This original volume juxtaposes the work of two artists: the South African–born, Netherlands-based painter Marlene Dumas (b. 1953) and the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch (1863 – 1944). Organized by Dumas, the project stems from her longstanding, personal connection to the works of Munch. The book focuses particularly on Munch’s 1908/09 series of lithographs titled Alpha and Omega and on a new series of works by Dumas titled Venus & Adonis. Both series deal with themes of innocence, sexuality, loneliness, anxiety, and death, and each is structured around a love story. Through this book, Dumas shows us how she perceives Munch not simply as an emotional expressionist, but rather as an intelligent artist thoughtfully reflecting on human conditions in general.
Trine Otte Bak Nielsen is curator at the Munch Museum in Oslo.