Edward Munch – The Modern Eye – exhib. report

So as I have already announced, there is an Edward Munch exhibition in the Tate Modern Gallery. Hunting rooms I promised to myself, I’m going to go there as a reward for finally finding a place to live, and as I already have (with 3-5 lovable housemates too) I went to see the exhib. and it was much more touching, moving, heartbreaking, encouraging than I have dared to expect.

When I was around 15 – 16 years old, being a crypto-emo-intelectual little piece of shit, Edward Munch was my huge idol, I thought I knew his work out and out, of course I didn’t. Making drawings of his paintures and prints, I considered Munch my sort of first leader to art, and although it may sound like a huge cliché I must admit to myself even now, that he really was. I even painted my own version of The Scream including my portrait in the image, of course you can find even Homer Simpson version of The Scream or Futurama-Scream, I think you could find any cover version you could possibly think of, so it may sound stupid to do so and I even thought myself naive for doing that after couple of years, but now I think it was rather sweet, childish a bit, yes, but sincere, acknowledging his huge influence on me, paying a little hommage of my own. So I went to the exhibition feeling sentimental, to meet an old friend, I did’t expect it to be so intense, to smash me so bad, to spend 4 hours inside, to come out tired, but very very happy.

In the first years I started to be interested in art and art history I thought Edward Munch to be expressionist, painter more of 20th century than 19th, leading figure in the art scene of that time, then in school we were told he is more of a symbolist, art nouveau artist a bit, late 19th century author, during era of expresionism not too up-to-date. I was so glad to realize at this exhibition, that my own first impressions were more accurate, so don’t you trust everything they tell you in school!! He never was a firm part of any art group or movement, and sure he was a symbolist too, but his work was exrtremely actual, he sure was a leading person, well admired by not only norwegians, but german, czech, french painters too. I completely melted when I realized how honest his work actually is, and that he wanted nothing in his life but to paint and be surrounded by his own paintings, which he even called his children sometimes, bringing them outside at least once a year to sunbathe, because it would do them good he would say. That is actually why there is so many reworkings on many of his subjects. Not only for the need to repeat some themes to overcome a trauma of some sorts, or to do a better version, but simply for the fact, that he had sold some painture and he just missed it! How human, warm and genuine is that?

There were many not very known paintures included, also prints, drawings and!! photos, which were a bit ghostly and some of bit pre-facebook actually, Munch’s autoportraits from the length of his arm only, from weird angles he couldn’t get a glimpse of in a mirror.

I was amazed, stunned, close to tears.

Notion no. 1.: loads of people in the gallery had sketching pads and was drawing!! I finally didn’t feel like a complete weirdo doing that on my own.

Notion no. 2.: been into a club friday night, possibly the only girl inside wearing trainers.

Notion no. 3.: squirrels in London actually DO live, quite a lot of them, as well as you can easily encounter a fox wander around.


this one probably got me the most, steep perspective, amazing background story

czech translation coming soon…

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