The exhibition presents a selection of some of Munch’s most renowned works, realized from when Munch was an adolescent to the age of 80.
Shortly before his death in 1944, Munch painted the self-portrait which has given the exhibition its name. The painting, Between the Clock and the Bed, depicts Munch as an old man looking back on his life as he faces the end of it. In this sense, both the exhibition and the portrait itself provide a retrospective view on Munch’s artistic life and work.
Snøhetta has developed the graphic profile and furniture design for the exhibition. In addition, Snøhetta has introduced an interactive exhibition design, including ceiling-mounted screen projections. The overall design aims to enhance the exhibition experience for all visitors regardless of their previous knowledge of Munch.
The exhibition presents a relatively small collection of Munch’s works, with an emphasis on some of his most iconic paintings. Each art piece is carefully curated to make more room for each piece, inviting visitors to spend more time on each painting, which in turn leaves more room for contemplation.
- It is a very communicative exhibition, which particularly allows less experienced museum guests to discover Munch’s art on their own terms. The exhibition rooms themselves do not display a lot of text or offer too much guidance, as these elements sometimes can interfere with one’s interpretation of the art pieces, says the Director of the Munch Museum, Stein Olav Henrichsen.
To compensate for the minimal amount of information provided by the exhibition itself, in-depth information on selected pieces is provided through brochures that guide you through the exhibition.
The exhibition design consists of large furniture installations with organically shaped benches in plywood, covered with comfortable black mats that one can sit or lie on while exploring Munch’s art at one’s own pace. The furniture underpins the exhibition’s mission of sparking interest about each art piece so that visitors truly can and delve into Munch’s work.
In several rooms, ceiling-mounted video screens project Munch’s works up-close, captured in slow motion, as if studied under a magnifying glass. They provide the audience with the opportunity to lie down on the angled benches and study the individual paint strokes, while simultaneously viewing the full-sized painting exhibited on the wall. This allows people to engage with the art in a completely different way than what they are used to.
The exhibited works have recently been shown at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
The exhibition will be open to the public from May 10th until September 9th.