My Thoughts On: Edvard Munch’s The Scream
Sunday, October 6th, 2013
It was a rainy evening in New York City and I was prepared to brave the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) crowds to see the Andy Warhol exhibit. After an hour in line to check in my backpack it turned out my intel was incorrect. Andy Warhol was actually at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and not MOMA! Luckily, it was not too crowded and I got to explore and see areas I have not made it to before. I was a treasure hunter rewarded with a true gem.
A special visiting painting was Edvard Munch’s The Scream, 1895, pastel on board. There was a whole section dedicated to it with sketches of preparation scattered on the walls around it. There was a mob surrounding it taking pictures with their cell phones. It reminded me of the human wall that perpetually guards the Mona Lisa in the Louvre. However, the fight to front row for this painting had a much greater reward for me. The Scream did just that, screamed for attention and awe.
The lines made of pastel oozed emotion, like seismic waves vibrating off the page. The expression of the man’s terror was so vivid. The emotion grabs your attention and holds you there, demanding your gaze, Munch is such an expert at the use of lines and rhythm. I finally experienced first hand what all the hubbub was about. Munch expertly captured that frustrated moment visually, the moment where anxiety turns into the need to release animalistic screeching.
The genius of the painting, I feel can only be experienced in person, looking at a photograph of the painting isn’t enough.