SAT—October 7—2:30 PM, free


MoreLectures + Literary

On October 7, join us for the discussion Edvard Munch: Transforming Nature. Jay A. Clarke, who received a grant from the American-Scandinavian Foundation to conduct research for the current exhibition and publication Edvard Munch: Trembling Earth on view now at the Clark Art Institution through October 15, is Rothman Family Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago. In today’s discussion, Clarke will examine how Munch animated nature to bring meaning to his work. Known primarily as a figure painter, Munch’s best-known images are connected to themes of love, anxiety, longing, and death; yet a large portion of his works feature landscape.

This talk will consider his iconic images from a new perspective, one that resonates with current anxieties around climate instability. His depictions of the natural world celebrate the fecundity of the earth in farming practice and garden cultivation, question the mysteries of the forest, and address psychological states. The lecture will also explore how Munch developed his own pantheistic and philosophical views of nature and used them to transform his surroundings.

About the Speaker

Jay A. Clarke is Rothman Family Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago. Her exhibitions and publications include Becoming Edvard Munch: Influence, Anxiety, and Myth (2009); Picasso/Encounters (2017) with Marilyn McCully; and she is the editor of Innovation, Tradition, and Nostalgia: The Manton Collection of British Art (2012); The Impressionist Line from Degas to Toulouse-Lautrec (2013).

She is and co-editor of Edvard Munch: Trembling Earth (2023). Clarke has written several articles on Käthe Kollwitz, Edvard Munch, and the materials, processes, and markets of prints and drawings circa 1900. She received her MA and PhD from Brown University.