Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Exhibitions Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Birth of Edvard Munch

Fig.1 Edvard Munch: The Scream, 1893,
Tempera and crayon on cardboard,
91 x 73.5cm, National Museum of Art,
Architecture and Design, Oslo,
© Munch Museum / Munch-Ellingsen Group /
BONO, Oslo 2013,
Photo: © Børre Høstland, National Museum,
© Munch-museet / Munch-Ellingsen Gruppen /
The year 2013 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Edvard Munch, and his home country of Norway is humming with Munch Year events. In the capital of Oslo, the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design and the Munch Museum are co-hosting the exhibition “Munch 150.” The exhibit looks back on Munch’s career through 220 paintings and 50 prints and other works selected from the more than 20,000 pieces that the artist referred to as “my children.”

Munch is known for his works on the themes of life and death that can be traced back to his experience of losing family members at a young age.
Munch’s mother died when he was five and his sister when he was 13. The deaths drove his father, who was a doctor, to mental illness. The girl portrayed in his early work The Sick Child is Munch’s beloved older sister who died from tuberculosis. Hopelessness and loneliness arising from the successive deaths in his family as well as constant anxieties and fears of illness and death due to his own sickliness were a major influence on Munch’s works.

Upon moving to Berlin in 1892, Munch started what would become his lifework The Frieze of Life. The works in this series depict love and betrayal, anxieties, jealousy and death. Among the paintings were his major pieces, The Scream (Fig. 1), Vampire and Madonna. Munch envisioned The Frieze of Life as a series of decorative pictures that together would portray life as a whole. Rather than independent pieces, he created the paintings to resonate among each other like parts of a symphony. Munch showed the 22 works that comprise The Frieze of Life at the 1902 Berlin Secession Exhibition. At the Munch 150 exhibit, the frieze will be recreated for the first time in 110 years.

Fig.2 Edvard Munch: The Sun, 1911, Olje på lerret, 455 x 780 cm, Universitetet i Oslo, Aulaen,
© Munch-museet / Munch-Ellingsen Gruppen / BONO 2013,
Photo: © Munch-museet , © Munch-museet / Munch-Ellingsen Gruppen / BONO
In 1909, at age 45, Munch returned to Norway. Coming into contact once again with the plentiful nature of his homeland after many years abroad, Munch’s works took a turn toward harmony and tradition. In 1916, he completed the 11-piece mural The University Aula in the auditorium of the University of Oslo. The piece in the main end of the auditorium illuminates the room with strong rays from The Sun (Fig. 2) while the other works show Norway’s abundant nature blessed by this sunlight. After finishing this work, Munch continued actively with murals including The Freia Freize for a chocolate factory and a piece for the Oslo city hall. The artist whose works ranged from The Scream tormented with despair to The Sun brimming with hope died on January 23, 1944.

The exhibit takes place at two sites. The works from 1882 to 1903 are on display at the National Museum. The works from 1904 to 1944 are on display at the Munch Museum. Munch 150 will be shown until October 13, 2013.
National Gallery of Norway
Universitetsgata 13
0164 Oslo, Norway
+47 21 98 20 00
Tøyengata 53,
0578 Oslo, Norway
+47 23 49 35 00
Opening times:
Mon-Wed, Fri-Sun 10:00-17:00
Thur 10:00-19:00

Friday, 6 September 2013

“The Goddess at the Louvre” Undergoing Construction Treatment

©Victoire de Samothrace, Musée du Louvre
The conservation treatment of the Winged Victory of Samothrace, the Greek sculptural masterpiece housed at the Louvre Museum in Paris, and its exhibition space, is currently taking place.
The statue is also called Nike in Greek, meaning the messenger goddess Victory. She was constructed in the 2nd century B.C. and was discovered on the island of Samothrace in the Aegean Sea. By capturing the exact moment of the Goddess landing on the prow of the ship, with her wings still widely spread, the creator of this magnificent monument truly grips the hearts of those who see her with her strength and beauty.

Although it is unfortunate that visitors to the Louvre from all over the world will not be able to view this masterpiece during the restoration, she will reappear next spring, after the cleaning of the Paros marble (from which the statue is made) is complete.
In addition, the Daru staircase, which showcases the Winged Victory, is known to be the most effective setting to dramatize the encounter. A visitor’s first sighting of the Winged Victory will likely be from the bottom of the Daru staircase, looking up to her at the top. Climbing the stairs one step at a time, the visitor approaches the goddess — a truly magical experience!

The great project to conserve the Winged Victory and its entire exhibition space will be completed in 2015, according to the Louvre’s plans.For more details, please check the special Louvre website dedicated to the Winged Victory of Samothrace and the restoration project.The Louvre also invites individual donors to support the project. Details can be found on the same website.
English www.louvresamothrace.fr/en
French  www.louvresamothrace.fr/fr

Nippon Television Holdings also supports this restoration project.