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Munch | Warhol

On Wednesday evening, Her Majesty The Queen officially opened the exhibition entitled “Munch|Warhol and the Multiple Image” in New York City. The exhibition brings together the works of two of the greatest printmakers of the 20th century.


Andy Warhol was a great admirer of Edvard Munch, and in 1984 he created a series of screen prints based on four of Munch’s motifs: The Scream, Madonna, Self-Portrait with Skeleton Arm, and The Brooch. Eva Mudocci. These are currently on display along with Munch’s own lithographs.

Differences and similarities

Munch, an expressionist painter, was known for his in-depth studies of the human psyche. In contrast, Warhol was known as a pop culture icon who explored the relationship between artistic expression and consumer culture.

The two artists share clear similarities as well. Both addressed themes such as angst and alienation, beauty, sex and death – and they drew on the inherent potential of the graphic medium to explore these themes through repetition and variation.

In her opening remarks, Queen Sonja emphasised the differences as well as similarities between the two artists, noting that Warhol’s works are uniquely his own – even though he copies Munch:

“As we celebrate Munch this year, this encounter with Warhol’s series of screen prints is a remarkable experience. Warhol’s prints from 1984, produced 13 years after his visit to Oslo, truly resonate with the works of Munch. He copies Munch, but the result is unique. He captures Munch’s intensity, and then interprets the works in his own way. ‘They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself,’ Warhol once said. Maybe this is one of the reasons why one of the world’s most productive printmakers chose to copy these masterpieces.”

The works in the exhibition are taken from museums and private collections. Some have never been displayed in public before.

The exhibition, which marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Edvard Munch, has been organised under the auspices of the American-Scandinavian Foundation. The works may be viewed at Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America in New York City from 27 April through 27 July 2013. The curators are Dr Patricia G. Berman and Pari Stave.

Received an award

On Wednesday morning, the Queen received the NACC Nora Award for Women of Achievement. Presented by the Norwegian-American Chamber of Commerce, the award was established to mark the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in Norway. The award is being presented for the first time this year, and Queen Sonja is thus the first recipient. According to the statutes, the award is to be presented to a woman who has achieved extraordinary success in her chosen endeavours.

Presented cultural awards

On Thursday, Queen Sonja will attend the spring banquet of the American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF). The dinner will mark the opening of the Munch/Warhol exhibition and serve as the venue for the presentation of the ASF Gold Medal and Culture Awards.

The Queen will present the ASF Gold Medal, which is being awarded to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Glenn D. Lowry, the museum’s director, will accept the award on behalf of the museum. Artist James Rosenquist is the recipient of the ASF Culture Award, which is also being presented by the Queen.


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