The Symbolist Prints of Edvard Munch


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The Vivian and David Campbell Collection

Elizabeth Prelinger and Michael Parke-Taylor; With contributions by Peter Schjeldahl

View Inside Format: Cloth
Price: $90.00
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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 siècle 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.

Published in association with the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto

Elizabeth Prelinger is associate professor and chair of the Art, Music, & Theatre Department at Georgetown University. She is the author of Käthe 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.

"Three Munch scholars explore the symbolist prints of the celebrated Norwegian artist, shedding new light not only on his prints but on the larger Symbolist Movement as a whole."—Art Times

"This superb volume contains (in colour and black-and-white) an almost hypnotic inventory of Munch's haunting Nordic imagination."—The Observer

"From the viewpoint of book production and printing, Yale is to be congratulated. One hundred and seventy-four pages are given over to the catalogue, glossary and chronology, which is extensive, carefully compiled, and lavishly illustrated."—Rigby Graham, Art Review

"An attractive and thoughtful consideration of early prints by the Norwegian painter and graphic artist . . . with accessible text and excellent illustrations, this is highly recommended for general collections as well as for specialists."—Library Journal

"The quality of the reproductions from the Campbell Collection, which are supplemented by images from other collections, is outstanding. The rich scholarship of Prelinger and Parke-Taylor rewards study. Building on the analogy of a rock star, Schjeldahl argues that Munch's archetypal creativity is always contemporary and 'as fresh as rain'. Highly recommended for general and art libraries."—Choice

Received a 1996 Honorable Mention in the AAP Professional/Scholarly Publishing Division Annual Awards competition in the Arts category
ISBN: 9780300069525
Publication Date: September 10, 1996
Publishing Partner: Published in association with the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
246 pages, 9 x 11
90 b/w + 175 color illus.