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Place, Space and Memory in the Art of Edvard Munch


In the Ateneum Hall at 3pm

"Place, Space and Memory in the Art of Edvard Munch" - lecture by professor of art history Patricia G. Berman (University of Oslo and Wellsley College).

Lecture is in English and free of charge, welcome!


Edvard Munch's lifelong engagement with the Norwegian coastal town of Åsgårdstrand is one of our primary understandings of his motifs. The town's meandering shoreline, multicolored rocks, and forests populate most of his best-known works, the paintings that constituted his Frieze of Life.

In them, he filtered the topography into motifs that fused memory with observation, creating a poetics of place. Between 1896 and the mid-1930s, Munch translated his motifs into wall decorations produced on commission. The first of these commissions was for a home at Lysaker, west of Kristiania (Oslo). The Lysaker community consisted of artists, politicians, literary figures, and scientists, who, like the intellectuals who built their homes on Lake Tuusula, saw their houses, and their community, as models for a national efflorescence.

The lecture considers the curious case of Åsgårdstand, the town, transposed into "landscape," an abstract ideal, and then into a branding device - and a repository of memory - through its deployment into commissioned public and domestic spaces.