Omega’s Eyes: Marlene Dumas on Edvard Munch



ISBN: 9788293560227 Category:

Marlene Dumas, Edvard Munch, Trine Otte Bak Nielsen


Marlene Dumas juxtaposes her own works with works by Edvard Munch, assembling what she describes as ‘a love story about tenderness, passion and agony.’

Dumas’s personal experience of Munch’s art is the starting point for this book. During her youth, she was fascinated by the anxiety in his subject matter, but in the beginning of her own artistic career, there was a period of time in which she didn’t regard him as quite as relevant as he’d once been. According to Dumas, she ‘wasn’t drawn to a man who was celebrated for having represented all women as vampires.’ She believes the media’s emphasis on his complicated relationship with women overshadowed his artistic abilities, but gradually she began to view his art differently. In 1981 she saw the Alpha and Omega lithographs at the Munch Museum, and the series made a strong impression on her. She liked the vitality of Munch’s line, and wanted to create images with the same type of energy. According to Dumas, it is Munch’s lines that ‘carry the emotion.’

Dumas’s encounter with Alpha and Omega made her aware that she had an affinity with Munch. ‘I’ve always said that I wanted to paint love stories, and here was Munch doing just that many years before me,’ she writes. Now Dumas wants to peel away the anecdotes and myths about Munch, and instead direct attention to how he painted modern love stories, ‘not just between men and women, but also between people and nature. How we all struggle with love, alienation and death.’

Additional information

Weight 642 g
Dimensions 18.2 x 24.7 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 1 March 2019
Number of pages
Format Hardback
Dimensions 18.2 x 24.7 cm
Weight 642 g


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Marlene Dumas is considered one of contemporary art's most influential artists, and has held numerous solo exhibitions in museums and private galleries worldwide. Trine Otte Bak Nielsen (b. 1978) has been a curator at the Munch Museum since 2014, where she co-curated Moonrise. Marlene Dumas & Edvard Munch .