Munch - The Dance of Life

Edvard Munch: “The Dance of Life”, c. 1920-1927

Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) announces the global debut of the exhibition ‘Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed’, on view June 24 through October 9, 2017.

Source: SFMOMA

Featuring approximately 45 paintings produced between the 1880s and the 1940s, with seven on view in the United States for the first time, this exhibition uses the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch’s last significant self-portrait as a starting point to reassess his entire career.

As a young man in the late 19th century, Edvard Munch’s (1863–1944) bohemian pictures placed him among the most celebrated and controversial artists of his generation. But as he confessed in 1939, his true “breakthrough came very late in life, really only starting when I was 50 years old.” One of Munch’s last works, “Self-Portrait. Between the Clock and the Bed” (1940–43) — with its themes of desire, mortality, isolation and anxiety — serves as a touchstone and guide to the approximately 45 works in the exhibition. Together, these paintings propose an alternative view of Munch as an artist as revolutionary in the 20th century as he was when he made a name for himself in the Symbolist era.

”Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed” unfolds in eight thematically-focused galleries that explore Munch’s long-term engagement with particular subjects that recur throughout his career — love, death, sickness, psychological turmoil and mortality, especially his own. The paintings on view, many deeply personal works from Munch’s own collection now held by the Munch Museum, as well as loans from institutions and private lenders from around the world, also demonstrate Munch’s liberated, self-assured painting style and technical abilities including bravura brushwork, innovative compositional structures, the incorporation of visceral scratches and marks on the canvas and his exceptional use of intense, vibrant color.

Illustrating Munch’s restless revisiting of themes and his skill as an observer of human nature, the final painting in the exhibition, “The Dance of Life” (1925), reworks a picture of the same title from 1899–1900 that was part of the monumental cycle “The Frieze of Life”.

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