Edvard Munch Was Also an Experimental Photographer—See His Startling, Spooky Images Here

Show of the Day: "The Experimental Self: Edvard Munch’s Photography” at Scandinavia House.

Edvard Munch, Self-Portrait Wearing Glasses and Seated Before Two Watercolors at Ekely (ca. 1930). Courtesy of the Munch Museum.
Edvard Munch, Self-Portrait Wearing Glasses and Seated Before Two Watercolors at Ekely (ca. 1930). Courtesy of the Munch Museum.

EDVARD MUNCH

The Experimental Self: Edvard Munch’s Photography
Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America, New York

 

What the Gallery Says: “This exhibition of photographs, films, and a small selection of prints by Edvard Munch emphasizes the artist’s experimentalism, examining his exploration of the camera as an expressive medium. By probing and exploiting the dynamics of ‘faulty’ practice, such as distortion, blurred motion, eccentric camera angles, and other photographic ‘mistakes,’ Munch photographed himself and his immediate environment in ways that rendered them poetic. In both still images and in his few forays with a hand-held moving-picture camera, Munch not only archived images, but invented them.”

Why It’s Worth a Look: Much of Munch’s photography is suffused with the same expressionistic itch that defined his most famous paintings. His subjects, be it a dog, a nurse, or—most prominently—himself, are found in heightened emotional states, and rendered with complimentary formal techniques. A shaky lens captures an anxiety-ridden self-portrait, for instance, while a lonely-looking housekeeper is shot at a distance, skillfully framed by the house around her.

What It Looks Like: 

Edvard Munch, Nurse in Black, Jacobson’s Clinic (1908-09). Courtesy of the Munch Museum.

Edvard Munch, Nurse in Black, Jacobson’s Clinic (1908-09). Courtesy of the Munch Museum.

Edvard Munch, <i>Self-Portrait ‘à la Marat,’ Beside a Bathtub at Dr. Jacobson’s Clinic</i> (1908-09). Courtesy of the Munch Museum.

Edvard Munch, Self-Portrait ‘à la Marat,’ Beside a Bathtub at Dr. Jacobson’s Clinic (1908-09). Courtesy of the Munch Museum.

Edvard Munch, Edvard Munch Posing Nude in Åsgårdstrand (1903). Courtesy of the Munch Museum.

Edvard Munch, Self-Portrait in Profile Indoors in Åsgårdstrand (ca. 1904). Courtesy of the Munch Museum.

Edvard Munch, Edvard Munch and Rosa Meissner in Warnemünde (1907). Courtesy of the Munch Museum.

Edvard Munch, Self-Portrait with Valise (1906). Courtesy of the Munch Museum.

Edvard Munch, Nurse in White at Jacobson’s Clinic (1908-09). Courtesy of the Munch Museum.

Edvard Munch, Self-Portrait with Housekeeper in Warnemünde (1907). Courtesy of the Munch Museum.

Edvard Munch, Munch’s Dog ‘Fips’ (1930). Courtesy of the Munch Museum.

Edvard Munch, Munch’s Housekeeper at Ekely (1927). Courtesy of the Munch Museum.

The Experimental Self: Edvard Munch’s Photography” is on view through April 7, 2018. Scandinavia House is located at 58 Park Avenue, New York.

 


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