Edvard Munch Prints on View at Stanford

Desire, Anxiety, and Loss: The Prints of Edvard Munch

March 22–June 25, 2006

Stanford, California—The Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University announces an exhibition by the great turn-of-the-century symbolist artist Edvard Munch, March 22–June 25, 2006. Desire, Anxiety, and Loss: The Prints of Edvard Munch brings together 36 works, lithographs, etchings and drypoints, and woodcuts, from 15 collections.

Munch's works explore states of mind with which viewers can identify— love, anxiety, jealousy, and depression. For these themes, Munch drew directly from his personal life experiences. His early recollections were dominated by family illness, including the death of his mother and a sister from tuberculosis, as well as his father’s depression. As an adult, Munch suffered a nervous breakdown and an ocular hemorrhage resulting in a temporary visual loss in his right eye. An intense and moody person, his relationships with women were stormy and unsatisfactory. Understanding these experiences is crucial to a fuller comprehension of his creative process and the images that obsessed him.

The exhibition highlights three aspects of the artist’s career. First, his earliest etchings of the 1890s presage later recurring themes. Second, the innovative woodcuts and lithographs from about 1900 profoundly express his preoccupation with the complex and contradictory nature of woman. Third, his portraits of himself, other artists, writers, and musicians include August Strindberg and Henrik Ibsen.

In conjunction with the exhibition, a symposium is planned for Saturday April 29, 2006. In addition, there will be a reading from Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House by American Conservancy Theater star Renee Augeson, a showing of Peter Watkins’ award-winning biographical film (Edvard Munch, 1976, 167 minutes, color, Norwegian w/ English subtitles) and a series of concerts presented jointly with members of Stanford University’s Department of Music.

The exhibition is made possible by the Burton and Deedee McMurtry Fund.