Organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA), this exhibition explores Jasper Johns’s interest in the work of Norwegian painter and printmaker Edvard Munch (1863–1944). The Munch Museum in Oslo is partnering with the VMFA by lending objects, including some of Munch’s best known pieces, as well as rare works never before seen in the United States. The exhibition provides insight into Johns’s creative process and how, at a crucial point midway through his career, he looked to Munch’s defining themes of love, sex, illness, and death, as well as his innovative working methods, as sources of inspiration. Johns routed Munch’s art through a process of quotation, repetition, displacement, substitution, and elision to create his own images while opening his work to new themes and meanings shared with Munch. Sequenced to explore the artist’s growing awareness of and interest in Munch, the exhibition demonstrates the great thematic and formal shifts that can be attributed in part to his predecessor’s influence.
The exhibition is also on view at the VMFA (November 19, 2016–February 20, 2017) under the title Jasper Johns and Edvard Munch: Love, Loss, and the Cycle of Life.
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