Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 85-71498 Published in 1985 by Harry N. Abrams, Incorporated, New York. Also published in a leatherbound edition for The Easton Press, Norwalk, Connecticut. All rights reserved. This is a concise edition of Thomas 1973. M.
1902, with consolidating aftermath, power was must be Munch had no its an through paintings such It is as the later version of Starry Night (colorplate 38) or some of his aged self-portraits that a final svnthesis is admirablv achieved. longer the to create images that convincingly spoke for his He did have the power to gather his own crop and to give us works of stunning beauty, which when seen within the context of his own development and The elusive personality of Edvard