May 5, 2012

IT'S ALWAYS SEEMED MORE A JOKEY BIT OF JUVENILIA THAN ART...:

An infinite scream, passing through nature (Robert Fulford  May 5, 2012, Globe and Mail)
    
In the Norwegian National Gallery in Oslo, Edvard Munch's The Scream is the unquestioned star painting, like Leonardo's Mona Lisa in the Louvre. The other-worldly figure standing on the bridge overlooking Oslo, his mouth twisted into a vertical oval, lives in the world's visual memory. It was inspired by Munch seeing the sky suddenly turn a florid orange-red. That vision frightened him into art: "I stood there trembling with anxiety. I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature."

Ever since Munch painted it in 1893, successive generations have embraced it as a work that catches the anxious spirit of their own time. On Wednesday, the art market re-affirmed the importance of both Munch and The Scream when an anonymous buyer at Sotheby's in New York paid $119,922,500, the highest figure any painting has ever brought at auction, for one of the four copies of The Scream Munch made.

Munch said he feared madness. Yet he also knew how to use it. His great accomplishment was to turn a life of misery into powerfully symbolic art. Driven and depressed, he made himself by force of will into the embodiment of madness in art. Partly under his influence, madness became an acceptable form of expression in modern culture.

...so I confess to not having paid it much attention, but was still surprised when the obvious point was made that the figure in the picture is receiving not emitting the titular scream.  Not sure why anyone would drop that kind of iron on a work that exists to be mocked.
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Posted by at May 5, 2012 9:55 AM
  
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