Of all the art world's imaginary landscapes, idealized nudes and glowing depictions of Jesus, who would have thought the most popular image in art would be a pale scrawny guy clutching his face in agony? Edvard Munch's "The Scream" has haunted and enthralled us en masse for years, becoming an international symbol of our modern age of anxiety. Beginning this fall, MoMA visitors will receive a rare opportunity to see one of Munch's four versions of the iconic image, a pastel-on-board, up close.
Depicting a ghostly figure on a bridge, shrieking soundlessly into a blood red sky, the piece remains just as discomforting today as when it was first created in 1895. "The startling power of Munch's original work endures almost despite the image's present-day ubiquity," noted Ann Temkin, The Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture at MoMA, in a press release. "The visual subtlety and complexity of this composition can't be summed up in a cliché." The work, which recently became the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction, is the only Scream version in private hands; the rest reside in museums in Norway.
"The Scream" is being lent by a private collector, and will be on view at MoMA through April 29, 2013.
To see more work by Edvard Munch, check out his exhibition 'The Modern Eye,' now on view at the Tate Modern.
What do you think, viewers? Is "The Scream" worth all the hype?