Thursday, 20 September 2012

Edvard Munch – Graphic works from the Gundersen- Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Collection

2nd September 2012

This exhibition has a selection of prints of Edvard Munch.  This was on show in Modern Two of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in the Dean Gallery.  The exhibition is over several rooms and the order of the prints is not always obvious.  There was a bit of a treasure hunt scene when we and others could not find a couple of numbers.
I had been to Tate Modern and had visited the “final” forms of some of these works and could recognise the scenes with some of the prints. (see post )

Munch had made his first solo show in the UK in Edinburgh in 1931 and there is an area of the exhibition with some material relating to the 1931 show.  His influence on other painters is noted and I liked the Gillies’s Ardnamurchan.  Some of the prints were sharper than others. 

The gallery has an A3 sheet printed on 2 sides with a lot of technical details about graphic prints and techniques.  A background in these terms is useful to know and terms such as lithograph and woodcut are clearly explained.  It was time well spent in having these terms read out to me as we went round. 

There is a print of The Scream.  I had seen the “original” in London before I lost my sight.  The other prints were more or less covered in the Tate Modern exhibition regarding the rather sombre subject matter.  Munch’s series and re-workings of The Sick Child, Madonna, Kiss can be recognised.  In some cases the images are sharper depending on print and colours employed.  Munch was always drawing a portrait of himself and I could recognise him here too.  The On the Bridge series was fun to find. Some others had been mixed up with his two versions.  I had said there is one view of the Bridge with 3 coats and one with 4.  I ought to have counted the hats.
My notes which were taken by my companion are as follows:

No. 13
Head by Head, 1905
Two faces merging

No. 17
Jealousy I, 1896
Jealousy II, 1896

No. 26
The Scream, 1895
Lithograph on paper
Handcoloured by artist

William Gillies Morar, 1931
In Ardnamurchan, c1936

No. 40
Moonlight I 1896

No. 52
On the Bridge 1912-13
Counted 5 hats

No. 53
The Girls on the Bridge, 1918
Could make out 3 girls

A limited number of postcards were on sale.

Young Girls on a Bridge, c1901

Two People, The Lonely Ones, c1899


Modern Two is located across Belford Road from Modern One.  If feeling energetic the pair of galleries are within walking distance from the West End of Edinburgh.  Last year we walked from Charlotte Square and visited Dean Village on the way back.  There is a trail from the Belford Road Bridge down to the Water of Leith.  Take care on the descent and ascent.  There is a waterfall or rapids near the Dean Village and the whole river can be walked making an interesting trip combining the galleries. 

Modern Two has access to the upper floor via a lift from the rear of the bookshop.  There is also a café on the Ground Floor.  The stairwells are interesting if not a bit institutional and reminded me of those in the Courtauld Gallery in Somerset House in London. 

More information on the Gundersen Collection can be found on: