Monday, April 19, 2010

Edvard Munch's Anti-Scream in Paris

La Pinacothèque de Paris presents these days a WONDERFUL exhibition of paintings by Edvard Munch. If you're in Paris do not miss this one [it runs until July 18]. It is wonderfully composed, very well organized and allows one to somehow seize the grandeur of this artist who we unfortunately mostly identify by his famous "The Scream". There is so much about Munch beyond that single painting, which is what the organizers wanted to emphasize by calling the exhibit  L'"Anti-Cri"

I'm always amazed to see that despite a huge offer of fine art in Paris, every new good exhibition attracts not only tourists but Parisians. Every new good exhibition is a success because very many people are used to visiting galleries and/or museums. It's like recharging your batteries with beauty, to give your life a touch of extra-beauty.

The above pic was taken at 10:45 a.m. this past Saturday! A long line of people in front of the Pinacothèque is this long [and longer] all day long and every day (the line goes around the building).

A fun/new organizational detail is that Pinaco offers on their website to download the free podcast with many important and unimportant (but interesting) informations about the exhibition. They suggest you to download it while queuing -- ain't that cool!? Once you're in they suggest you to buy an app, install it on your iPod-touch or your iPhone and plainly enjoy your visit. Simple and easy way to optimize and enjoy your visit.

I could not take any photo inside (strictly forbidden!): you should either visit the Pinacothèque yourselves or  check out their website.

What I found fascinating is that same feature you could see in the paintings of James Ensor, those emotive distortions of natural forms that express the unease of man in the presence of (inhuman) nature. Very different from the way we see the world today although that individualism (extreme in the case of Munch and van Gogh!) resonates with the man of our time more than ever before...

Concerning the paintings by Munch (and Ensor, and to a certain degree van Gogh) I believe Herbert Read provided almost a surgical analysis of these paintings:
"The need in Northern man for activity , which is precluded from being translated into a clear knowledge  of actuality and which is intensified for lack of this natural solution, finally disburdens itself in an unhealthy play of fantasy. Actuality, which the Gothic man could not transform into naturalness by means of clear-sighted knowledge, was overpowered by this intensified play of fantasy and transformed into a spectrally heightened and distorted actuality. Everything becomes weird and fantastic. Behind the visible appearance of a thing lurks its caricature, behind the lifelessness of a thing an uncanny, ghostly life, and so all actual links become grotesque... Common to all is an urge to activity, which, being bound to no one object, loses itself as a result in infinity."

C'est tellement ça!

Since I don't have any pic from the exhibit, I have a few yummy cake-pics that I took at the Fauchon, a gourmet-house just across the street from la Pinacothèque.

No comments:

Post a Comment