Homage to Edvard Munch, his Ekely and his house at Ekely.

Gallery LNM (Association of Norwegian painters), Oslo, Norway.
Installation: Paintings, sculpture, neon object.
Photo: Werner Zellien.

From the press release:

In his exhibition Yellow, Per Hess takes a theme from his former local neighborhood in the artist colony of Ekely: The story of the demolition of the house of our central painter Edvard Munch.

As part of Per Hess’s ongoing research on material and spiritual capital, he addresses the relationship between Edvard Munch’s life and work, related to his house and property and to his testamentary gift in the context of the great importance this has today. The exhibition is about the demolition of Edvard Munch’s house on Ekely.

The story, with this house as a central symbol, is a story related to love, honor, generosity, envy, greed and economic struggle where both artists, municipality and state have played important roles.

Per Hess comments on the contrasting economies by extracting important details from Munch’s life and appreciating them. The value of Munch’s art completely exceeds its economic value.

The exhibition’s title Yellow refers to the main colour of his paintings, the yellow colour.

The pure yellow colour usually symbolizes freshness, light, joy and intellectual commitment while the dirty yellow colour represents envy, jealousy, sickness, disgrace and indignation. Many who once lived on Ekely did not want a conservation of the house and it was demolished in 1960. The symbolic meaning of the yellow colour both reveals this event as a tragic result of the envy of the time associated with the recognition Edvard Munch received and titled at one of his main paintings.

Since that time, huge changes have been made to Munch, his generous gift and his importance to Oslo as the capital. Munch takes part in placing Oslo on the map. Interest around his art is growing and in great international growth.

It’s time to think about Munch’s house again. Now it should be able to rebuild, even if it’s just a copy. Houses are being rebuilt in the event of disasters: accidents such as fire, war and natural damage. An undisputed demolition is also a disaster.