Edvard Munch is one of the twentieth century's greatest printmakers, and his works-particularly The Scream and Madonna-have made their way into the popular culture of our time. This handsome book considers Munch's graphic work through the lens of an extraordinary private collection that includes outstanding impressions of virtually every one of his major prints, along with alternate versions and early states. The book underscores the technically experimental nature of Munch's Symbolist prints and demonstrates the great themes of love and death that characterize his fin de siecle imagery.
Elizabeth Prelinger discusses Munch as a Symbolist printmaker, providing background on Munch as a graphic artist and exploring how he devised innovative methods to fuse technique and meaning in his Symbolist themes. Michael Parke-Taylor reconstructs the reception of Munch's art in America, tracing a reputation that continues to grow a half century after the artist's death. Peter Schjeldahl poetically evokes Munch's work and accounts for the artist's rock star-like career then and now, and tells how Munch has entered popular consciousness and how he is relevant to a contemporary audience. These essays are accompanied by a detailed catalogue of the fifty-eight prints in the collection, as well as reproductions of the paintings that relate to the prints and many documentary and comparative illustrations.
Elizabeth Prelinger is associate professor and chair of the Art, Music, & Theatre Department at Georgetown University. She is the author of Kathe Kollwitz, published by Yale University Press. Michael Parke-Taylor is associate curator of European art at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Peter Schjeldahl is art critic for the Village Voice and contributing editor for Art in America.