Edvard Munch has long been one of my favorite artists in Modern Art. His symbolist and proto-expressionist works have a deeply personal connection with me. Somehow, they reach into my psyche, wrenching my emotions and thoughts from within and allow them to materialize in paint. Munch's art worked on two psychological levels at once, both conjuring up primitive emotions from our personal past while at the same time juxtaposing it with his knowledge of archetypal characters from our collective past. I love the way his artwork, much like Franz Kafka's writings, tap into those deep-rooted feelings of inadequacy, guilt, regret, lust, and utter despair.
Here is a list dedicated to Edvard Munch and his art.
Easily my favorite painting ever!!! Edvard Munch's The Scream has an almost uncanny ability to resonate with everyone (unless they dislike Expressionism) on a very deep and personal level. There's something special about the painting that allows people to connect with the artist's intense feelings of isolation and anguish. Never has anyone been able to project such vulnerability and sadness about not being able to blend in with one's environment or social community. Truly one of the most iconic paintings in Modern Art.
Edvard Munch's deeply insightful painting is a meditation on the insecurities, the vulnerability, and the feeling of loneliness that is inherent in the process of growing up. Never has an artist been able to so accurately and boldly depict the angst and awkwardness of early adolescence.
Dark, disturbing, and somehow titillating, this piece from Edvard Munch is instantly reminiscent of Lucy's attack on her husband Arthur in the novel Dracula. Not my favorite Munch painting, but one of his most memorable.
For much of Edvard Munch's adult life, he struggled with his own sexuality and his own social anxieties. As such, many of his works of art possess a strange dualistic quality being able to express both extreme vulnerability and discomfort but also exposing a deeply sensual side of himself. Ironically, one of his most erotically charged and passionate pieces is entitled Madonna, named of course after the Virgin Mother.
Munch's unusual symbolic work that shows three different periods in a woman's life. There's been some debate among artistic scholars as to exactly what three stages of womanhood they are. The first two are self-explanatory, since they are clearly childhood, womanhood (note the sense of sexual freedom that the intermediate woman appears to be experiencing), but the third phase is a little less clear... Some say that it is widowhood, which explains the black garbs, yet not the other figure on the far left. However, others say that it represents death and the other figure is that of a mourner.
Throughout Munch's life, he was again and again visited by the shadow of death. In this haunting lithograph, Munch was inspired by his own sister's death and the resulting work (as well as the painting he did with the same name) is masterful.
This particular self-portait is simultaneously gloomy and humorous. I've always enjoyed those self-portraits which allow themselves to be highly stylistic in order to express the feelings of the artist better and this is a great example of that type.
Munch suffered from social anxiety and insecurity, so often when he painted or drew, his pictures reflected his feelings of discomfort with the outside world. Here he has created an image of a small crowd making their way down the street, but he has imbued it with his own melancholy.