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December 2013


Edvard Munch: The Scream

Posted November 29, 2012 by artBahrain in Museums

Museum of Modern Art – New York
until April 29, 2013



he Museum of Modern Art presents a special six-month exhibition of Edvard Munch’s iconic The Scream (1895), among the most celebrated and recognized images in art history. The exhibition Edvard Munch: The Scream will also include a small selection of works of the same period drawn primarily from the Museum’s collection. Of the four versions of The Scream that Munch created between 1893 and 1910, three are in the collections of museums in Norway, and this pastel is the only one remaining in private hands. The Scream is being lent from a private collection, and will be on view at MoMA through April 29, 2013.

A haunting rendition of a hairless figure on a road under a yellow-orange sky, The Scream has captured the popular imagination since the time of its making. The image was originally conceived by Munch as part of the epic Frieze of Life series, which explored modern life by focusing on the themes of love, angst, and death. Especially concerned with the expressive representation of emotions and personal relationships, Munch was associated with the international development of Symbolism during the 1890s and recognized as a precursor of 20th-century Expressionism.

Like many of Munch’s paintings, The Scream has its basis in an autobiographical text the artist wrote some years earlier. On the plaque attached to the frame of this 1895 pastel drawing, he used red paint to inscribe the following lines in Norwegian:

 I was walking along the road with two of my friends. The sun set—the sky became a bloody red. And I felt a touch of melancholy—I stood still, dead tired—over the blue-black fjord and city hung blood and tongues of fire. My friends walked on—I stayed behind—trembling with fright—I felt the great scream in nature.

The presentation will also include two paintings, The Storm and Melancholy, as well as eight of Munch’s woodcuts and lithographs. Among these are the black-and-white lithograph The Scream and his renowned Self-Portrait and Madonna, all from 1895.

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