Yesterday I went to the British Museum for a very special exhibition: Edward Munch: Love and Angst. The creator of art's most haunting and iconic face: The Scream. A radical father of Expressionism. British Museum Curators say: He is Norway’s answer to Vincent van Gogh. But who was real Edvard Munch? I knew his story if life but wanted to see more what is going on the inside of him! Moreover, wanted to discover this pioneering, subversive artist as the British Museum lifts the veil on his life and works in the largest show of his prints in the UK for 45 years.
Born in 1863 in Kristiania (modern-day Oslo), Norway, Edvard Munch is one of the pioneers of modern art, best known for his arresting work, The Scream. Despite creating one of the most famous pieces of art in the world, surprisingly, the man behind the icon isn’t as well known as contemporaries such as Vincent van Gogh, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec or Paul Gauguin.
“We do not want pretty pictures to be hung on drawing-room walls. We want... an art that arrests and engages. An Art of one’s innermost heart.” – Edvard Munch
The emotional intensity of The Scream has reverberated through history, speaking to generations. The fact that it needs no explanation is arguably one of its strengths. Yet perhaps it is also the reason that, beyond his name, so little is known about its creator – The Scream speaks for itself. Although it has become a universal symbol of human anxiety, it is a deeply personal response to Munch’s upbringing and experiences as a young artist.
Looking at the cities of pre-war Oslo, Berlin and Paris, the exhibition shows how new ideas about personal and political independence gave rise to an important voice. Visceral, rebellious and hungry for new experiences, Munch rejected his strict Lutheran upbringing to pursue an unconventional lifestyle. He travelled across Europe, drawing artistic inspiration from the bohemian circles he encountered and his passionate love affairs. Munch’s work articulated his experiences of life in a rapidly changing Europe, that was to be shattered by the first global industrialised conflict.
In this collaborative exhibition, you can discover how he mastered the art of printmaking and explore his remarkable body of work. Munch’s innovative techniques, bold use of colour and dark subject matter resonated with shifting attitudes – and mark him out as one of the first truly ‘modern’ artists. But as a criticism; I would expect to see the most iconic works of the artist like ' The Scream' - original one - or Golgotha etc. It is a bit disappointing but when you think this is the biggest exhibition about Munch in the last 50 years, you need to see it.