24. June - 09. October 2017 San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

EDVARD MUNCH

Edvard Munch, Ashes, 1925; oil on canvas; 54 15/16 x 78 3/4 in.; © photo: courtesy the Munch Museum, Oslo
Edvard Munch, Self-Portrait. Between the Clock and the Bed, 1940–43; oil on canvas; 58 7/8 x 47 7/16 in.; © photo: courtesy the Munch Museum, Oslo
Edvard Much, Sick Mood at Sunset.Despair, 1892; oil on canvas; 36 ¼ x 26 3/8 in.; © Thielska Galleriet, Stockholm
Edvard Munch, Starry Night, 1922–24; oil on canvas, 47 7/16 x 39 3/8 in.; © photo: courtesy the Munch Museum, Oslo
Edvard Munch, The Dance of Life, 1925; oil on canvas; 56 5/16 x 81 7/8 in.; © photo: courtesy the Munch Museum, Oslo

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.

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.

Organized by SFMOMA, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Munch Museum, Oslo, "Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed" brings together Munch’s most profoundly human and technically daring compositions of love, despair, desire and death, as well as more than a dozen of his self-portraits to reveal a singular modern artist, one who is largely unknown to American audiences, and increasingly recognized as one of the foremost innovators of figurative painting in the 20th century.

Seven works in the exhibition make their United States debut including "Lady in Black" (1891), "Puberty" (1894), "Jealousy" (1907), "Death Struggle" (1915), "Man with Bronchitis" (1920), "Self-Portrait with Hands in Pockets" (1925–26) and "Ashes" (1925). The exhibition will also include an extraordinary presentation of "Sick Mood at Sunset, Despair" (1892), the earliest depiction and compositional genesis of "The Scream", which is being shown outside of Europe for only the second time in its history.

As a young man in the late 19th century, Edvard Munch’s bohemian pictures placed him among the most celebrated and controversial artists of his generation. 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 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 colour.

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".

In total, the exhibition contains seven scenes from this series, which offers visitors a metaphoric  "dance"  across  many of Munch’s key themes—attraction, love, jealousy, rejection—and culminates in a poetic meditation on the joys and sorrows that define a life.

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