This is the first retrospective devoted to the work of the internationally renowned Norwegian painter, printmaker, and draftsman to be held in an American museum in almost three decades. Edvard Munch: The Modern Life of the Soul surveys Munch’s career in its entirety, from 1880 to 1944, showcasing his artistic achievement in its true richness and diversity. Beginning with the artist’s early portraits and genre scenes, the exhibition charts Munch’s move away from Norwegian naturalism toward an unprecedented exploration of modern existential experience. Through 87 paintings and 50 works on paper representing each phase of his career, the exhibition reveals Munch’s struggle to translate personal trauma into universal terms and, in the process, comprehend the fundamental components of human existence: birth, love, and death.
The exhibition is accompanied by a major publication that includes several essays by distinguished art historians and extensive documentation of Munch’s art and career.
The exhibition is organized by Kynaston McShine, Chief Curator at Large, The Museum of Modern Art.