Geneva Anderson digs into art

“MUNCH 150”—the new Munch exhibition from Norway comes to the big screen—Thursday, June 27, 2013 at Sebastopol’s Rialto Cinemas with encore Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Edvard Munch's "The Scream," (1893), National Museum, Oslo @Munch Museum)

Edvard Munch’s “The Scream,” (1893), National Museum, Oslo @Munch Museum)

This year, all of Norway is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Edvard Munch (1863-1944) master of emotion, alienation and loss.  The exhibition, Munch 150, co-hosted by Oslo’s National Museum and the Munch Museum, which opened on June 2, 2013, has been hailed as a once-in-a-lifetime show.   On Thursday, June 27, 2013, at 7:00 p.m., Rialto Cinemas in Sebastopol will bring the exhibition and its fascinating back-story right to Sonoma County with the event film, EXHIBITION: Munch 150, with an encore presentation on Wednesday, July 3 at 1:00 pm.

With 220 paintings on display, the sesquicentennial exhibition brings together the greatest number of Munch’s key works ever, including works from the Norwegian’s debut as a 20-year-old in 1883 until he stopped painting just before his death in 1944.  Highlights include near-complete reconstructions of The Frieze of Life (1902) and The Reinhardt Frieze (1906–1907).  In Oslo, these paintings have been liberated from their heavy frames and re-composed into the epic emotional odyssey – the visual novel of a life and of an age – that Munch had originally planned.

The event film, hosted by art historian and cultural commentator, Tim Marlow, goes behind-the-scenes with the curators, art historians and conservators in Oslo who know Munch’s work best and provide crystalline analysis of the artworks and their art historical context.  The planning and hanging of this epic two-venue exhibition is explored at the National Gallery, where Munch’s works from 1882-1903 are exhibited, and at the Munch Museum, where his works from 1904-1944 are on display.

The film also provides an in-depth biography of Munch who lived from the mid-19th century right through to the German occupation of Norway in the Second World War.  When Expressionism arrived in Europe, Munch was a significant and recognized pioneer of this new epoch.  His oil paintings produced during the 1890’s have always attracted the most attention but Munch created a number of masterpieces in the 20th century as well.

Of course, the Scream (Skrik), is given in-depth coverage—from its relationship to The Frieze of Life (1902) series, to the composition’s central iconic figure and its agitated background that undulates with strokes of pure color, to its enduring psychological resonance.   The Scream was originally painted onto cardboard using a mixed media of tempera, oils and pastels in 1893.  Munch recreated this particular painting twice in oils and twice in pastels between 1893 and 1910 as well as a Lithograph in 1895.  Originals are so highly sought after they have been stolen and recovered several times.  On May 3, 2012, the one Scream painting that remained in private hands set a public art auction record of $119.9 million when it was sold at Sotheby’s New York.

Edvard Munch, "Self-Portrait with a Bottle of Wine," 1906, Munch Museum, Oslo, @Munch Museum

Edvard Munch, “Self-Portrait with a Bottle of Wine,” 1906, Munch Museum, Oslo, @Munch Museum

EXHIBITION host Tim Marlow seems to get better with each successive exhibition film he hosts and interviews numerous Munch luminaries in Oslo who offer their expert insight and knowledge on this exceptional show.  ARThound is interested in knowing if these excellent cine-art experiences actually stimulate viewers to go and seek out art on their own.  Nothing can replace the magic of seeing an artwork up close and in person.

Run-time:  One hour and 20 minutes

More on Munch:   The National Museum of Oslo has put together a great timeline of Munch’s life, illustrated with artworks, click here.

ARThound scoop:  One special fact about Munch was that he took his dog with him to the cinema; if the dog barked, he left, as the film was obviously not up to it.

Details: MUNCH 150 screens Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 7 p.m. with an encore Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 1 p.m. at Rialto Cinemas, 6868 McKinley Street, Sebastopol.  Tickets: $14.00 Adults; $12.50 Seniors (62+) and Children (11 and under). The Box Office opens daily 15 minutes prior to the first show of the day. To purchase tickets online from Rialto, click here.  Note:  The seating for this performance is general admission, so arrive early to get the seat of your choice.

Coming to Rialto in October: Vermeer and Music—The next event film in the art exhibition series is on October 10, 2012 (encore October 16, 2013) at the Rialto Cinemas and takes place at the National Gallery in London where audiences will see a unique perspective on the exhibition, Vermeer and Music: The Art of Love and Leisure (June 26-September 8, 2013) which showcases three masterpieces of Johannes Vermeer brought together for the first time— A Young Woman standing at a Virginal and A Young Woman seated at a Virginal (both owed by the National Gallery) and Guitar Player (on loan from the Iveagh Bequest, Kenwood House.) (Click here for more information and to by tickets.)

June 21, 2013 Posted by | Art, Film | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment