Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Munch, Again

Visiting the Edward Munch exhibit at SFOMA for a second time was enthralling, and half the fun was watching the reactions of people seeing the paintings for the first time.

They are shocking and expressively neurotic, causing a lot of people to look away.

They are also intensely vibrant and beautiful.

Watching people pair up with certain paintings was also fascinating.

The exhibit is not for everyone. My Philistine spouse's bored reaction was, "He sure does a lot of self-portraits, doesn't he?"

My reaction was, "Why isn't Munch ranked with Gauguin and Van Gogh? I had no idea he was this great."

Munch donated all his paintings on his death to the municipality of Oslo before World War II was finished, which means they are public and well taken care of, but most people in the world have not seen them in person. So get your body down to SFMOMA or be prepared to travel to Oslo.

7 comments:

Lisa Hirsch said...

1. Self-portraits: so did Rembrandt!

2. Because he's Norwegian and thus doesn't fit into the standard narrative of 19th/20th c art.

Hattie said...

I have been lucky enough to know him from the collection in Zurich. His paintings take time and thought to appreciate. They are "deep," as the Germans would say. And deeply tragic.

Rachel said...

Looks fascinating. I had heard it was a 'terrible' exhibit but it looks great to me... Thanks for sharing.

Michael Strickland said...

Dear Lisa: Yeah, the "self-portrait" remark was pretty dumb, but at least he was paying SOME attention. I think that's the last time I drag poor Tony to an art museum. Besides Rembrandt, there was also Frida Kahlo, another outside the mainstream painter who specialized in self-portraits.

Dear Hattie: Lucky you in Zurich. He came as a total surprise for me.

Dear Rachel: Where did you hear it was a "terrible" exhibit? I'm curious. And if you'd like to go sometime, I've got a membership to SFMOMA and can get you in for free some weekend in the next six weeks. Email me at fototales2001@yahoo.com.

Rachel said...

Thanks for the offer, Michael! I've got a membership too, but I really appreciate that. My relatives, who are usually good art museum goers, went and said it was awful, and they walked out. I admit I did think that was an extreme reaction! I suppose I'll have to head over and see for myself. I need to visit my favorite Rufino Tamayo painting, anyway!

Michael Strickland said...

Dear Rachel: I love that your relatives walked out, indignant. Now you definitely have to go.

Rachel said...

For real - and they'd gotten the tix free, too!