Nov 262007
Edvard Munch: The Scream

In reading this famous painting, hanging in the National Museum, Oslo, Norway, critics usually bring up themes of social alienation, of emotional extremes — such as anxiety, loneliness and despair — that anticipate the nihilism of the world wars and the general sense of existential impasse that followed. The main artistic device in this sketchy, […]

Nov 252007
Edvard Munch: The Sun

This vision of the sun may seem both very close and remote, aloof yet deeply personal, welcoming and intimidating. One thing is certain: the dominance of the star in this mythical landscape is overwhelming, and it will affect the viewer in one of these ways or another. As was often his custom, Edvard Munch created […]

Nov 192007
Edvard Munch: Girls on the Pier

The author of the monograph I own on Munch,¬†David Loshak, puts a lot of weight into psychoanalytical interpretation of the Norwegian artist’s work. For instance, he suggests that The Sun, as well as the star’s manifestation in “The Dance of Life” function as a phallic image; he interprets the tree and its reflection in the […]

Nov 182007
Edvard Munch: The Dance of Life

One of Edvard Munch’s chief strengths as an artist lies in his ability to delineate and convey psychological processes. He may not be an exceptional draftsman or colorist, but he knows how to construct a composition so as to communicate to the viewers on a very basic emotional level. Generally considered a symbolist who prefigured […]

Nov 172007
Edvard Munch: Madonna

Madonna (the painting hangs in the Munch Museum, in Oslo, Norway) appears in a state of trance or sleep, with scattered hair and exposed breasts and abdomen. She is enveloped in a swirling background that seems to want to draw her in, or backwards, almost like a Maelstrom (a quintessential north-European term Edward Munch must […]