“The Experimental Self: Edvard Munch’s Photography, an exhibition organized by American-Scandinavian Foundation with The Munch Museum in Oslo that first brought the photographic work of the master painter to NYC in 2017/18 before traveling worldwide, returns to Scandinavia House this winter with a newly conceived design and a section including vintage camera equipment alongside the release of the 2020 illustrated book The Experimental Self: The Photography of Edvard Munch, awarded with diploma as one of The Year’s Most Beautiful Books, 2021 by Grafill, Norway’s National Organization for Visual Communication.
Internationally celebrated for his paintings, prints, and watercolors, Norwegian artist Edvard Munch (1863–1944) also took photographs. In 2017/18, the exhibition The Experimental Self: Edvard Munch’s Photography at Scandinavia House drew widespread acclaim for introducing audiences to his photographic and film work, emphasizing the artist’s experimentalism and examining his exploration of the camera as an expressive medium. This exhibition includes Munch’s experimental portraiture of friends and family as well as his selfportraiture, including images from what he termed his ‘Fatal Destiny’ portfolio, staged between 1902 and 1908. 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. As a recent Financial Times Magazine review of the works states, ‘Munch’s mercurial snapshots trace the survival of an artist obsessed with loss… his photographs remain tantalisingly opaque a century on’.” — Scandinavia House
Title image: Edvard Munch. Self-Portrait Wearing Glasses and Seated Before Two Watercolors at Ekely, ca. 1930. Original: Gelatin silver contact print. Courtesy of Munch Museum.
The Experimental Self: Edvard Munch’s Photography was curated by Dr. Patricia Berman.
Images courtesy Scandinavia House.
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