Graphic Cabinet (temporary exhibitions)
Love at the Abyss -
Edvard Munch, Max Klinger and the drama of the sexes
Those observing the works of Edvard Munch and Max Klinger may naturally be inclined to assign them to different generations of artists. Yet in fact, the Norwegian was just seven years younger than the German.
Both created symbolic works of key importance, and both were great graphic artists. And they both explored in depth the difficult relationship between the sexes, a theme that played a decisive role in art by the end of the nineteenth century. But because of their differing views on art and visual languages, Munch's affinity with Klinger has long been overlooked
The exhibition presents Klinger's cycle of etchings "A Life" (Opus VIII, Berlin 1884), which highlights moments describing the fate of a woman of his time. She enters into a passionate love affair at a young age but is then abandoned and descends into prostitution. Her life as a social outcast ends in an early death. Klinger framed the sequence with reflections on the fall from grace and Christian charity.
Scattered throughout this cycle are works by Edvard Munch, some of which demonstrate a remarkable motivic proximity to Klinger. The Norwegian most likely became familiar with the prints of the German artist as early as 1880 at an exhibition in Kristiania, now Oslo; he borrowed motifs from Klinger until 1909. In his quest to capture contemporary states of mind in resonating portraits of the soul, Munch was clearly fascinated by Klinger's art of ideas and his depictions of love, fear and death.