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Becoming Edvard Munch: Influence, Anxiety, and Myth
At the Art Institute of Chicago. Through April 26, 2009.

This well-focused exhibition reconsiders the life and art of Edvard Munch (1863-1944), the Norwegian artist best known for his iconic image The Scream. Drawing direct comparisons with his contemporaries it expands knowledge of Munch beyond the popular impression of a tortured, mentally unstable artist, revealing the ways in which he drew subject matter from Scandinavian contemporary art, art of the Impressionists which he encountered on his trips to Paris, social concerns of the time, and more. The artist's most well-known works are cast in new light by comparative paintings and prints shown alongside. A lighter and more rejuvenating body of work, including figures in nature, bathers, and mermaids is also revealed. The Art Institute's own lithograph of The Scream joins signature works such as Ashes, The Dance of Life and The Sick Child, while rarely-exhibited works by Munch's Nordic contemporaries, including Eilif Peterssen and Vilhelm Hammershoi, are also included. Many are drawn from private collections and international holdings. Becoming Edvard Munch will not tour and is exclusive to the Art Institute in Chicago. Definitely one to catch while it's here. A full-color catalogue accompanies. At the Art Institute of Chicago through April 26, 2009.

Image: Edvard Munch (Norwegian, 1863-1944). Anxiety, 1894. Oil on canvas. 94 x 73 cm (37 x 28 3/4 in.) Munch Museum, Oslo, MMM 515 © 2008 The Munch Museum / The Munch-Ellingsen Group / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY.

--Katherine R. Lieber

Katherine R. Lieber has edited ArtScope.net's Visual Arts reviews since 1998. Ms. Lieber is Editor and Associate Producer for ArtScope.net.

Editorial Note: The exhibition catalog to Becoming Edvard Munch: Influence, Anxiety, and Myth and other books related to www.artscope.net reviews may be purchased through ArtScope.net's Amazon.com link or by clicking on the link above.

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