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Edvard Munch gesehen von Karl Ove Knausgård

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Seated Model on the Couch – Edvard Munch 1924-1926-©-Kunstsammlung-NRW.

Friday, 11 September 2019, Düsseldorf, NRW, Germany: With approximately 140 artworks that have rarely, if ever been exhibited in Germany, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein- Westfalen (State Art Collection of North Rhine-Westphalia) presents the “unknown” Edvard Munch (1863 – 1944) at the K20. His paintings, prints, and sculptures were selected by Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgård (b. 1968).

The internationally celebrated author, a native Norwegian like Munch himself, achieved worldwide fame with his six-volume autobiographical novel, which has been translated into more than 30 languages and has received numerous prizes. His decidedly personal point of view opens up a fresh perspective of a man who was, arguably, the most important representative of the Scandinavian avant-garde of the early 20th century, while highlighting the continuing relevance of Munch’s concern with the embeddedness of the individual in society

Knausgård explores the painter’s inner world while tracing Munch’s various artistic preoccupations. The author’s subjective approach results in a subdivision of the exhibition into 4 thematic areas:

i) “Light and Landscape” presents shorelines and gardens, but also scenes of people working in the fields. It is followed by ii) “The Forest”, with its views of trees and meadows – here is a natural world that retains the upper hand in relation to human endeavours. iii)“Chaos and Energy” provides insights into the emotional and psychological forces that drove the painter, and into his struggle with each work.

Exhibition opening by Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, Premier Armin Laschet and Director, Prof. Dr. Susanne Gaensheimer. Picture by Land NRW, Mark Hermenau.

Complementing this focus on Munch’s interior life is the conclusion, iv) “The Others”, which features images of friends and comrades and focuses on the ways in which the individual reasserts control over reality.

The exhibition has been organised by the Munch Museum, Oslo, Norway, in partnership  with Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf. It takes place in parallel to the Frankfurt Book Fair, which names Norway its guest of honor and centre of attention in 2019. The exhibition was opened by Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, Premier Armin Laschet and Director, Prof. Dr. Susanne Gaensheimer. 

Text: Kunstsammlung NRW 

For further information: Museum:

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