Edvard Munch is a seminal figure in the history of modern art. His paintings, drawings, and prints have a unique ability to explore the mysterious depths of the human psyche. Best known for his iconic work The Scream (1895), Munch had a successful and prolific career, enjoying great acclaim within his lifetime as Norway’s foremost artist. Yet the shadow of his early psychological torments and nervous breakdown informs all his work, and lends it a quality that makes it unforgettable to experience.
Munch was greatly influenced by a number of artists over the course of his career, including Vincent van Gogh, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, and Paul Gauguin. But his deepest affinity lay with the German and Austrian Expressionist artists. With this exhibition, we explore the interplay between the work of Munch and his German and Austrian peers, including Erich Heckel, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Emil Nolde, Egon Schiele, Max Pechstein, and others. It is an intimate exhibition for an artist whose powerful paintings, drawings, and prints always speak to the private emotional life of the individual.
The curator of this superb exhibition is Dr. Jill Lloyd, who has organized so many memorable shows for the Neue Galerie, including the forerunner to this presentation, “Van Gogh and Expressionism” in 2007. She was aided by the esteemed Munch scholar Dr. Reinhold Heller. Together, and with the assistance of the Munch Museum in Oslo, they have assembled an exhibition that is both rigorous and extraordinarily beautiful.
Director, Neue Galerie New York