Edvard Munch | Graphic Works from The Gundersen Collection

  • 7th April − 23rd September 2012 | Modern Two (Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art) | £7 (£5)

Munch and Printmaking

Munch first lived in Paris in 1889, and made his earliest prints in 1894 while residing in Berlin. This was a moment of resurgence for the graphic arts in Europe, and in both cities Munch saw the work of leading European artists. In Germany, etchings by Max Klinger and lithographs by Max Liebermann were highly acclaimed, while in France, artists such as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Paul Gauguin were using lithography and woodcut respectively in new ways.

For Munch, printmaking was a means to disseminate his work to a wider public, and there were commercial incentives to produce multiple and affordable versions of his increasingly famous images. However, the capacity to create several impressions at a time also allowed Munch to innovate. He frequently returned to images produced months or years previously, and this process of revisiting themes singles Munch out. In 1935, he wrote: ‘I have constantly worked further on my prints and experimented with different impressions – I often used prints as a means of drawing and hand colouring.’ As well as applying ink or paint by hand after printing to make individualised works, Munch altered colour schemes, varied the weight, colour and texture of his paper, and experimented with, and blended different printing methods.

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