Rare exhibition of the art of Munch a real cry

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Most people have come to know Edvard Munch through his enthralling masterpiece “The Scream”, one of the most iconic paintings in art history – just behind Leonardo’s “Mona Lisa”. Vinci, as has been praised according to the BBC.

“Scream & Respond,” an exhibition featuring 47 prints and five oil paintings by Munch on loan from the Gundersen Collection in Norway, is currently on display at the Shanghai Jiushi Art Museum.

Highlights consist of one of five versions of “The Scream”, an 1895 hand-colored lithograph by Munch himself, three works from his famous series “The Sick Child” and “The Brooch”. Eva Mudocci ”, widely regarded as his finest portrait.

Courtesy of Shanghai Jiushi Art Museum

A rare 1895 black and white lithograph of Edvard Munch’s “Scream” and nearly 50 of his prints and oil paintings are currently on display at the Shanghai Jiushi Art Museum.

Over time, Munch was seen increasingly inconsolable, frightening, and neurotic. Indeed, agitated by pain and anxiety, he poured out his raw emotions in “The Scream”. Paradoxically, he was also known for his portrayal of love, life and the vibrant landscape and rustic people of his homeland.

Born in Norway in 1863, Munch grew up in Christiania (now Oslo). When he was young, his mother died of tuberculosis, so Munch and his siblings were raised by their mentally ill father, which had a negative impact on the way they were raised. Their father passed on a fear of existential problems to his children, which influenced the somber tone of many of Munch’s works and explains why he carried so many repressed emotions growing up.

“Munch is considered a pioneer of expressionism and a representative of symbolism,” said Felix Ma, the curator of the exhibition. “Rather than describing the outside world in detail, his works turn inward to explore inner emotions. The inner spirit of his creations does more than simply represent the objective form.

“Each of my strokes is meant to capture these overwhelming emotions,” Munch said of his work.

The print was a graphic medium in Munch’s works. In 1895 he began to experiment with the medium and continued to do so until his death in 1944.

“Nowhere can you get to know an artist better than in his prints,” said Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, famous German expressionist and contemporary of Munch.

Not only are the artwork in the exhibition eye-catching, but Munch’s written descriptions are eye-catching as well, infusing his works with strong narrative power.

“Woman with Red Hair and Green Eyes, Sin,” a lithograph printed in orange, yellow, and green on cream Japanese paper from the early 20th century, is accompanied by this touching prose – “I never loved, I felt the kind of love that can move mountains and change human beings, the kind of love that pierces the heart, the kind of love that drinks blood. But I have never been able to tell anyone: woman, you, I love you, you are everything to me.

Due to mental illness and poor health, Munch never married.

While Van Gogh committed suicide in 1890 at the age of 37 due to his acute mental illness, Munch faced similar demons after the turn of the century without succumbing to the same fate.

“Munch chose self-salvation through processing and persistent work, entering a highly productive phase of artistic creation that spanned 30 years,” said Ma.

Rare art exhibition of Munchs a true cry

Courtesy of Shanghai Jiushi Art Museum

Lithograph by Munch from 1895 “Self-portrait with a skeleton arm”

Exhibition information

Dates: Until January 13, 2021; 10 am-6pm
Location: Shanghai Jiushi Art Museum
Address: 6F, 27 Zhongshan Road E1

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