Edvard Munch: Beyond the Scream


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Edvard Munch: Beyond the Scream

Unfortunately, The Scream is such an iconic painting that Edvard Munch's reputation with many lays almost exclusively upon that single work of art. A couple of years ago, there was a major retrospective of Munch's work in NYC. I was there at the time to see the great exhibition of Michelangelo's drawings at the Met. The weather at the time was brutal and I was with my wife who was not up to face trekking further through a Manhattan Winter to see the Munch exhibition as well. I did, however, pick up the catalog of this show. I had long been an admirer of Munch but more of his early efforts than his later works. This catalog covered the whole of his career, and I was surprised at just how fine many of his late works were.




-Eros: The Morning After


-The Vampyre


-The Dance of Life


-The Three Stages of Women

Munch's earlier works were Expressionistic both in terms of form with his whipped up marriage of Art Nouveau linearity and the raw paint handling of Van Gogh as well as in terms of his subject matter. Love, Sex, Angst, Disease, and Death were the themes of his Psycho-Sexual Dramas. His later paintings remained just as Expressionistic... while the subject matter broadened.


-The Voice: Summer Night


-The Artist and His Model


-The Artist and His Model

Edvard Munch-Man-in-a-cabbage-field-1916.jpg

-Man in a Cabbage Field


-Starry Night
I was able to see an exhibition of many of Munch's prints shortly after art school. The friend and later studio-mate that I traveled with to see this exhibition had both minored in Printmaking. I was quite enamored of German Expressionist woodblock prints and had done my Honors work on this topic... and as such, I was quite drawn to Munch's raw, hand-pulled lithographs and woodblocks that were a major inspiration for the German Expressionists.




-The Scream




-The Sick Child


-The Madonna




-The Kiss






There is definitely much more to Munch than The Scream.

In writing this post and noting the influence of the organic linear elements of Art Nouveau upon Munch's work (something that may date back to William Blake's prints) I recognize that I have rarely ever mentioned the influence of Munch on my own work... in spite of the fact that there were several years in which I was rarely... if ever... without one of several books on the artist that were... and remain in my possession.
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These are all wonderful! I have seen some of these in various museum shows, particularly the Starry Night painting next to Van Gogh's at either LACMA or MOCA, I can't remember which. Some of these pieces I have never seen in print and I absolutely love them. Thank you for posting them. :)
Thanks for posting!

Munch has been in mind from the beginning. Way back in high school, I was into him...as well as RCrumb, PBruegel and HBosch and KKollwitz. Those were my "main art people" and maybe you can see how my angsty teenage head was working. Today, I still carry Crumb and Munch along with me (while the others have been tossed aside like used Kleenex).

I'm still not sure exactly what it is I love about him. On one hand, his work looks so tied to a very specific time and place. But on the other hand, it/he looks so modern. Of course, his work is always filled with expression and humanity but more recently, I've been looking at his landscapes. They're hitting a chord with me...there's something sort of spiritual here. While devoid of humans, they're neither sad or lonely. Cold, though. And a bit overpowering...as nature often is...

elm forest in spring
Elm Forest in Spring.jpg

the sun
The Sun.jpg

summer night on the beach
Summer Night on the Beach.jpg

train smoke
Train Smoke.jpg

winter night
Winter Night.jpg
In classical music many people start with Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, onto Mozart and Beethoven, then Schubert, Schumann and Brahms blah... blah.... all the way up to Mahler, Stravinsky, Elgar blah... blah....
For me Munch was Vivaldi. His For Seasons for me? Not The Scream, but the one with a woman attending to the sick girl (his dying sister).
Thanks Nufocus. It was just something that sprang to mind. I wasn't being snide. No way 🙂