When you hear the name Edvard Munch, you almost immediately think of The Scream. It’s unavoidable. Even during his lifetime, Munch found himself linked to that image and a select few others from his Frieze of Life series that comprised almost his entire career. Although Munch painted several versions of The Scream, the demand for more overwhelmed the supply. As a solution, Munch turned to printmaking, which allowed fans to have an authentic Munch at an affordable price, while also allowing Munch to capitalize on his fame. But it was much more than pure capitalism that compelled Munch to revisit certain themes and images, as Edvard Munch: Master Prints, now at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, clearly demonstrates. Printmaking allowed Munch to hold on to certain images seemingly forever in a cycle of creation and recreation that made the image and the emotions linked to that image forever new and forever real. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Holding On."
[Image: Edvard Munch. The Lonely Ones, 1899/c. 1917 or later. Color woodcut, from one woodblock sawn into three pieces, in black, blue green, yellow, and red with hand coloring on medium cream wove paper. The Epstein Family Collection. © Copyright Munch Museum/Munch Ellingsen Group/ARS, NY 2009.]
[Many thanks to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, for providing me with the image above and a review copy of the catalogue to Edvard Munch: Master Prints, which runs through October 31, 2010.]