New expo celebrates top Scandinavian artists

Two of Scandinavia’s most renowned artists, Norway’s Edvard Munch and Denmark’s Asger Jorn, will be celebrated at a major exhibition in what will be one of the highlights of the Aarhus 2017 European Capital of Culture programme.

The exhibition at Museum Jorn in nearby Silkeborg runs from 11 February-28 May. It will feature 45 works by Munch and more than 60 by his Danish counterpart.

The Jorn+Munch exhibition is the result of a collaboration between Museum Jorn and the Munch Museum in Oslo. The organizers hope it will attract thousands of visitors, especially from Germany where both artists enjoyed some of their greatest success.

“Everyone here is excited about the exhibition. It’s a unique opportunity for art-lovers to see an outstanding collection featuring two of Scandinavia’s most popular artists. They had much in common, but never actually met. We are proud to be bringing them together in Silkeborg and making them accessible for an international audience,” said Aarhus 2017 CEO Rebecca Matthews.

The exhibition highlights the extent to which Jorn was influenced by Munch, whose best-known work is The Scream, as well as the inspiration that both took from the beauty of Scandinavia’s landscapes. It also highlights a sense of kinship between the artists in how they explored love, sex, beauty, death and grief in spectacular paintings and evocative woodcuts. In all their works, there is a common thread of intensity, vitality and creative zest.

Jorn (1914-1973) discovered Munch (1863-1944) shortly after World War II, when he crossed the border into Norway illegally to experience a memorial exhibition of Munch’s works at the National Gallery in Oslo. He saw Munch’s late works for the first time – an experience that he never forgot and which changed the way he painted. While Jorn never adopted Munch’s methods and motifs, he used them to develop his own artistic idiom.

The Jorn+Munch exhibition is the realisation of a year-long quest by curators Oda Wildhaugen Gjessing and Lars Toft-Eriksen to reunite Jorn and his most significant source. As well as works from the Munch Museum and Museum Jorn, the exhibition also features paintings loaned from other galleries and private art collections.

The exhibition includes 17 paintings and 28 prints by Munch as well as 36 paintings and 25 works on paper by Jorn. To accompany the exhibition, a richly illustrated 250-page catalogue in Norwegian, Danish and English has been published.

The Jorn+Munch exhibition has received generous support from: Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II and His Royal Highness Prince Henrik’s Foundation, Silkeborg Municipality, A.P. Møller og hustru Chastine Mc-Kinney Møllers Fond til almene Formaal, Knud Højgaards Fond, 15. Juni Fonden, Aage og Johanne Louis-Hansens Fond, Beckett-Fonden and Aarhus 2017: European Capital of Culture.

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Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright is publishing editor of EU Today. 

An experienced journalist and published author, he specialises in environment, energy, and defence.

He also has more than 10 years experience of working as a staff member in the EU institutions, working with political groups and MEPs in various policy areas.

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