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EDVARD MUNCH, OR THE ANTI-SCREAM
The man we are showing you to-day is not the one you take him for.
Following its usual practice, the Pinacothèque de Paris is providing a new approach to Edvard Munch’s work, one of the most mythical, but equally one of the most mysterious, artists of the late 19th century and early 20th century.
It is amazing to note, so early in art history, an artist who broke away from all the conventions to which earlier artists and movements had accustomed us. It is fascinating to note that in the early 1880s, Munch attacked layers of color, he literally plowed the pictorial surfaces or else left the works outdoors under rain and snow, transferred photographs and silent films onto canvases and graphic works. Another surprise is the transgression with which he abolished all the boundaries between supports and techniques, in his engravings, drawings, paintings, sculptures, collages, photographs and films. He belongs to the tradition of William Turner and Gustave Courbet. He is the missing link between such artists as Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Jean Dubuffet and Jackson Pollock in the history of Modernism. As an authentic innovator in the field of kineticism in art, this exhibition reveals a model in Avant-Garde terms and a breakthrough from all earlier artforms.
It was through those limitless excesses in his times, and above all through his attachment to the material qualities of paint and its supports, that Munch provided a powerful exploration of the deepest human feelings of life’s most fundamental experiments, even as the artistic world of that time was rather more absorbed by its relationships with nature and the social representations of the world. He has left an overwhelming œuvre of incomparable strength.
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