You scream, I scream....
(Edvard Munch's 19th-century painting 'The Scream' is one of the
most recognized and reproduced art works in the world)
was Edvard Munch thinking when he painted The Scream?
Critics howled when the Norwegian artist first exhibited the lurid
canvas in Berlin in 1893. "It caused a huge scandal,"
says Michael Parke-Taylor, curator of a major Munch exhibit opening
at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto this week. But the bleak,
agonizing figure depicted in Munchs canvas - and so alien
to the naturalistic imagery of the 19th century - resonates with
meaning in the wired world of the 1990s. In recent years, The
Scream has joined The Mona Lisa as one of art historys
most reproduced icons. "The image has been used for every
social and political agenda you can possibly think of, from feminism
to the environment to politics," notes Parke-Taylor. Just
how deeply the image has penetrated popular culture is clear in
the art gallerys companion exhibit, which features editorial
and humorous cartoons, posters, advertising material and an array
of mugs, T-shirts, mouse-pads, inflatable dolls and even a beer
bottle and night-light emblazoned with The Scream. Says
Parke-Taylor: "It has become this image of modern mantotally
stressed out and angst-ridden."
March 3, 1997 v110 n9 p14(1).
text black on white
View scanned article
success: an inflatable doll turns out to be a real Scream for
Robert Fishbone (Aug 15, 1994)
'The Scream' Stolen From Exhibit (Feb 13, 1994)