Monday, April 20, 2009
Yesterday I was able to go to the Art Institute of Chicago and see the Edvard Munch exhibit with Annie and her friend Efrat. The exhibit was powerful, with themes of melancholy, anxiety,
love, and alienation. His prints are really amazing and very rich in their technique; his paintings, many of them, are very linear in their style, which surprised me, given the looseness of the brushstrokes of his most famous work, The Scream. One gets the impression that Munch was a serious sort of guy, given to some obsessiveness and more than a little gloominess. The yellow vertical symbol for the moon on the water, seen in Summer Night, the Voice, is a recurrent theme in his work, and I think it symbolizes the melancholia that he so often expresses in his work.
I am sure that it wasn't lost on many who attended this exhibit that his themes are just as relevant today as they were then. The other day, I had a discussion with dear friend Bobbi about medications that have been developed for the anxiety and depression that seem to be sort of running rampant among us today. Would Munch have created these works if he had the edges softened a little by a daily dose of Prozac?