The University of Wisconsin Press



Charles Munch, Dreaming in Color
Paintings 1971–2006
Jody Clowes and Richard Ely

“The strength of Munch’s work . . . is in the intellectual force of the images. Each painting offers much more than could be imagined on first viewing.”—Steven Kapelke, New Art Examiner

Charles Munch is well known in the American Midwest for his bold, luminously colored paintings of people and animals in expansive landscapes. For twenty-five years, his richly imagined images have explored the tangled relationship between tame and wild, between humans and the rest of the natural world. The elegant simplicity of his pictures has caused them to be described as "nature icons."

Charles Munch, Dreaming in Color
reveals Munch's transition from the poetic realism of his early work to the brilliant semi-abstraction of today, as well as the personal and artistic crisis at the heart of that dramatic transformation. Jody Clowes contributes a probing essay of critical analysis. Richard Ely's long biographical essay narrates one man's journey from suburban childhood to visionary landscape painter. The book also includes a chronology of Munch's artistic life and an exhibition history.

Charles Munch grew up near St. Louis, Missouri, and now lives on a hilltop in southwestern Wisconsin. He has exhibited his paintings in twenty-five solo shows, eight of them museum shows. His work is in private collections nationwide, as well as in the collections of the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Chazen Museum of Art.

Jody Clowes is director of the University of Wisconsin–Madison's Design Gallery and a freelance curator. Richard Ely is a writer and editor working in Madison, Wisconsin.

Distributed for the artist

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The cover of this book about the paintings of Charles Munch is illustrated with a painting of a figure asleep in the woods. Two dogs wait on guard. Colors are blue, orange, grey, yellow and magenta.

September 2009

LC: 2006931905 ND
72 pp.   8 1/2 x 8 1/2
60 color paintings

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Paper $19.95 t
ISBN 978-1-879483-96-5
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  “He offers simply outlined figures, with
no modeling of form; almost childlike patches of pure color, and small swatches of descriptive line. Curiously what happens is an almost magical liberation.”
—Kevin Lynch, Capital Times



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Updated July 12, 2011

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