Munch rarely used photographs as sources for his graphic or painted motifs. Rather, the effects of layering and the use of shadows in his prints, as well as the physical act of printing itself, was extended to his photographic work. The prints included in this exhibition represents humans as phantasms, as figures bleeding into their settings. Shadows abound in Munch’s work, sometimes becoming as palpable as the bodies that project them.
Munch continually explored methods and materiality in his graphic art and tested the conventional limits of his media. This led to such subtle effects as the scratching on the surface of his Self Portrait (1895), the layering of wood upon wood in Moonlight I, and the concentrated and nearly abstract form of a kissing couple – seemingly vibrating and dissolving – in Kiss I and Kiss IV. He explored the effect of mirroring a motif in Evening. Melancholy and Melancholy III, just as he sometimes flopped the negative when he developed a picture. The images in this exhibition remind us of the connection between Munch’s exploration of photography and his other work.