During 2015 and 2016 the Munch Museum will present an ambitious two-year exhibition series called +Munch. Here Edvard Munch's art will be shown side by side with six other artists consecutively: Bjarne Melgaard, Vincent van Gogh, Gustav Vigeland, Robert Mapplethorpe, Jasper Johns and Asger Jorn.
In other words, artists from Munch's own lifetime as well as later generations, all the way up to our own time. To present artists such as Van Gogh, Jasper Johns or Robert Mapplethorpe in a large scope for the first time here in Norway is a sensation in itself. On that level the series points to a practice that will characterise the exhibitions in the new Munch Museum, which will open in about five year's time. Aside from Munch's art, the new museum's programme will include modernist and contemporary art based on Rolf E. Stenersen's Collection. And not least, we will actively exploit the opportunities that the Munch collection affords us to present international exhibitions, which we would otherwise not have been able to bring to Norway. Instead of presenting Munch as an isolated figure, we will consistently place Munch's work in relation to other art. This will open up to new understanding and lead to a richer historical perspective on his art than we have previously had the opportunity to demonstrate. It will also make Munch's art more relevant to our own times.
The exhibitions of the next two years are intended as a form of elevated encounters between the works of two artists. They are placed in relation to each other in ways that will open up to new layers of meaning in their work. This of course goes both ways, as it always does in a relationship. The encounters will alternate from confrontation and disparity to connections and influence. In some cases it is a question of direct dialogue, while in others, parallels that we can see in hindsight will emerge, or a combination of these.