Elling Reitan, Norwegian Contemporary artist, pays homage to the seminal Norwegian artist Edvard Munch (1863-1944), on the 150th anniversary of his birth. Reitan replicates two of Munch’s legendary, mystical images, “The Scream” (1895) and “The Madonna” (1895, printed 1912/13). In the spirit of Munch’s own repetition of these images over several years in both painting and print, Reitan also expressed the purposeful appropriation of these mystical figures in painting and print. Munch was known to obsessively re-work symbolic motifs, including his own self-portrait throughout the 1930’s. His work is continuously studied due to the artist’s ability to interpret human experiences from his own life.
Reitan not only re-examines the iconic images of “The Scream” and “The Madonna”, but integrates his own signature replications of yin and yang, two elongated dark and light figures that populate every painting and print he creates.
Elling Reitan is influenced not only by Munch, but also by an artist who tested the boundaries, Andy Warhol. In this exhibition, the thread moves to individuals who were compelled to experiment with imagery, words or art, without fear of non-acceptance (Warhol, Joseph Beuys, Goethe). Although Warhol began as a commercial artist, he pushed himself and his art and ended up as a pioneer in the revolution of Pop culture. The quotes throughout the exhibition reflect the interwoven thoughts of these individuals related to their artistic observations.
Picasso said, A good artist copies, but a great artist steals. If imitation is the highest form of flattery, artists will continue to incorporate previous generations of created imagery and pay homage to those artists who uniquely produced their expression of humanity.