Edvard Munch was a pioneer of modern art, both in Norway and internationally. In contrast to many of his contemporaries, Munch was never a member of a specific group of artists and never taught at an art academy – other artists were influenced by Munch mainly through seeing exhibitions of his work.
Nonetheless, his close relationships with a number of supporters were important to him. These included the art collector and businessman Rolf Stenersen, who donated a very large number of pictures from his own collection to the City of Oslo in 1936. Today the Stenersen Collection is part of the museum's collection.
Initially, Stenersen bought only works by Munch, but gradually he broadened the scope of his collection, purchasing works by many young artists, including Olav Strømme, Kai Fjell, Ludvig Karsten, Reidar Aulie, Rolf Nesch and Jakob Weidemann. Several of these artists were directly or indirectly influenced by Munch, who also advised Stenersen which artists were worthy of his attention.
In this exhibition, visitors will have a very special opportunity to see works by Munch alongside works by Norwegian who were his contemporaries – an emerging generation of modernists who sometimes found themselves overshadowed by the great Norwegian innovator. Taking as our starting point key works of 20th century Norwegian art, we show how Munch influenced his fellow artists with regard to choices of method, composition and themes.
Most pictures will be drawn from the Stenersen Collection, but we will also look beyond Norway’s borders with loans from other collections. In this way, visitors will have the opportunity to experience works by Munch in the company of works by other important Nordic artists, such as Asger Jorn, for example.
- The exhibition is made by