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March, 2006 - Nr. 3


The Editor
Guten Morgen lieber Frühling
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KW & Beyond
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TSO March Events
Celebrate Mozart Tour
German Events
Kerry Straton Conducts
Cologne Literature Festival
Students Get Active
Mozart in Augsburg
Successful Gardening Show
German World Alliance
Killam Research Fellowships
Munch In Hamburg
International Student Study
Operation Clean Sweep
World Cup Info Shop
Europe's Fastest Computer
Merkel: Equality

Hamburg Munch exhibition more than a "Scream"

  TWIG - An exhibition of seminal works by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch opened last Friday at the Kunsthalle Hamburg, offering the public a rare glimpse into a man whose works inspired the German expressionists of the early 20th century.

"Munch," which draws on the museum’s permanent collection and loans from private collectors, has much in common with the larger exhibition on melancholy that is currently fascinating the public in Berlin. But Munch’s has a far more concrete connection to Germany than his obsession with human suffering - he considered Germany his second homeland.

Exhibited works such as "Ashes," "Kiss of Death," and "Jealousy" were created between 1892 and 1908, the years when Munch lived in the German capital.

These are just a couple of the works in the Hamburg Kunsthalle’s Munch collection, which is among the most important of its kind outside of Norway. The museum also owns the study for the 1885 painting "The Sick Child," as well as his circa 1900 painting "Girl on the Bridge" and "Girl at the Sea" of 1903/4.

It is exhibiting many of these works for the first time as a group in a show rounded out with about 150 drawings and studies.

Relationships between men and women stand in the foreground of "Munch," which includes paintings that allude to the artist’s tragic affairs with British violinist Eva Mudocci and Norwegian socialite Tulla Larsen.

The idea that there can be no love without suffering is not lost on Munch. "Interiors will not be painted, no people reading, no women knitting," Munch famously said, describing the subjects of his art, "They have to be living people, people who breathe and feel, suffer and love."

Among Munch’s most important and well-known portrayals of the female form is his painting "Madonna" of 1894, which unleashed a scandal when it was exhibited in Stockholm that same year. It depicts the naked upper body of a woman with long black hair but still retains the character of a traditional Madonna. The artist drew nearly as much criticism when he painted sperm and an embryo on the border of the painting in 1902.

Saving the best for last - or perhaps more accurately, the most famous - viewers shouldn’t miss the chalk and paint study for Munch’s most famous painting, "The Scream." Not just an icon of modern anguish, this work clearly captures the loneliness and terror of the individual. Munch is said to have made the painting to express the fear he felt once left standing alone on a bridge.

"Edvard Munch" is open at the Hamburg Kunsthalle through May 14.
Republished with permission from "The Week in Germany"


Hamburger Kunsthalle


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