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Edvard Munch: love and angst

This week, the British Museum is opening an exhibition of Edvard Munch's prints - the largest exhibition of the artist's prints in the UK for 45 years.

Future Cities Forum interviewed Giulia Bartrum, who curated the exhibition and in the video above, gives insight into the industrial world that Munch inhabited, full of disease and untimely death. Munch left his home in Norway to travel and work in France and Germany and in the interview, Giulia begins with describing the poor reaction from the establishment in Berlin to an exhibition of Munch's paintings, which included 'The Sick Child' - a painting of his sister Sophie on her deathbed.

The exhibition is a collaboration with Norway's Munch Museum with sponsorship from AKO Foundation, and represents one of the biggest loans of prints that the Oslo-based Museum has given internationally. Displayed alongside important works of the artist from the British Museum collection and other loans from the UK and Europe, the museum says that the 83 artworks on show together demonstrate the artist's skill and creativity in expressing the feelings and experiences of the human condition from love and desire, to jealousy, loneliness, anxiety and grief.

A major highlight of the exhibition is Munch's 'The Scream' which is one of the most iconic images in art history. The British Museum is displaying a rare lithograph in black and white which Munch created following a painted version and two drawings of the image. It was this black and white print that was disseminated widely during his lifetime and made him famous.

The British Museum states that 'the exhibition also shows how Munch's artistic vision was shaped by the radical ideas expressed in art, literature, science and theatre in Europe during his lifetime. His most innovative period of printmaking, between the 1890's and the end of the First World War, coincided with a great period of societal change in Europe which Munch experienced through constant travel across the continent on the vast rail network,

'Munch was greatly influenced by contemporary ideas, thinkers and artists including Max Klinger, Friedrich Nietzche, Sigmund Freud and Henrik Ibsen and his own work would go on to influence many other artists both during his lifetime and after his death in 1944. A number of works by other artists are displayed here to highlight these links.'

This is an extraordinary exhibition and not to be missed. It also demonstrates the exceptional level of curation that the British Museum is able to provide.

The Sick Child 1, 1896

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