Thursday, September 02, 2004

Bye Bye, The Scream

Now, we have never been a huge fan of Munch. We find his art a bit obvious (life sucks, so I'll paint a huge screaming mouth face?), which is why he, along with M.C. Escher and Gustav Klimt, appeal so to adolescents just discovering art (I liked the other two just as much as anybody when I was in high school, I'm not pretending I didn't). But you should have outgrown them by the time you're in your twenties. However, we have to give him credit for coming up with one of the alltime iconic images. So in memory of The Scream, we thought some words on Munch from the great art critic Sister Wendy might be enlightening:
The Norwegian artist Edvard Munch (1863-1944) was a gloomy man, perpetually haunted by illness, madness and death, who used all his psychic weakness to create electrifying art.

Munch began painting in Oslo, where the predominant style was social realism, and it was only when he went to Paris in 1888 that he began to experiment. Van Gogh's swirling, emotive brushwork is detectable in Munch's more disturbing paintings, but he was also attracted to the work of Gauguin and the Symbolist painters, and he became close friends with the Symbolist poet Stephane Mallarme.

He began to use the Symbolists' stylized forms, decorative patterning, and highly charged colors to express his own anxieties and pessimism. A precursor of Northern Expressionism, he was one of those great artists whose main intention was to make an emotional statement, and who subdued all the elements of a picture to that end.
And here's The Onion's tribute.


Canowine said...

I predict that, in memory of Munch, we will see armies of youth in Scream costumes this Halloween. They will all be getting rocks from me.

anti said...

enjoyed reading your posts thus far.
I have a modified Munch here for those into English football.