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Andy Warhol & Edvard Munch

Last summer in a surprising exhibition, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art displayed works from Warhol and Munch together. An initial reaction would be to think of these two art icons as having very little in common, and as being artistic opposites. So, why show the artists together in the same exhibition?


Louisiana's decision was based on a desire to show the artists' individual strengths and also to present the artists in a new perspective. The three reasons given by the museum for the exhibition was that, for one, Warhol in 1984 did some prints based on iconic motifs from Munch's painting, such 'The Scream' and 'Madonna'. Secondly, both Warhol and Munch worked intensively with repetitions and variations on the same theme in the graphics.

The third reason is what caught Supporting People's attention. Warhol is famous as a superficial pop artist and Munch is seen as profound and serious. Numerous interpretations over the years have meant that these descriptions have gradually evolved into a truth about the two personalities, leading to the idea of two diametric opposites. Louisiana wanted the exhibition to correct the image of the two by showing that Warhol is less superficial than he is often perceived as, and Munch correspondingly shallower. The exhibition showed that people's views of the two artists are based on some stereotype, on some social 'agreement', when in fact the reality is far more nuanced.

It is all too often that we conveniently interpret others' behavior using simplifications, resulting in the stereotypes becoming stronger and achieving a status as 'truth'. We are drawn away from reality, we become inflexible and we develop a closed mind that doesn't allow for the unexpected.

Perhaps, as a start, we should use these long, light summer hours and holiday period to reflect on the way we are, and how we can move on from the stereotypes in our minds.

Have a good summer.

“Over the past few years it has become increasingly difficult to attract foreign workers because they don’t feel welcome in our country”

Niels Due Jensen, Chairman of the board at Grundfos, taken from an article in Berlingske Tidende 30/09/09: Top industry professionals break with the fear of globalisation