Though he is more often viewed as a semi-lunatic Symbolist or proto-Expressionist, the great Norwegian artist Edvard Munch (1863-1944) was in fact a forerunner of much Modern art. His works concentrate on the human dramas of love and death, and on contemporary conditions of claustrophobia and alienation--or what he called "the modern life of the soul"--frequently deploying contemporary effects to depict this condition. He worked in paint, printmaking and photography (though he once wrote that "the camera cannot compete with a brush and canvas, as long as it can't be used in heaven and hell"). Edvard Munch: Signs of Modern Art assesses the significance of Munch's oeuvre as a highly independent contribution to Modern art, drawing on more than 100 paintings, as well as 60 drawings and prints. In flouting the boundaries between the genres of painting and printmaking, in his work with photography and film, and through his emphasis on process--for example exposing his paintings to outdoor weather--Munch opened up a turn-of-the-century view of the future.
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