Thumbing through a copy of our forthcoming “Art + Travel Europe: Step into the Lives of Five Famous Painters”, you’ll find that if you want to understand Van Gogh, you need to see the yellow fields of Arles yourself, if you want to get inside Vermeer, a trip to Delft is in order, and, if the dark spirit behind Edvard Munch attracts your eye, you’d better get to Oslo, pal. But now, thanks to the rousing success of a new exhibit on the Norwegian painter at Paris’ Pinacothèque Galleries, one of the best places to get inside Munch’s shadowed mind is now the City of Light.
Called “Edvard Munch or the Anti-Scream”, the exhibition at the Pinacothèque attempts and, by early ticket revenues and critical assessments, succeeds in recasting the importance of Munch in the context of early to mid-20th Century art history. Being the first major show of any kind for Munch on French soil, curator Marc Restellini chose not to simply borrow a few works from the comprehensive collection of Olso’s Munch Museum and instead relied on rarely seen works from private collections to create this rarely seen view of the artist. With a treasure trove of examples from various periods in the artist’s life and works crafted in mediums outside of oil painting (photographs, collage, etchings and sculptures), the irony that this artist who straddled eras, styles, and technologies has been reduced to a singular famous work is all the more visible. To quote Restellini’s translated French of the exhibition flier, “[Munch] belongs to the tradition of William Turner and Gustave Courbet. He is the missing link between such artists as Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Jean Dubuffet and Jackson Pollock in the history of Modernism. As an authentic innovator in the field of kineticism in art, this exhibition reveals a model in Avant-Garde terms and a breakthrough from all earlier artforms.” Taken out of his Oslo home and viewed as an international rather than a Norwegian artist, a new Munch emerges; an ambitious, evolving innovator. Of course, you’ll have to scramble if you want to meet this other Munch—the Pinacothèque show closes in July.
“‘They Have Tried to Destroy Me’ Says Rising Star of Parisian Art World” (Independent UK)
“A Chronological Exhibit of Munch’s Works, Beyond ‘The Scream’” (WSJ, third item)
“Edvard Munch or The Anti-Scream”
Now through July 18, 2010
La Pinacothèque de Paris
28, Place de la Madeleine
Top (left to right)—Detail of “Clothes on a Line in Åsgårdstrand”, Edvard Munch, 1902, “Boy from Warnemüde”, Munch, 1907.
Bottom (left to right)—”Woman With a Red Hat on the Fjord”, Munch, 1891, “Summer Night in Studentlunden”, Munch, 1999.
All images © the Munch-Museum/Munch-Ellingsen Group