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The Munch Museum

Tøyengata 53

Januar 31 - April 12

Melgaard + Munch: The End of it All Has Already Happened

What is the critical relevance of Edvard Munch to contemporary society? This is the fundamental question to an upcoming exhibition at the Munch Museum. In an attempt to answer the question the exhibition MELGAARD + MUNCH places Edvard Munch's oeuvre in dialogue with works by the renowned contemporary artist Bjarne Melgaard.

Edvard Munch's art is, through his art historical importance and popularity, subject to a high degree of exposure to a wide audience. However, his contemporary significance is to a lesser degree addressed. With this exhibition, the Munch Museum wishes to draw attention to Munch's critical relevance of today. Social, political and ideological issues are at the core of Bjarne Melgaard's oeuvre. With reference to political and social issues, often in the form of marginal and subcultural phenomena, Melgaard’s art often raises provocative and critical questions. This was also the case with Munch in his time. With this exhibition the museum will put Munch’s art to the test of time by placing it up against Melgaard’s, through an examination of the two artists' critical and provocative power.

The oeuvres of Edvard Munch and Bjarne Melgaard are related in numerous ways. Both have created their works with reference to biography and through strategic positioning in terms of exhibition projects and media coverage. There is also a more artistic kinship between the two in terms of their painterly idiom, but even more so in relation to their motifs and themes. With reference to issues such as sexuality, gender, death, loneliness and alienation they both deal with key critical issues of modern society and culture. Based on their thematic affinity, the main focus of the exhibition will be on how Munch and Melgaard both deal with these issues on an emotional, critical and ideological basis, albeit in very different ways. In terms of specific works as well as contextual perspectives the exhibition will explore the dystopian critique of modern civilization that underlies both Munch’s and Melgaard's oeuvre.

In addition to a wide range of works by both artists, the exhibition will present new works by Melgaard that will reflect on the topics he finds of importance in Munch’s oeuvre.

Among Melgaard’s many contributions to the show will be a “soundtrack” alternative to the show’s audio guide that features songs by the likes of Diana Ross, Dolly Parton, the Caprenters, and Todd Rundgren.

The exhibition is organized by the Munch Museum with Lars Toft-Eriksen as curator in close collaboration with Bjarne Melgaard.