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Warhol and Munch

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Andy Warhol (1928 – 1987) visited Oslo in 1973 to see art by Edvard Munch (1863-1944). In 1982, a large exhibition that consisted of more than a hundred works by Munch opened at the temporary Galleri Bellman in New York. Warhol visited the exhibition several times and then executed a series of screen prints based on some of Munch's most iconic motifs: Madonna, Self-Portrait with Skeleton Arm, The Scream and The Brooch, Eva Mudocci.

Munch first became interested in etching and lithography in the 1890s. He then became interested in woodcuts. During his career, Munch created over 700 prints, many of these in very large quantities. A substantial amount of this production is today in the collection of the Munch Museum in Oslo.

Warhol's variations on Munch's motifs were presented as the American artist's hommage to Munch. Like Munch, Warhol was concerned with printmaking as a particular form of expression, but, not least, it was important to both artists how such works of art can be widely distributed. By Warhol's period in the 1960s, there was already an idea that printmaking was a way of making art in a lower price range available to a larger audience. This was a central part of Warhol's idea of art as a type of business venture.

Munch's printmaking was also concerned with sales, perhaps most of all in the sense that the possibilities for higher volumes could be a good source of income. Munch also considered some of his motifs to be more commercial than others and was happy to print extra copies of these works. Unlike how artists work with graphics today, Munch never numbered his prints.

Today Edvard Munch is considered one of the foremost printmakers in Norwegian art history, and Andy Warhol's work with screen printing was the beginning of a renaissance for the medium.

The exhibition presents 14 works by Andy Warhol and 11 by Edvard Munch and is based on Sparebankstiftelsen DNB's deposit at the Haugar Art Museum as well as generous loans from the Canica Art Collection, the Munch Museum and private collectors.

Museum24:Portal - 2024.05.16
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