I realized the other day, with a start, that I had not visited a Paris museum since last July. And, that in my collective 16 months living in Paris, I have been to three museums in total. I remember at some point thinking that I would not push too hard to see attractions in Paris, as that would leave me things to do with guests that visited throughout my time here, but really? This situation was just ridiculous. So, with Spring’s imminent arrival taking shape – sunny skies, birds chirping and my first hazardous run-in with a rogue roller-blader – I set out across the city to take in some culture.
Beyond his painting ‘The Scream”, I knew little about Edvard Munch. Advertisements for the current exhibition at the Pinacothèque featuring his work are the wallpaper-du-jour on the metro, and the provocative title ‘Edvard Munch or the ‘Anti-Scream’” was enough to pique my interest. After my trip to the exhibit and some serious Wikipedia-ing, I realize that I am not alone in my curiosity (and ignorance). Although known outside of his home country of Norway primarily for that one work, I was surprised at the extent of the collection and the extensive variety of his art – both in inspiration, topic and media.
(A peaceful, colorful “Woman with a Red Hat on the Fjord”)
Although ‘The Scream” was not on display here, one could see the same themes and objects running through other works.
(I think that the bridge looks familiar here)
I was personally most impressed with the pieces taken from this ‘Frieze of Life’, which focused on themes of life, love and death, of which the “Madonna” (at the head of the post) and “Vampire” (following) were pieces.
I am, admittedly, not much of an art expert, especially of art from the 20th century (my tastes tend to be stuck in the Middle Ages and Renaissance – Madonna and Child, anyone?). Perhaps this is why it took so long to get out of my hibernation state and into a museum. However, it was hard to miss – even for me – the emotion, self-doubt and melancholy that Munch conveyed in his art. His work beyond ‘The Scream’ deserves the focus and recognition that this exhibit is trying to give. I would highly recommend it.
And, after, to top off the afternoon with this:
Why not? Fauchon is right next-door. That, however, is a post for tomorrow…
Edvard Munch ou l’Anti-Cri
Pinacotheque de Paris
19 February – 18 July 2010
10 Euros at the door; 11.50 Euros if buy ahead online (and get to slide in without waiting in line)