Edvard Munch. There are Worlds Within Us

In September KODE Bergen Art Museums launches two major exhibitions on Edvard Munch.  

– We’re looking forward to presenting a large number of Munch’s most outstanding worksThis autumn Bergen will be the world’s “Munch-capital” says Director of the KODE Museums Petter Snare.  

The exhibition Edvard Munch – There are Worlds Within Us” brings together around seventy works from the world’s largest Munch collections – including KODE’s own, where Munch’s art forms a central pillar. Made possible through generous loans from the Munch Museum and the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, as well as private collectors. A parallel exhibition, “The Experimental Self – Edvard Munch’s photography” looks at Munch’s exploration of photography and film as an artistic medium. Both exhibitions open on September 6th 

– These exhibitions will present the breadth of Munch’s artistic oeuvre – from paintings and prints to photography. We are excited to present our own Munch-works in a larger context, Snare says. 

The world’s largest Munch collections meet 

“Edvard Munch – There are Worlds Within Us” explores fascinating connections and contrasts in Munch’s art. How do our inner worlds connect with nature, culture and the people around us? We see how his Frieze of Life pictures develop the themes of love, anxiety and death. We see how landscapes alternate between the seasons, sunlight and moonlight. We see pictures that address the different stages of life and the self-portraits that punctuate the episodes of Munch’s career.  

The title “There are Worlds Within Us” is taken from one of Munch’s own notes 

"Nothing is small nothing is great – there are Worlds within us. Small things form part of the large. Large things form part of the small – A drop of blood is a Universe with Suns at its centre and Planet. The ocean is a drop. A small part of a Body."

Munch’s best-known works are often viewed as expressions of alienation and isolation and a fear of the masses. In the above quote Munch uses the inclusive “us”, exploring the great in the small, and vice versa. The exhibition seeks to adopt the same perspective. How is everything connected?  

“Edvard Munch. There are Worlds Within Us” is presented in the recently renovated halls of the KODE Museum’s Stenersen building. These halls have been restored to their original open-plan layout of 1978. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue with contributions from Munch specialists and scholars in other fields. The exhibition is curated by Line Daatland, Director of Collections and Exhibitions at KODE and Frode Sandvik, curator at KODE. 

Munch selfies 

The exhibition “The Experimental Self – Edvard Munch’s photography” looks at Munch’s exploration of photography and film as an artistic medium. In his experiments, Munch discovered the potential of using the camera “wrongly”, to achieve distortion, blurred motion and unusual perspectives. The results are poetic representations of Munch himself and his immediate surroundings.  

The photo exhibition is realized as a collaboration between KODE Bergen Art Museums, the Munch Museum and The American-Scandinavian Foundation and curated by the American Munch researcher Patricia Berman.