Edvard Munch: A Genius of Printmaking

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Edvard Munch Madonna, 1895/1902
Edvard Munch Madonna, 1895/1902Courtesy of The Munch Museum / The Munch-Ellingsen Group/2013, ProLitteris, Zurich

A unique exhibition and its accompanying catalogue offer brilliant insight into the masterful graphic art of Edvard Munch

Who? Edvard Munch was one of the most important pioneers of 20th century expressionist art, delving deep into the realms of subjectivism and existentialism to create deeply personal commentaries on modern humanity. The majority of Munch's output revolves around suffering, death, love, passion, loneliness and sorrow, themes that he returned to again and again. He was similarly obsessed with the repetition of certain motifs, reprising and revising many of his most famous works – The Scream, The Sick Girl, The Vampire – in various media throughout his career. It is perhaps for this reason that Munch, who found fame as a painter, first turned to the duplicate-friendly medium of printmaking while living in Berlin in 1894. Munch took to the art form like the proverbial duck, going on to produce some of the medium's most startling and moving examples in the history of art.

What? Now, an exclusive display of Munch's decade-spanning prints – from his earliest etchings to his last ever lithograph – are on display at the Kunsthaus Zürich, presenting the rare opportunity for viewers to appreciate the graphic highlights of his oeuvre under one roof. Included are such masterpieces as Madonna, Melancholy, The Sin and Girls on the Bridge, while the range of techniques showcased include large-format lithographs, etchings and woodcuts, including hand-coloured plates and innovative experiments in printing.

Why? In his graphic works Munch frequently condenses the expressive power of his fundamental symbolist allegories in a manner that is more compelling than that of his paintings. Having been lent by an anonymous private collector, this is the first time that many of these extraordinary works have been on public display, and with the exhibition closing in January, we strongly recommend that those able to do so catch this unique exhibition before it ends. But for those who can't, the beautifully bound exhibition catalogue, Munch: A Genius of Printmaking, offers excellent insight into both the artworks and the pioneering innovations of their creator.

Edvard Munch: 150 Master Prints is at The Kunsthaus Zürich until 12 January 2014. Edvard Munch: A Genius of Printmaking is published by Hatje Kantz and is available now.