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

“Leonardo LIVE,” a remarkable HD walk-through of the National Gallery of London’s blockbuster Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition comes to local movie theatres this Thursday, February 16, 2012

Next Thursday, February 16, 2012, the museum world will jump onto the HD (high-definition) streaming bandwagon with Leonardo Live, the first HD tour of a fine art exhibition created for movie theater audiences.  Presented by NCM Fathom, BY Experience and, Leonardo Live, will screen for one night only, Thursday, and will allow audiences to experience the old master coup of the century, The National Gallery of London’s Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan. In case you haven’t heard about the show, blockbuster fully applies.  By the time it officially opened in November, 2011, it was sold-out through January and the demand for tickets was insatiable, prompting all sorts of gray-marketing.   The museum offered extended viewing hours; let 180 people in every 30 minutes; shortened its audio guide and this frenzy continued until the show closed last weekend, February 5, 2012.   While nothing beats the experience of seeing art in real-life, taking in a show like via HD is a wonderful opportunity.

Leonardo Live was captured live in HD on November 8, 2011, just before the exhibition’s opening, and provides a virtual walk-through, with exclusive commentary from British art historian Tim Marlow, the exhibition’s curator Luke Syson, well-known media host Norwegian Mariella Frostrup, and others. 

This exhibition displayed more than 60 paintings and drawings by Leonardo, focusing on the art he created in the late 1480’s and 1490’s as court painter to Duke Lodovico Sforza in Milan and the interesting connections between his secular court art and religious art.   The real draw was being able to see the paintings, all in proximity to each other.  Leonardo produced very few, probably 20, around which some scholaraly debate still continues, and the 9 that were in the National Gallery exhibition were all from his years in Milan.   The National Gallery’s newly-restored The Virgin of the Rocks (1483-86) was a focal point as well as a later version of the same painting borrowed from the Louvre.   The two paintings have never been exhibited together in the same room before and Leonardo himself never saw them together in his lifetime.  The Louvre’s earlier version was the first painting Leonardo completed as Duke Sforza’s court painter.  It is more delicate and meticulous than the National Gallery’s much later version, which is more sculptural, monumental and much brighter due to its recent restoration.  

“Salvator Mundi” (“Savior of the World”),(1499 or after) a work recently conserved, studied and controversially attributed to Leonardo is a focal point of “Leonardo Live,” an in-depth walk-through of “Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan.”

Mary’s tender expression, the crumpled golden folds of her clothing, caught in the light, create the sense that she is alive but frozen in time by art.  The paintings are so cherished because they evoke the essence of Leonardo’s gift for expressing the delicate balance between the idealized and the imaginative, the human and the spiritual.  These paintings radiate a special inner life.

Also included, in varying states of condition, due to overrestoration and aging, are Portrait of a Musician (Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Milan), the Saint Jerome (Vatican, Rome), The Lady with an Ermine (Czartoryski Foundation, Cracow), the ‘Belle Ferronnière’ (Musée du Louvre, Paris) the Madonna Litta (The State Hermitage, Saint Petersburg), the newly discovered, never-exhibited painting, the Salvator Mundi, and Giampietrino’s full-scale (32 feet-wide) copy, made in 1520, of the Last Supper, on loan from The Royal Academy of Arts, London.     

While numerous exhibitions have looked at Leonardo da Vinci as an inventor, scientist or draftsman, this is the first show to be dedicated to his aims and techniques as a painter.  These pictures show how Leonardo, benefiting from his salaried position, used his artistic freedom to find new ways of perceiving and recording the natural world and how he mastered human anatomy and was able to depict the emotional life of a being like no artist before him.  Leonardo’s portraits have always been disputed but you’ll get a up close look at his signature features—moist spherical eyes, rippling curls, the obsession with the fall of light, the whiff of melancholy and, most of all, the suggestion of movement.   Before Leonardo, Renaissance

“Lady with an Ermine” (1489-90), one of Leonardo’s rare panel paintings, and one of only four female portraits painted by Leonardo, is a portrait of Cecilia Gallerani, the mistress of the Duke of Milan. Leonardo painted this, considered by many to be the first truly modern portrait, while in the Duke’s service. Photo: The National Gallery

paintings were very closely representational but static and what he imparts in that hint of movement is a sentient emotional being, taking painting to an utterly new realm. 

The hypnotic Lady with an Ermine (1489-90), one of Leonardo’s rare panel paintings, and one of only four female portraits painted by Leonardo, also makes an appearance, shown with some of Leonardo’s animal syudies.  The delicate beauty is Cecilia Gallerani, the mistress of the Duke of Milan and Leonardo painted this, considered by many to be the first truly modern portrait, while in the Duke’s service.  Cecilia is caught illusively turning towards something or someone beyond the canvas, while the ermine in her arms is completely still.  On loan from the National Museum in Krakow, this masterpiece  made a brief appearance in 2003 at San Francisco’s Legion of Honor during its Leonardo da Vinci and the Splendor of Poland exhibition. 

The exhibition also brought together more than 50 of Leonardo’s drawings, including 33 owned by the Queen that were purchased during the reign of Charles II and left in the bottom of a chest until they were rediscovered in 1778, during the reign of George III.

Details:  Leonardo Live will be screened Thursday, February 16, 2012, at 7 PM, in the Bay Area at San Rafael’s Cinemark Century Regency 6, Napa 8 (Napa), Century 9 at San Francisco Center and San Francisco Cinearts Empire 3.   Tickets are available at participating theater box offices or online at  (Click here to download a PDF of participating theatres throughout the U.S.)

February 11, 2012 Posted by | Art, Film | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment