Edvard Munch and the Physiology of Symbolism (Hardcover)
|Author: Shelley Wood/ Munch Cordulack|
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|This book explores how and why the influential Norwegian artist Edvard Munch exploited late nineteenth-century physiology as a means to express the Symbolist soul. Nineteenth-century physiology connected the body, specifically the physiological processes of respiration, alimentation, circulation, and motor responses, to the human psyche. Munch's series of paintings through the 1890s, known collectively as the Frieze of Life, also looked to the physiologically functioning (and malfunctioning) living organism for both its visual and organized metaphors. Munch used his colors, shapes, and lines to symbolize soul states, which were in turn the results of physiological processes. His representations of the physiology of metabolism and death, for example, allowed him to mold and resolve his thoughts on the meaning of art, life, and immortality, particularly in response to the general pessimism and absence of traditional spirituality otherwise found in his work. Thus, he drew upon physiology in order to penetrate the greatest mysteries of love, life, God, and cosmos.|