VMFA hosts only U.S. exhibit pairing Jasper Johns and Edvard Munch

Posted at 11:09 AM, Oct 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-06 11:09:59-04

RICHMOND, Va. – A significant exhibit will open on Nov. 12 at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the only American venue, thanks to the support from multiple entities.

The exhibition, Jasper Johns and Edvard Munch: Love, Loss, and the Cycle of Life, examines the deep connections between American artist Johns and Norwegian Expressionist Munch.

The exhibition was organized by VMFA in partnership with the Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway, where it premiered in June.

The VMFA spokesperson said that the exhibit will offer a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see works by one of America’s most renowned living artists, shown side by side with those by the Norwegian painter whom many consider the father of Expressionism.”

The exhibition offers insight into Jasper’s creative process and explains 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.

“The depth of the relationship between Jasper Johns and Edvard Munch has never been explored as systematically, nor illustrated as stunningly as it is in this international exchange,” said VMFA Director Alex Nyerges

Jasper Johns and Edvard Munch: Love, Loss, and the Cycle of Life includes more than 120 paintings, drawings, prints, and photographs. The Munch Museum is lending some 55 significant works—some of Munch’s best known pieces as well as rare works never before seen in the United States.

The exhibition is curated by John B. Ravenal, executive director of deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts.

Ravenal was VMFA’s Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator for Modern and Contemporary Art from 1998 to 2015 and during his tenure, he curated numerous award-winning exhibitions

He also wrote the catalogue that accompanies the exhibition—Jasper Johns and Edvard Munch: Inspiration and Transformation—which is co-published by VMFA and Yale University Press, in partnership with the Munch Museum.

Two leading foundations dedicated to advancing scholarship in the field of American art are supporting the exhibition. The Terra Foundation for American Art provided a $200,000 grant in support and an accompanying catalogue. The Henry Luce Foundation awarded the VMFA a $100,000 grant in recognition of the project’s contribution to the study of American art.

The National Endowment for the Arts also helped with a grant.

The exhibit will run from Nov. 12, ,2016 to Feb. 20, 2017.  Tickets cost from $10- $15. Click here to purchase.