Arts & Entertainment

Edvard Munch: the artist who inspired Warhol, Johns, Baselitz

Vienna, Feb 18 (EFE).- The most famous scream in the history of art resonates in the works of contemporary artists like Andy Warhol, Georg Baselitz and Jasper Johns, who found in the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch (1863-1944) a source of inspiration and expression of their emotions, fears and concerns.

That is what “Edvard Munch: in dialogue”, the latest exhibition at the Albertina Museum in Vienna, posits, which from Friday is displaying 128 paintings and drawings that examine the influence and impact of the Scandinavian artist on modern and contemporary art.

“He is probably the most influential artist in contemporary art,” Klaus Albrecht Schröder, the director of the Albertina Museum, tells Efe.

“Even more than Picasso or Matisse, because he addressed the catastrophes and crises of modern society, loneliness or death, at the same time he was very experimental with his painting,” he adds.

The exhibition, on display through June 19, is a continuation of the Viennese museum’s displays from 2003 and 2015, which looked at Munch’s prints and early works.

“This exhibition focuses on the late works of Munch, who, with innovative power, is an incredibly versatile and inspiring artist for contemporary artists,” says Antonia Hoerschelmann, the curator of the exhibition.

Sixty paintings by Munch are accompanied in the exhibition by the works of great artists of the 20th century, such as Warhol, Baselitz, Johns and also Miriam Cahn, who bring the expressionist closer to present-day art.

“It is always a challenge to show how contemporary the old masters are to modern painters, how someone who died more than 70 years ago looks like a contemporary man of our own time,” Schröder remarks.

Baselitz, fascinated by the everydayness of Munch’s canvases, captured in his wooded landscapes and portraits emotions such as loneliness or the fleetingness of life that also tormented the Norwegian.

Warhol, meanwhile, found in “The Scream” (1893), the expression of an isolated individual, a way to explore fear or death of the human being.

Munch’s life, marked by death, love, jealousy, loneliness and illness, also became a source of inspiration for other contemporary artists such as Peter Doig, Marlene Dumas and Tracey Emin.

Munch dealt with the death of his sister Sophie and his mother from tuberculosis, his difficult childhood, his alcoholism and the depression he suffered from in an unconventional style that set him apart from the artistic tradition.

“My art is a self-confession, through it I seek to clarify my relationship to the world, although I have always thought and felt that my art could also help others in the search for truth,” the Norwegian painter wrote in 1932.

“Edvard Munch: In Dialogue” captures how the Norwegian painter’s themes and painting techniques, characterized by a unique range of colors and brushstrokes, made him an icon.

“In his time, Munch was already recognized and an artist of international renown. He was a source of inspiration for contemporary and younger generations even during his lifetime, and remains so today,” the curator concludes. EFE


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