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The Norwegian painter Edvard Munch has been featured in a number of exhibitions in Japan, where his works on the theme of “the scream of the human soul” and its aspects in love and death, joy and despair are extremely popular. Among his works, Munch named the Frieze of Life series as his pivotal oeuvre. These works are not intended to be appreciated individually, but rather must be seen as an entire series. However, the themes of love, death and unease are not the sole keys to an understanding of such a grand project as the Frieze of Life. Rather, another and most overlooked aspect of his work is their decorative quality.

This exhibition features 108 representative works by the artist from such collections as the Munch Museum in Oslo in a world-first attempt at shedding light on the subject of “the decorative” in Munch’s works. The exhibition devotes one section to each of the decorative projects produced by Munch as it considers the indications of his role as a decorative painter. The first section considers the decorative aspect in the Frieze of Life works. The following sections each explore, in turn, the decoration of private homes for Axel Heiberg and Dr. Max Linde, and his public architectural projects, such as Max Reinhardt’s Chamber Theater, the University of Oslo Festival Hall, the Canteen at Freia Chocolate Factory in Oslo, and the Oslo City Hall.

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